The new Maserati Grancabrio Folgore is the first truly desirable electric convertible

Maserati Grancabrio Folgore

(Image credit: Maserati)

Maserati, the Italian purveyor of luxury sports cars, is continuing its push into electrification with the announcement of a soft-top version of its recent Granturismo Folgore model.

Folgore, which is the Italian word for lightning, will come to encompass an entire range of electrified luxury vehicles, which already includes the previously mentioned GT and the Grecale Folgore – a mid-sized SUV with the Italian marque’s trademark opulent interior and a 0-62mph sprint time of just 4.1 seconds.

The convertible Grancabrio, as it is called, shares much of its underpinnings with the £190,000 ($215,000 / AUS$350,000) hard top Granturismo Folgore that was unveiled earlier late last year. As a result, it features a 300kW (around 402bhp) motor driving the front axle and two similarly powerful units at the rear that combine to produce 751bhp (818bhp with max boost mode enabled) and a massive 996lb-ft of torque.

Maserati Grancabrio Folgore

(Image credit: Maserati)

The output to each motor is limited due to the fact that the 83kWh battery has a discharge limit to protect its longevity, although the Italian marque claims the system could be pushed further in the future as the tech moves on. However, the electrified Grancabrio still manages to dispatch a 0-62mph sprint in just 2.8 seconds. 

These battery packs are neatly laid-out in a ‘T-bone’ pattern that runs along the center of the floor and then spreads out under the rearmost seats. It uses an 800V electrical architecture, which means it can charge at rates of up to 270kW for rapid top-ups on the move. 

According to Maserati, the sleek electric soft-top can be charged for 20 to 80 per cent in around 18 minutes from the fastest outlets – the equivalent of around 60 miles for every five minutes of charging time. 

Maserati launches its Grancabrio Folgore. Is this the first truly desirable electrified EV? It certainly looks like it 15, 2024

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The folding fabric roof is the same that is used in the petrol-powered Grancabrio, which can electronically retract in around 14 seconds and at speeds of up to 31mph. 

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Although largely similar to its petrol-powered counterpart, the Grancabrio Folgore has a bespoke, copper-inspired paint job, as well as a distinct grille that is essentially the inverse of the slatted face found on the V6-powered version.

“We don’t want to create faceless cars like lots of other start-ups,” Maserati head of design Klaus Busse said at the Folgore launch event in Bologna, referencing the fact that this electrified version remains instantly recognizable, or a “rolling sculpture” as Busse puts it.

Maserati Grancabrio Folgore

(Image credit: Maserati)

To combat the lack of an inimitable Ferrari-derived V6 soundtrack, engineers set about deconstructing the frequencies of its famous petrol engine and then blending this with the higher frequencies created by Folgore’s inverters. The noise is then pumped through the internal Sonus faber sound system and outside through external speakers.

The interior will be available in classic leather trims, but it also embraces modern fabrics, such as recycled Nylon, which uses innovative digital laser etching techniques to create tangible patterns in seat covers.

Analysis: Italy puts the passion into EVs

Maserati Grancabrio Folgore

(Image credit: Maserati)

Maserati is proud to be among the first of the so-called ‘legacy’ premium automakers to offer a fully electric version of its entire range of potent and decidedly expensive cars.

Where the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini have either dabbled with battery power in mild hybrid variants – or teased way-off EV concepts in Lamborghini’s case – Maserati has set its course and committed to making the transition, delivering pure EVs much sooner than its rivals.

Currently, only the MG Cyberster can compete in the convertible, battery EV sports car market, but it doesn’t exactly have the same global appeal as the Italian marque’s famous Trident badge. 

Davide Grasso, Maserati’s current CEO, wouldn’t commit to predicted sales figures for Grancabrio Folgore, simply stating that Maserati intends to produce “one less than customers demand”, in reference to the tactic employed by other makers of luxury goods.

But with China making up a large proportion of annual Maserati sales, it is going to have to push its racing heritage and status as one of the world’s most recognized luxury brands to the next level in order to fend off competition from domestic manufacturers, such as XPeng and YangWang – both of which have proven they can produce the power outputs, even if they fall short of being truly desirable. 

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Leon has been navigating a world where automotive and tech collide for almost 20 years, reporting on everything from in-car entertainment to robotised manufacturing plants. Currently, EVs are the focus of his attentions, but give it a few years and it will be electric vertical take-off and landing craft. Outside of work hours, he can be found tinkering with distinctly analogue motorcycles, because electric motors are no replacement for an old Honda inline four.


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