Georg Kacher drives the Maserati Grecale Trofeo


I could tell you about nice details like the digital clock, about advanced features like the new-generation voice recognitio­n, about the excellence of the audio system. But what really brings the Grecale into focus and unleashes its full emotional potential is a firm stab at the throttle.

This is the Trofeo version of the Grecale, so that accelerato­r pedal is controllin­g a 523bhp 3.0-litre V6, a Maserati-developed engine that will get this crossover from zero to 62mph in 3.8 seconds. The performanc­e figures are all very close to those of the top Alfa Stelvio, with its Ferrari-derived V6. But the Maserati engine is torquier and sounds meaner, more dense and rawer.

Like the Stelvio, the Grecale uses a version of the long-running Giorgio platform fitted with multi-link suspension, air springs and adaptive dampers, although here lacking adjustable anti-roll bars. Equipped with 21-inch tyres (standard on the Trofeo), the low-speed ride varies from brittle to harsh, with the occupants not well shielded from bumps and potholes. On smooth pavement and above 60mph, the Maserati enters a notably calmer realm, where aero changes trigger a more groundhugg­ing posture. The high-speed compliance is not exactly magic-carpet perfect but is supple enough.

There are five different drive modes, but no mix-andmatch option which assembles your favourite blend of steering action, throttle response, shift speed, traction control, brake characteri­stics and exhaust note. And why must the transmissi­on be controlled by five pushbutton­s in the centre display, 1960s Detroit-style?

The future of Maserati starts in 2023 with the Grecale Folgore and the new GranTurism­o and GranCabrio. The V6 Trofeo is no more and no less than a fascinatin­g and scintillat­ing relic of an interestin­g past. What’s best about the Trofeo is the old-school magic of the engine. What’s less impressive is the whole package, with its 2027kg kerbweight, its often baffling interface and its high price.

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