Tag Archives: maserati

New Car Reviews

Maserati Grecale Trofeo review: The comeback kid

After more than a decade of sporty handling and sloped roofs, it’s safe to say we weren’t hurting for another luxury compact crossover SUV. To not only add another face to the crowd but to price it higher than its German rivals, I’d say you’re either out of your mind or you’re Italian. As it happens, Maserati is both. And while its standard Grecale GT and Modena trims are the result of rational decisions a faceless corporation would make to sell a commercial product in high numbers, the 523-horsepower Maserati Grecale Trofeo is the exact opposite in the best possible way.

Up against the dubiously named but popular BMW X3 M and the universally lauded Porsche Macan GTS, both of which have undergone years of refinement, Maserati has its work cut out for it. Not to mention that once-iconic Trident badge on the front doesn’t hold the same level of prestige it once did. But if reputation is all that’s standing between you and the Grecale Trofeo, don’t write it off just yet. From a plush, high-quality interior to a fierce supercar engine ripped straight out of the MC20, you’re going to want to take this one for a test drive.

Jump to:

Price and specs

Having said that, if you’re going to write off Grecale Trofeo, write off the Grecale Trofeo. Entrepreneurial lessees could be in for a big tax break considering Maserati clocked our press car at $117,500 MSRP. Damn near fully loaded with all the bells and some of the whistles, for this price, I could have my pick of SUVs in not only this class but the next size up—certainly a well-specced Cayenne S. Hell, that kind of money could get you a true lightweight sports car and a Grecale GT.

Base price:$105,500
As-tested price:$117,500
Powertrain:3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine
Transmission:8-speed automatic
Drivetrain:All-wheel drive
Power:523 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
Torque: 457 lb-ft @ 3,000-5,500 rpm
Curb weight:4,469 lbs
0-60 mph time:3.6 seconds
Top speed:177 mph
EPA estimated fuel economy:18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, 20 mpg combined
Observed fuel economy:19 mpg
Fuel capacity:16.9 gallons
Maserati Grecale price and specs

That’s right, with a starting price of $65,300, the lower-trim Grecali (plural for Grecale) will more than suffice for the average Maserati SUV driver. The base GT’s mild-hybrid, 2.0-liter four-popper makes 296 horsepower, plenty enough to merge safely onto the highway. And, let’s face it, in our daily lives, that’s all most of us use the extra power for anyway. From $74,900, stepping it up to the midrange Grecale Modena unlocks the Trofeo’s premium interior touches.

Design, colors, and options

Say what you will about Italian cars (believe me, I do)—they do tend to be easy on the eyes. It’s a long-standing stereotype that Italian automakers give their designers a blank canvas, and the frustrated engineers have to work backward to bring their artistic visions to life. To what extent that’s true, I’m not sure. But it could explain how brands like Maserati avoided the polarizing—and in my opinion, heinous—trend of big honking grilles championed by BMWs. The front end of the Grecale is tame, inoffensive, and consistent with Maserati’s design language across its current lineup.

What’s hot?– Classic, understated design
– Fast, responsive engine
– Brilliant stock exhaust
– Five bespoke driving modes
– Flexible air suspension
– Dazzling metallic paint options

When our Grecale arrived at the bustling, grandiose Acceleramota headquarters in NYC (my apartment), I was struck by its majestic tri-coat metallic paint glistening in the sun. As I later found out, embedded between the middle and top, clear coats were tiny flakes of reflective aluminum, giving it that distinct iridescent flair none of my photos could do justice. This lovely shade of blue is undoubtedly the best of the bunch, but all of the metallics are stunning and well worth the $800 premium over the single non-metallic white that comes standard.

Maserati Grecale Trofeo metallic colors ($800):

  • Bianco Astro (white with silver gloss)
  • Grigio Lava (sparkly gray with bronze tint)
  • Nero Tempesta (fancy black)
  • Blu Intenso (spicy blue)

Maserati Grecale Trofeo non-metallic colors (included):

  • Bianco (generic white)

Not one of the Grecale’s three trim levels offers a ton of extras when ordered from the factory, but that is especially true of the Trofeo. After all, Maserati parent company Stellantis’s strategy to improve reliability by giving customers fewer options—thus, fewer combinations of untested variables—seems to be paying off. In JD Power’s 2023 Initial Quality survey, Maserati showed the biggest jump of any car brand year-over-year.

Nevertheless, the Grecale Trofeo doesn’t forego factory add-ons entirely. Advanced driving assistance tech doesn’t come standard, nor do some more basic features you’d expect from a car in the six figures. The heated steering wheel, for instance, is baked into a $4,200 Premium Plus package, as are ventilated front seats. Wireless charging and a head-up display (HUD) are bundled together for another grand. Even all-but-essential safety features like blind spot assist tack on a few thousand clams. Now we’re talking paper.


Driver Assistance Plus ($3,100):

  • Intelligent speed assist
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Intersection collision assist
  • Active driving assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane keep assist
  • Blind spot monitor
  • Drowsy driver detection

Premium Plus ($4,200)

  • Ventilated front seats
  • Heated rear seats
  • Heated leather steering wheel
  • Heated windshield washer nozzles
  • Sonus Faber 21-speaker sound system

Techssistance package ($1,100)

  • Head up display (HUD)
  • Wireless charging pad

Other options

  • Roof rails ($400)
  • Full LED matrix headlights ($1,200)
  • Inox sport pedals ($200)
  • Cargo rails on load floor ($400)
  • 360-degree surround view camera ($800)
  • Cargo 115-volt power outlet

Interior and tech

Don’t get me wrong, the Grecale Trofeo is a luxury vehicle through and through, no matter what packages or options you end up with. Odds are, you’ll never see a no-frills Trofeo at a dealership anyway. So you can rest assured that its old-money-inspired new-money cabin made me feel poor. Mission accomplished, Maserati.

If it wasn’t upholstered in leather, it was carbon fiber. The piano black bezels surrounding the infotainment displays were among the few plastic parts I could find. The firm grip of its swanky yet classic leather steering wheel gave me the confidence of an executive at a pharmaceutical company pretending to save lives. Physical controls were a nice touch.

Coming from an Alfa Romeo Tonale, the ignition button on the steering wheel was instantly familiar, and the drive mode selector on the opposite side was an upgrade. Adjusting the volume of my music and changing songs with controls on the back of the wheel took some getting used to. As did the frankly baffling procedure of opening the door from the inside. Pressing a button to open the door electronically when there’s a mechanical backup latch right below it made me wonder why the button was there at all. The answer, I reminded myself, is because why not?

The raw texture of carbon fiber can be found and felt everywhere from above the door handle to the center console. Red stitching accentuating the leather upholstery gave the Grecale Trofeo a sportier look, color coordinated with its performance. As we all know, red is the fastest color.

Although it’s not particularly exciting, the Android-derived Uconnect infotainment system is intuitive. A benefit of Stellantis’s platform-sharing, parts bin ecosystem is that the software has to scale across 14 different brands. If it doesn’t work for Maserati’s clientele, then it doesn’t work for Jeep or Ram or Alfa Romeo drivers either. As such, most people will get the hang of it after 10-20 minutes of flipping through menus on the Grecale’s Nintendo-DS-like dual-screen setup.

My only gripe with the infotainment, which is not unique to Maserati, is how eager it is to age. The more screens you have, the more dependent you are on software and computers, and the shorter the window of time in which a car looks and feels new. The bottom screen is a static HVAC panel, great! But then, at that point, why is it a screen and not a stack of tactile buttons I can program my muscle memory to press without looking? A digital gauge cluster is less concerning—there’s a level of tailored control over what I’m seeing, and it’s not something I’m constantly engaging with, unlike climate controls.

Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

But hey, at least we have a row of real physical buttons between the two displays!

Oh, no, that’s a gear selector, isn’t it?

Don’t forget to double-press P to throw it in Park, or else the car will stay in reverse.

Oh, Maserati.

As much as I appreciate a good historical nod, the analog timepiece in the middle of the dashboard doesn’t feel quite the same either as yet another backlit digital display. I’d be willing to accept it if it served some function beyond telling time—maybe a built-in timer for recording lap times or a way to benchmark acceleration. But no, it’s just a clock. Nothing more to see here, Gabe. Don’t question why an analog clock can’t be, you know, analog… move along.

Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

Capping this section off on a positive note, because despite spending several paragraphs on a rant about screens, I do like the interior in the Grecale. No, really!

If recent Mercedes are any indication, maybe those in the target income bracket for this car don’t care how it ages. More likely than not, they’ll lease it for a couple of years and then move on to something else. Then some sucker will buy on the used market for the price of a new Nissan Altima, and it becomes their problem. And that sucker will be me.

Where was I? Right. Cargo space. It has a good amount: 20.1 cubic-feet behind the second row. More than the Porsche Macan GTS, and less than the BMW X3 M.

Fuel economy and performance

Do we have to? Before I start philosophizing about the moral quandaries of driving a status symbol on wheels, much less leasing a new one every 2-3 years, let’s cut to the chase: No one cares about how much fuel they’re burning in a Maserati. The answer is 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined. No one cares so much, in fact, that you made it this far and forgot I already wrote this on a chart three sections ago. You know how I know that? Because I forgot too.

Those are decent numbers. So decent, they’re boring. Both the GT and the Modena are rated for 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. So there you go. The one with two more cylinders burns slightly more fuel. If emissions are a concern, presumably because you want to hang out in your garage with the door down while the car is running and survive, you’re in luck: Poised to compete with the Porsche Macan EV, the fully-electric Maserati Grecale Folgore is coming soon. I have thoughts on what we know so far, but I’ll keep those to myself until we know the price.

For the rest of you gas-guzzling scum, the Grecale Trofeo is quick. Maybe it doesn’t have the instant torque of an EV, but 3.6 seconds to 60 mph is enough to scare the demons out of you—with an exhaust that sings like Pavarotti and turbos that flutter like your heart will when you hear ’em. Believe it or not, you won’t find a fast compact SUV that bests the Grecale’s horsepower, straight-line acceleration, and top speed for the price. The vastly lower-cost X3 M comes close, darting from zero to 60 in just under four seconds, but close doesn’t win pink slips when you’re dropping the kids off at school.

Seeing as it weighs nearly 4,500 pounds, that’s an impressive feat. Impressive, but not terribly surprising since it’s powered by a detuned version of the twin-turbo Nettuno V6 engine shared with Maserati’s halo car, the MC20. As with the GranTurismo, the Grecale is underpinned by a Maserati-fied version of Alfa Romeo’s Giorgio platform, the same one found in the late Giulia and Stelvio Quadrifoglio (RIP).

You can feel it, too.

In Corsa mode, the gear changes hit with a satisfying punch, the suspension stiffened, and I was dropped so close to the road that, as with my Giulia, I could sail through corners in the Grecale Trofeo with unwavering confidence.

What’s not?– Too many screens
– Cursed gear selector
– Unproven long-term reliability
– Silly digital dash clock can be tacky
– Priced among fierce, proven competitors

To lease or not to lease? That is the question

Growing up as a child of hip-hop from the aughts into the early ’10s, it wasn’t that long ago when driving a Maserati was as much of a flex as a Maybach, a Rolls-Royce, or a ‘Rari. But sometime between Backseat Freestyle and To Pimp a Butterfly, the iconic Trident badge lost its exotic sheen, and for good reason.

Famously, the Ghibli sedan and Levante midsize SUV were introduced with cheap parts from downmarket brands like Chrysler and Dodge. Then there were the quality control problems, in some cases ranking Maserati dead last in reliability. Don’t get me started on its depreciation. As much as I enjoyed the Maserati Grecale Trofeo for everything it was, is everything it was everything it will be, and for how long?

Keep Reading
Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo
FeaturesNew Car Reviews

The Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo is a grand tourer on paper but a sports car at heart

As the sun casts its last light on this Maserati’s otherwise subdued metallic coat, I stand starstruck. Half a day spent touring SoCal’s finest roads and towns in the Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo left me imbued with a newfound respect for what a grand touring car can really be. I had always dismissed them as country club shuttles for rickety old rich men (and they still kind of are). But this voluptuous land yacht sitting pretty on the beach makes a case that its breed can be more than just hulking, overpowered pillows, both on its spec sheet and in practice. I’d like to think that’s a good thing.

Not long ago, you knew exactly what a grand tourer was and where the fine line was between it and sports cars. Aston Martin DB9 and DB11. Bentley Continental GT. The last-gen Maserati GranTurismo. The usual suspects. But now? Sports cars have been softened and pumped up with extra cabin space and niceties, while traditional GTs got a little more hardcore. 911s are now nicer than ever. There are AMR versions of Astons with blinding liveries and carbon brakes.

Now we have this: the new-generation Maserati GranTurismo, a tourer poised to be among the most lively and theatric in its class, especially in its racier Trofeo trim. Over five days, including my half-day lap of Circuit De Los Angeles, it was time to see how well its transition to modernity has sharpened this perennial favorite’s blade without dulling its table manners.

Skip to section:

Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

🚦Get ready, set, full disclosure! Some of the links powering our posts contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase, even if it’s not from the page we linked. Affiliate links are not always an endorsement of the product. To really help us keep our headlights shining to make more content like this, subscribe to the Acceleramota newsletter.

Price and specs

$229,620. Two-hundred thirty thousand. Yeah, I’ll break that down in a sec. But at least that supercar price tag affords some gnarly supercar tidbits. Most notably, the new-gen GranTurismo ditches that glorious, naturally-aspirated V8 of yesteryear for the MC20 supercar’s 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, belching out 542 horsepower to all four wheels. The 8-speed automatic is supplied by none other than ZF (and in other news, water is wet) and should help yield some wicked test numbers should a publication get their hands on one for instrumented sciencing. Still, the suspiciously conservative-sounding 3.5-second rip to 60 sounds plenty healthy to me, especially for something packing this much digital screen and dead cow skin within.

Base price:$205,000
As-tested price:$229,620
Engine:3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6
Transmission:8-speed automatic 
Drivetrain:All-wheel drive
Power:542 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
Torque: 479 pound-feet @ 3,000 rpm
Redline:6,500 rpm
Weight: approx. 3,900 to 4,200 pounds
Zero-to-60 mph: approx. 3.5 seconds
¼-mile:approx. 11.6 seconds
MPG: 18 city, 27 highway, 21 combined
Observed MPG:16.7 MPG
Fuel Capacity: 18.5 gallons

GranTurismo Trofeo exterior design

What can I say? It’s a beauty. A stunner. Dropdead gorgeous. It takes the same design language and proportions as the generation it replaces and evolves it for the present day, with a long snout, short deck, and those iconic Maserati porthole vents. Even the shape of the roofline and side windows are nearly identical, and that’s fine by me. Don’t fix what ain’t broke.

Some more prominent evolutions include headlights and taillights that look straight off the exotic MC20, reinforcing Maserati’s current theme of somewhat bulbous headlights and slender taillights. Twin hood vents peer from right behind the border between the front bumper and the hood itself, while physical door handles are replaced with buttons within a recessed hole.

Unless you look at this alongside the tamer Modena, you’d be hardfetched to realize there’s a difference. But alas, the Trofeo rocks a slightly angrier front fascia with more pronounced side intakes, teeny-tiny black sideskirt extensions, and of course, red-outlined Trofeo script over the porthole vents. As an added plus, the aerodynamic refinements drop its drag coefficient from 0.32 to 0.28, all while retaining that silhouette. Part of that is likely attributable to the adjustable air suspension, which can range from proper sports car low to wannabe-crossover high. I’m sure all that adjustability is a good thing.

Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco
What’s hot?– Drives a whole lot smaller than it actually is
– Raucous powertrain delivers near-supercar speed
– Sports car agility and response in most aggressive drive modes
– Everyday livable, even in Sport or Corsa
– Surprising highway fuel economy
– Quick, intuitive touchscreen response

GranTurismo Trofeo pricing breakdown

What’s not a good thing is how its price has inflated well into supercar territory. The base price for the final iterations of the last-gen GranTurismos fell anywhere between $150,000 to over $160,000. The lower-rung, 483-horsepower Modena starts at roughly $175,000. Our higher-performance Trofeo tester started at $205,000 and climbed to $229,620 with options. Good. Freaking. Grief.

The Sport Design Package adds beautifully crafted metal pedals and an aluminum door sill plate for $1,450. The Tech Assistance Package adds a rearview mirror camera and a HUD for $2,600. Comfort Assistance adds ventilated seats and a hands-free trunk for $1,070. Okay, it’s not so egregious thus far. But Maserati’s advanced driving assist suite, with surround cameras, adaptive cruise, and lane centering, not unlike lesser Stellantis products, is a tear-jerking $8,300. Our upgraded wheel package’s 20-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels add $4,500, a “premium alarm system” adds $2,000, and the upgraded Sonus sound system adds $4,000. At least everything else, from the Skyhook adaptive and height-adjustable air suspension, dual-zone climate, powered everything, all-wheel drive, and the Trofeo-exclusive eLSD, comes standard.

To make you feel better, the Maserati still kind of stands as the same value proposition as it always has in the face of rivals. The current Aston Martin DB12 and Bentley Continental GT start somewhere just below $250,000, with both easily able to skyrocket deep into the $300,000s. But then we must acknowledge its peers on the sportier side of the fence. The 911 Turbo S starts at $230,400, while the outgoing Audi R8 V10 Performance started around $161,395. Perhaps the GranTurismo’s closest rivals come in the form of the Mercedes-AMG SL 63 Roadster, which starts at $183,000, or Maserati’s own MC20 supercar, which starts at a little over $210,000.

To be fair, if you were eyeing a new GranTurismo, cross-shopping was never that big of an issue; you were going to buy several of these cars, anyway. But for those who didn’t win the full jackpot at the casino, it’s something to consider.

Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

GranTurismo Trofeo interior tech

Mirroring the Grecale luxury crossover, the GranTurismo boasts an entire cabin that’s posh, cozy, and appreciably easy to acclimate to off the bat. Anyone can get in and become familiarized with it in minutes. As mentioned, our tester featured a whole suite of surround-view cameras that came in handy in tight parking situations, including a rearview camera for the mirror, whose camera is cleverly disguised as a shark fin antenna. You can view your fine Italian surveillance equipment via the sizeable 12-inch touchscreen, which houses wired or wireless CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as the latest generation of Stellantis’ uConnect.

As one would expect, leather is abundant. The seats themselves are pretty much 132% cow and are soft to the touch but not too soft that results in the bolsters not doing their job in sporty driving. It’s a fine piece of in-car furniture that anyone can slide into for a thousand-mile jaunt across continents or a rip in the mountains, made easy by heating that cooks you alive and ventilation seats that actually cool you down instead of letting an asthmatic mouse blow on you. As for the rear seats? Shockingly roomy, with their own cupholders and USB and USB-C charging.

All creature comforts and most vehicle switchgear, including the headlights, are controlled via the 8.8-inch touchscreen saddled just beneath the infotainment system, creating one giant mass of touchscreen. While intimidating at first, you notice all the controls displayed on the screen are logically laid out and fall easily to your touch, with little to no second guesses if you’re looking in the right spot. Such a seamless blend of modernity and elegance seems like a recipe for one hell of a road tripper, as a proper GT should be.

And you’re right.

Yup, it can still be your everyday land yacht

Oh, come on now. No one should’ve ever had any second guesses as to what this car is capable of when the odometer starts climbing. It’s in the car’s name, for crying out loud. The GranTurismo swallows miles with ease, both out on the highway and in dense urban settings. A 250-mile grand tour around SoCal taught me that as I traversed the 5, conquered the 405, and embarked on risky journeys into the heart of LA County’s concrete jungles.

Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Turn the rotary drive mode dial on the steering wheel to Comfort or GT and leave the shocks in their base setting, and you’re off to a world of motoring nirvana, or as close as we can come in 2024. The Sonus sound system is a crystal-clear banger, and the ZF transmission slurs its shifts just enough to iron out the exchange in torque between gears without dampening its acceleration for on-ramps or between traffic lights. The Skyhook air suspension, coupled with the GranTurismo’s boat-like wheelbase, means expansion joints and potholes are rendered mostly negligible. The car’s sporty intentions mean it’s far from perfect, however, and the thin tire sidewalls can transmit some high-frequency impacts. But it’s never harsh, even in Sport. Dare I argue that this car is still everyday-livable in Corsa?

After half a day cannonballing from Malibu’s Marmalade Cafe to El Monte’s Fujiwara Tofu Cafe, the GranTurismo never let me down, not even in the slightest. Fuel economy was remarkable thanks to sky-high overdrive gears and cylinder deactivation. I frequently matched or beat the EPA figures, hitting anywhere between 27 to 29 mpg on the freeway. My 16.7 average came with some fairly aggressive canyon runs, but even that’s still admirable. The long wheelbase wasn’t too problematic when making U-turns and sharp right-handers once in downtown LA.

Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Perhaps my only gripes included camera resolutions that could be better, and larger cupholders would do nicely for the afternoon coffee runs rather than the ones that can barely fit water bottles. There were also some electrical gremlins with my tester, but I’ll save those for the end, as I refuse to believe the customer cars can be that frustrating. Oh, and the length can be a bit too much sometimes. And no, that is not what she said. That is what I said. Although the car drives smaller than it is, you’ll never forget it measures over 16 feet once in a garage or actually attempting to park in a space. Just ask the knick I left on one of the wheels.

Once again, I’m terribly sorry, Maserati.

If it’s any condolences, I will say that although this behemoth of a car drives quite a bit smaller out on the open highway or under the city lights, it absolutely shrinks once you let it loose for some exercise. Which you totally should in this thing.

Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Now an obese BRZ?

Yes. It’s an obese BRZ. A double-thicc FR-S, if you will. A heavy Hachi-Roku, if I must. And I don’t say that as complete hyperbole. Only a little. I knew the GranTurismo would shine cruising down the California coastline. What I didn’t expect was how it annihilates the canyons high above. From the sweepers and switchbacks cascading the hills near Malibu and later onto the Angeles Forest, this (presumably) two-ton hunk of sculpted metal and cowhide never missed a beat.

Leave the dampers in Comfort, Sport, or Corsa. Doesn’t matter. The chassis never gets upset. Leave the drive mode in Sport or turn the wick up to the Trofeo-exclusive Corsa mode if you feel like tangling with deactivated safety nannies. The car still doesn’t care. The car will ensure you’re having a blast. A flick of the drive mode dial, and the GranTurismo clears its throat for a more baritone growl out its four tailpipes, snarling and blatting on rapid-fire upshifts. They’re not PDK quick but don’t expect it from this platform. It’s quick enough. In Auto mode, this raucous ‘Rati is smart enough to choose the right gear 99% of the time. But the real treat is Manual mode, where the oh-so-satisfying metal paddles go from centerpieces on your steering column to playthings with long throws and a satisfyingly tactile click-clack.

Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

The all-wheel-drive system mostly acts with a 30/70 rear bias, deceiving even me into forgetting it’s all-wheel drive at all. Even in the tightest of slow-speed bends like the hairpins of Decker Canyon and Yerba Buena en route to Point Mugu, the actions of the front wheels are mostly invisible. Get a little snarky, and you can even get the ass end to wriggle just a wee bit. The GranTurismo can and will play if prodded hard enough.

The 3.0-liter Nettuno V6, first debuting in the MC20 and making headlines with its trick, F1-derived prechamber ignition, feels every bit of its 542 horsepower. I wouldn’t be surprised if Maserati’s 3.5-second 0-to-60 claim was sandbagged harder than any German car. And despite sporting forced induction, it builds power gradually enough to fool some purists, clamoring for every opportunity to slam into its 6,500 redline. Or I think it’s 7,000. The different shades of red near the end of the tach sort of mesh together. Torque peaks at 3,000 rpm, and power peaks at 6,500 rpm, so just wring it out and let the Nettuno sing its little song to its heart’s content, even if it’s a bit muted. Nothing companies like Akrapovic or Novitec can’t fix.

Steering is sharp and well-weighted, never requiring you to cross arms in the Malibu canyons and doing a decent job at conveying road imperfections or changes in grip. I won’t call it as good as sports cars of old, but it’s as good as some of the absolute best EPAS systems today and has a clear tie to its distant Ferrari cousins. And try as those potholes may, the GranTurismo is unflappable. Left to right to left to right, the GranTurismo turns in with eagerness and spirit, takes a set, and holds its line beautifully, no matter the road, and without a hint of understeer. After rocketing down the straights and leaning onto the resilient, easy-to-modulate steel brakes, you can let the Trofeo cling onto a single pivot and whip itself around a bend.

Props to the Skyhook adaptive air suspension. Props to Goodyear Eagle F1s that measure 265-mm wide up front and 295 out back. Props to the Nettuno being pushed deep behind the front axle. And before you start hypothesizing as to what else could lend to the GranTurismo’s agility, the answer is no. This does not have rear-wheel steering. It’s just that agile. Yeah, I’m as surprised as you are.

Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Impressive for such a massive luxury coupe, isn’t it? Almost reminds me of a pair of sub-3,000-pound Japanese twins. Almost. Okay, not really. The luxury car half of Maserati might never let this be a true sports car. Too insulated. Too big. It could transmit even more feedback and sing with more confidence in its voice. Am I being harsh? Or am I simply remembering that Aston Vantages and Porsche 911s also occupy this realm? But the GranTurismo is a great everyman, even for sporty driving. It’s better than anything I could’ve ever expected merely seeing it parked at the Malibu Country Mart, where rainbow-colored Huracan Technicas and AMG G-Wagons dwarf its road presence.

What’s not?– Needs more l o u d from the exhaust
– Rivals some boats in length
– All-touchscreen center stack may not resonate with some drivers
– Can never be a true sports car when it’s still a luxury tourer
– Painful price tag encroaches on entry-level supercar territory
– Hiccups with electronics range from “whatever” to “what the hell”

Long live Italian automakers

And now here I come, back to the coastal sunset where I started this discussion. As I let the car tick cool by the water at Point Mugu, the sun beaming off the chrome Trident after driving half of my planned grand tour by this point, I had already realized what this car was all about. A night spent racing beneath downtown’s lights and over the LA River towards a certain anime-themed dessert shop, the last possible setting you’d expect to see one of these, rendered my beliefs unshakable.

I can see certain traditionalists not getting to grips with the digital dash or all-touchscreen center stack, no matter how logically arranged or responsive it is. And in traditional Italian fashion, the electronics were… temperamental. Try TPMS sensors or lane centering that intermittently stops working or a key fob that apparently dies after 3,000 miles, leaving you unable to lock the car and then stranding you atop a mountain when you manually lock it. Just Italian things. Things I can only hope are mere duds in my test car that don’t make it into the production customer vehicles.

But all can be (sort of) forgiven when a car is this damn lovable. To hell with its size and weight, for it wears it well. To hell with its rivals, for they lack this car’s charisma.

What we should think when graced with the new GranTurismo is a proper hats off to Maserati engineers for not sullying this fan favorite. It may not be the fastest, most hardcore thing in its price range, nor is it the most prestigious in its class or even just reliable as a car. But it plays the role of a Jack of All Trades performance car remarkably well, eager to put a smile on your face on your favorite asphalt ribbons or traverse a thousand miles of interstate at your command, and it does so in that undeniably lovable way only the Italians know how to pull off.

Poor man’s Ferrari, they say? Hell yeah. Long live Maserati. Long live Italian automakers. Viva L’Italia!

Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Keep Reading
Maserati Ice Drifting
EventsFeaturesNew Car Reviews

Ice-drifting the last Ferrari V8-powered Maseratis is one way to say goodbye

Next year marks a big step in the tale of Maserati, as the last batch of V8 engines in the Italian marque’s long history will finally roll off the assembly lines at Modena and Turino. That story runs the gamut from early open-wheeled racecars in the 1930s to modern twin-turbocharged V8 mills built by Ferrari and then dropped into uber-opulent tourers, including the full-size Levante SUV. To celebrate such V8 heritage, Mas decided to run out a pair of final-edition packages for the 2024 Maserati Levante and Maserati Ghibli, dubbed the “Ultima” and “334 Ultima,” respectively. 

But as something of a (much more) surprising send-off, Maserati then invited media to Northern Italy, in the middle of winter, up to a ski resort, at over 6,900 feet of elevation, to take these final V8 cars ice drifting on a snowy racetrack. Unusual and unexpected, to say the least, but an opportunity I obviously could never pass up. And that’s how I wound up spending 17 hours flying to Milan, then another three hours driving further into the picturesque Alps, surrounded by stunning cliff faces shrouded in low clouds and dotted with terraced vineyards or marble quarries, up past Lake Como, through the low valleys, and into the small ski town of Bormio near the Swiss border. 

Maserati Ice Drifting
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

When past and present meet in Maserati showrooms

This trip actually presented my first opportunity to drive the outgoing Maserati lineup since most of the company’s many press events over the last couple of years since pandemic travel restrictions lifted fittingly focused on the three forthcoming models that aim to transition Maserati towards larger scale production and a wider customer base. The process started in eye-popping form with the eye-catching MC20 supercar, a stone-cold stunner equipped with a raucous Nettuno twin-turbo V6 engine featuring pre-chamber combustion tech borrowed from F1 racecars. 

The turbo whooshes and hardtop convertible of the Cielo trim make the MC20 my second favorite supercar on the market today—sorry, nothing beats the Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato for outright absurd fun—but enforced scarcity means that infinitely more potential consumers will undoubtedly envision the new Maserati Grecale crossover as a possible entry point to Maserati as a brand. Aimed squarely at Porsche’s Macan and Cayenne, the Grecale also gets a Nettuno engine option, though with a dialed-back ECU tune, as well as a mild hybrid system and an eventual all-electric version.

Last but not least, Maserati also re-booted the GranTurismo this year with a more contemporary exterior that borrows cues from the MC20 and—you guessed it—a pair of detuned Nettuno engine options plus an upcoming all-electric Folgore trim. The GT’s full packaging leans more toward sporty than the traditionally soft grand touring cars that inspired its name, but with all-wheel drive and a low-slung chassis, it manages to nail that middle ground nicely nonetheless. 

The three new models will overlap with the outgoing Levante, Ghibli, and Quattroporte for 2024, so I arrived in Bormio very curious to experience how the older cars perform. Imagine a customer walking into the showroom and getting to test drive all six side-by-side. Does the new-new, packed with tech and a lighter turbo V6 engine, take the cake? Or maybe the staid, refined spirit of Maserati’s more historical feel paired with the 3.8-liter Ferrari V8? At this turning point throughout the automotive industry, somehow, past and present paired up side by side most perfectly at Maserati.

For the drive up to Livigno, another ski town with an ice track nestled even nearer to the Swiss border, Maserati tossed me into the Ghibli 334 Ultima, which adds lighter wheels and a carbon fiber aero package to that 572-horsepower Ferrari V8 to produce the fastest sedan in history. The 334 refers to a top speed of 334 kilometers per hour—or 207.5 miles per hour—made possible by additional downforce, less drag, and new tires developed specifically for this application.

I never hit anywhere near that top speed, thanks largely to wet and cold roads that dictated care while navigating hairpins, in addition to true Pirelli winter tires on 21-inch wheels rather than the as-yet-secret special tires. Over tall passes, roaring through tunnels with openings exposed to the elements, the climbs and descents reminded me of scenes straight out of the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia. Unfortunately, the Stelvio Pass nearby—scene of so many epic cycling battles, not to mention James Bond tomfoolery—was already closed due to the winter snow.

Maserati Ice Drifting
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

But on those wet roads, with ice and snow packed up around six inches in turnouts, so many tight hairpins never stressed the 334. Low-end torque from the V8 never caused a moment of slip-and-slide, despite wheeling a long four-door with a curb weight of nearly 4,300 pounds around the bends. Of course, I kept traction control and electronic stability control fully activated, but I also never noticed any intrusions from the electronic nannies. Unbeknownst to me at the time, TC and ESC would wind up becoming a big focus of the rest of the day.

Three old Maseratis walk into a ski bar

I pulled the 334 into a snowy parking lot just off the main road through Livigno as cross-country skiers huffed and puffed along a track to the left and alpine riders ripped around the tree line, maybe 600 vertical feet above us. Maserati’s safety team gave us a quick briefing on what to expect for the day, and then we hopped into a Ghibli for a couple of sighting laps with a test driver. He played a bit between drifting and taking time to demonstrate all the settings for drive modes, TC, ESC, and paddle shifting—then, again, to the amazement of all, simply pointed to our cars and sent us out onto the ice. No helmets, nobody in the passenger seat to rein in any potential shenanigans, just lap after lap of ice-drifting fun.

Earlier this year, I spent a day on the ice with the Polestar 2 Arctic Circle edition at Circuit Mecaglisse in Canada but immediately recognized the folly of comparing a fully electric Swedish concept car to a bunch of opulent V8-powered Italian grand tourers. So I spent my first two laps with ESC fully on, aware of my own penchant for spinning cars and getting stuck in snow. I felt out the winter tires—Maserati installed winter Pirellis on the Ghibli and Quattroporte but Continentals on the Levante—with all the electronics holding me back, could easily floor the throttle without coming anywhere near losing grip. And this is in a heavy, powerful, rear-wheel-drive sedan, remember?

I turned ESC fully off. In the first lap, my own inhibitions allowed me to only ease into a couple of slides. But confidence builds quickly, perhaps too quickly—this is a heavy, powerful, rear-wheel-drive sedan, remember. I kept the transmission in auto mode and the drive mode in Normal, thinking the softest suspension would best keep me from upsetting the car’s balance. 

But even in Normal, I felt the surging boost of that Ferrari V8 building, pulsing through the rear tires, and by the tightest turn of my second ESC-free lap at the far end of the track, I spun out pretty good. Happily, my ego suspects nobody noticed because I recovered quickly and kept working through the rest of the course, slaloming between understeer and then stabbing into oversteer with a quick hit of the throttle, big V8 easily setting the rear tires loose until the turbos spooled up to keep them spinning for a second or two even after I lifted.

Maserati Ice Drifting
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

After a few laps, I settled into a zone of progressively wider slides, trusting the front wheels to retain a bit of grip in mild countersteer while the tail end pushed us into and then out of the drifts. On level ground or coming up over a rise, especially, the Ghibli managed easy rally-style transitions between short S-curves, then happily bent akimbo through a final wide rip into the pits. 

I handed off driving duties to a fellow journalist and, grinning ear to ear, walked over to chat with Maserati Senior Global Product Planner Victor Eumenidi. A huge Alfa Romeo nerd, Eumenidi admitted at dinner the night before that he’s hunting to find his dream car, a high-mileage SZ, probably out of Japan. On the ice track, he immediately asked with a sly smile whether I preferred the twin-turbo Ferrari V8 or an electric Polestar. I shook my head with a grin and asked why we were even here, playing in the snow, way farther out in left field compared to an all-wheel-drive Swedish commuter car.

“It’s fun,” he laughs. “And for us, it seemed like a great way to have fun with these cars. To celebrate the V8 engine and also to prove that, even if they are rear-wheel-drive cars, not only the Ghibli but also the Quattroporte, there is a lot of fun driving this car in the winter, in the snow, on the ice.”

Maserati Ice Drifting
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

Swapping through the Maserati lineup

With media on hand alternating between driving the Levante Ultima and Ghibli 334 Ultima on asphalt, I then received a new GranTurismo in top-spec Trofeo trim to take out on the track. And here, the decision-making seemed clear since the Trofeo pairs all-wheel drive with that Nettuno V6 now putting out 542 horsepower in a low-slung chassis. Surely, the better car for this day, right?

And yet, even after forcing myself to take another test lap with ESC on, I found the GT much harder to set into a happy flow. In this case, maybe more grip required too much more speed—not necessarily ideal for tight, technical twists on increasingly chopped-up ice—but the Nettuno engine also requires more revs to spool up into torque and set the tires spinning. 

By the time I gained the confidence to hit the sheer velocity that could break through the chassis’ inherent grip, the transition from understeer to oversteer hit much more quickly, leaving me little room for error. 

To be fair, I never spun the GT, even through the tightest corner that caught one Ghibli driver who needed six guys to push out from deep snow in the runoff zone. But my pace got faster and faster as a bit more tail slide entered the chat, so I also ended up waiting behind other drivers enjoying much more opposite lock in the RWD cars. Turns out, lap times aren’t necessarily best for racking up smiles per hour.

I pulled back into the pits with the GT and subbed into a Maserati Quattroporte executive sedan. Longer and about one hundred pounds heavier than the Ghibli, so still quite similar, the Quattroporte seemed to be the favorite of another journalist friend from duPont Registry who’d already been absolutely crushing the widest, fast drifts of the group. (He’d just spent four hours on a wet skid pad at BMW Test Fest, turns out, honing those sidewayz skillz in an M2.)

Following his lead, I threw the Quattroporte into Sport mode, which noticeably opened up the engine response and firmed up the suspension to somewhere between the soft Ghibli and the firm, almost harsh GranTurismo. Immediately, I discovered a new level of flow in the bigger sedan as the weight and power combined to create a sense of composure that kept me right on the edge of losing control.

Very impressive, I told Eumenidi when I returned to the pits. And he agreed, especially in contrast to his favorite car for ice-driving, the GranTurismo.

“Honestly, I love the Quattroporte,” he admitted. “A big rear-wheel-drive sedan for sure, but to me, in terms of handling, I found the car very easy. And for sure, the new GranTurismo, it’s a different thing, it’s way more easy to use, practical, and with rear-wheel drive, drives much faster in the snow.”

Maserati Ice Drifting
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

Lastly, Maserati gave everyone a final romp out on the ice in the Levante Ultima—with the caution to please be extra, extra careful because it’s the only one built so far. I went last after keeping an eye on how everyone (especially duPont over there, still crushing it) handled the larger, taller SUV weighing over 5,000 pounds. Behind the wheel, I decided to risk Corsa mode to prioritize the all-wheel-drive system’s rear bias, but even still, the Levante’s additional suspension travel made for a much smoother ride than all the other cars.

The softer ride helped me work with nose and tail weight distribution, gobbling up the by-now-shredded track. Corsa also opened up the Ferrari engine’s exhaust valving and automatically set me into manual shift mode. With my ears more easily able to keep track of revs without glancing down at the tach and nearly redlining repeatedly, I sent the Levante through each turn almost perfectly, hammering throttle this time but only feathering steering input, trusting the fronts to gently pull us through with less countersteer until a hint of Scandinavian flick opened up the rears again into the next corner. After only a couple of laps, I sent it too hard into my final bend and spun a nice 180 like a full-on Hoonigan. 

Maserati Ice Drifting
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

Box box box, apparently. Tempted to act like I couldn’t get back into the pits without another lap, I cranked the steering wheel and floored it, spinning the Ultima through another tight 180 like the best rally driver on the planet, then slow cruised into the pits. Nobody cheered, but rest assured, the crowd in my head kept the applause roaring for at least a few minutes.

I told Eumenidi that I enjoyed the Levante Ultima most and wondered whether inherent chassis similarities to the trucks, SUVs, and side-by-sides I take out for hardcore desert ripping produced a more familiar comfort zone. Of course, none of those have yet sported a 572-horsepower twin-turbo Ferrari V8—but a guy can dream, right?

Surprisingly nice, if undoubtedly dated, Maserati finales

I also took the Levante Ultima out for a quick rip on asphalt, where 99.9% of the potential total of 206 customers will spend their time. With far more grip, the low-end boost of that powerplant hooks up to render speed limits absolutely irrelevant—even on wet roads as the afternoon sun peeked through to melt more snow. Here, the traction control and ESC undoubtedly helped, though selecting Sport mode allowed for a bit more fun than Normal in the Levante 334 earlier in the day.

By the time we drove back to Bormio for a dinner of pasta and cured meats, I could confirm that these three outgoing Maseratis were surprisingly nice cars. Sure, the interior feels a little dated compared to the rest of the industry—not to mention the techy, minimalist designs of the MC20, Grecale, and GranTurismo—but the special two-tone leather treatment and all the carbon-fiber trim on the Ultima and 334 help to enhance the old-world luxury spirit. And wireless Apple CarPlay worked perfectly the whole time, even allowing me to pair it with the car moving each time I got in a new vehicle.

My mind still balks at the pricing for the Ultima and 334—which should be a serious step above even a “standard” Ghibli Trofeo for $125,195 or a Levante Trofeo at $168,495. But the limited production numbers and the final Ferrari V8 will likely serve as highlights to attract collectors, even if Eumenidi wanted to talk more about Maserati’s long history than Ferrari’s specific contribution.

Looking to tomorrow’s EVs while honoring yesteryear’s V8s

“Let’s not talk about the Ferrari V8,” he admonished me, “But the V8, in general, they were a big thing in Maserati history with more than a hundred thousand cars produced. And today we are celebrating these engines, so not only the latest Ferrari V8 but also the previous ones, all the V8 legacy of Maserati.”

Maserati Ice Drifting
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

Longtime Maserati fans and newcomers to the brand alike might miss the V8 option after 2024, despite the obvious benefits of the Nettuno V6 and four-cylinder variants. But I left Italy wondering how the forthcoming Folgore electrics might have handled our day in the snow. Weight gains could be either a pro or a con, I suspect since I did find the heavier Quattroporte and Levante easiest to slide around the track. The optimal weight distribution of Maserati’s “dogbone” style EV powertrain installation will probably highlight the instantaneous torque of electric motors to make popping the rear tires loose as easy as I found on the Polestar—whether Maserati decides to program in a rear-biased drift mode, or something near to rear-only, will come into play big time since EVs can never turn ESC fully off.

That day at Mecaglisse in the Polestar 2 Arctic Circle provided plenty of thrills, without a doubt, and only a couple of spins despite studded tires. But, probably to the surprise of absolutely nobody, I enjoyed the days spent ice-drifting on an unexpected trip to the southern Alps in a handful of internal-combustion Maseratis so much more. Hopefully, the buyers who leap at this last chance to snap up a Ferrari V8-powered grand tourer will trust their tires and traction control settings enough to do so, as well.

Maserati Ice Drifting
Image credit: Michael Van Runkle

Keep Reading
Ram 1500 REV being recharged

Stellantis teams up with Orano to recycle Fiat-Chrysler EVs

Sustainable mobility is an “ethical responsibility,” according to Stellantis, the multinational conglomerate you probably knew as Fiat-Chrysler before the UAW strikes began. Now the Italian-American automotive conglomerate Stellantis is turning those words into action, announcing a partnership with French nuclear fuel cycle company Orano for all future EV battery recycling plans. All in the name of the Stellantis “Dare Forward 2030” plan to reduce carbon in the atmosphere as a net-zero company by 2038.

The joint venture capitalizes on Orano’s innovative, low-carbon technology, which breaks with existing processes, allowing the recovery of all materials from lithium-ion batteries, and the manufacturing of new cathode materials. The joint venture will produce materials also known as “black mass” or “active mass.” This can be refined in Orano’s hydrometallurgical plant to be built in Dunkirk, France so that the materials could be re-used in batteries, thus closing the loop of a circular economy.

Stellantis and Orano Press Release

This deal means that Stellantis brands like North American brands like Fiat, Chrysler, and Dodge will have access to reclaimed battery materials. Orano claims an up to 90% metal recovery rate from lithium-ion batteries and can manufacture new battery cathode materials. This will be done at existing Stellantis facilities and is the first time a major automotive player has involved itself in the value chain in this way.

The sought-after material here is black mass. Black mass is the material that comes from dismantling and shredding an EV battery. Through chemical processes, high amounts of lithium, manganese, cobalt, and nickel metals can be recovered from dead batteries and reused for new ones.

Image Credit: AutoWeek

Are electric vehicle batteries recyclable today?

China is currently a major recycler of EV Battery materials – with the largest being Ganfeng Lithium. The country averages over 20,000 tons of waste lithium iron phosphate batteries and 14,000 tons of waste ternary lithium batteries per year. As of October 2022, China has 61 existing lithium-ion battery recycling plants. However, there are some serious competitors closer to home too:

  • Umicore: Belgian-French multinational materials battery recycling and materials company.
  • Ecobat LLC: U.S.-based company specializing in the collection, recycling, production, and distribution of energy storage solutions and other commodities.
  • Glencore plc: Swiss multinational trading and mining company.
  • Ganfeng Lithium Group: Chinese conglomerate with a focus on lithium recycling and raw material supply.

Reclamation of lithium and cobalt is especially important as the International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that supply shortages could be a reality as early as 2025.

Keep Reading
2024 Alfa Romeo Stradale 33 front end
Buying GuidesFeaturesNews

Alfa Romeo’s 33 Stradale supercar sold out before it was announced – here’s what to buy instead

Jump to:

On a livestream previously thought to be an announcement for a new 6C, Alfa Romeo unveiled, well, something not that far off. Based on the old 33 Stradale from the ’60s, which itself was based on the Tipo 33 Alfa racing prototype, the 2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale is a mid-engine, two-seat Italian supercar that’s also available as an EV, making it the first true Alfa Romeo electric car, for the purists who don’t count plug-in hybrids.

I know what you’re thinking, “Hell yeah, brother! Sign me up!” However, I regret to inform you the new Stradale sold out before it was even announced. Oh, and only 33 of them will be made. Ever. Then again, if you think about it glass half full, that’s a 3200% increase over the production volume of the single Giulia SWB Zagato Alfa sold to a German car collector in late 2022. But unlike the Giulia Zagato, all 33 customers who purchased the 2024 Stradale were pre-selected by Alfa Romeo to create their own personalized renditions of the car in collaboration with an internal team of designers. For that reason, no two Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale will be exactly alike. Because consistency is the enemy of Italian engineering.

While the novelty of reviving a classic sports car from half a century ago with today’s tech is an attractive premise, the 33 Stradale is little more than a concept car for billionaires to hold hostage in a garage and never drive. Or maybe I’m just jealous. Who can say? Whatever the case may be, Alfa says more like this is on the way. I can only hope that means more high-performance sports coupes with timeless interiors, mid-mounted engine layouts, and a low center of gravity – not just more limited-run special editions for the uber-rich and SUVs for everyone else. At least with the proliferation of EVs, those last two bits are all but guaranteed.

2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale price and release date

Prior to the reveal of the 33 Stradale, Alfa confirmed in an email to Acceleramota that all 33 units had already been sold. To be more precise, they were sold at the end of 2022. The affluent 33 Stradale customers paid more than €1.5 million (roughly $1.6 million USD) apiece, according to Automotive News Europe. Alfa says 2-3 units will be produced every month, with the first delivery slated for December 17, 2024. That just so happens to be the 57th anniversary of the 1967 car of the same name.

ModelStarting price
2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio$81,855 USD
2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio$87,770 USD
2024 Maserati GranTurismo Modena$174,000 USD
2024 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore$205,000 – $215,000 USD (estimated)
2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale (ICE)$1.6 million USD (estimated)
2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale (EV)$1.6 million USD (estimated)
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio vs Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio vs Maserati GranTurismo vs Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale prices

2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale specs and performance

2024 Alfa Romeo Stradale 33 driving from behind
Image credit: Alfa Romeo

If we’re being honest, though, the purpose of the Stradale isn’t to profit from its sales directly but to raise Alfa Romeo’s profile and sell more cars at the dealership. It’s a glorified concept car for a select few members of the wealthy elite, so that you, too, will covet an Alfa Romeo. The Giulia, Stelvio, and Tonale – the only three Alfa Romeo sells in the United States – share similar styling to the 33 Stradale, and the Quadrifoglio (QV) models even have a more potent version of the same engine.

While, in many other ways, the 33 Stradale has a lot more in common with the 2024 Maserati GranTurismo, the Stradale powertrain is based on the Giulia QV’s Ferrari-derived 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6, according to Motor1.com, as opposed to Maserati’s Nettuno engine. Still, the displacement is about the same and both twin-turbo V6 engines are found in supercars from Italian brands owned by the same company. The comparable spec sheets are no strange coincidence.

ModelPowertrainPerformance outputTransmission0-60Top speedWeight / DimensionsChassisWheels
2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio2.9L twin-turbocharged V6505 hp, 443 lb-ft torque8-speed automatic (ZF)3.8 seconds191 mph182.6x 73.8x 56.1″ (LWH); 3,806 lbsDouble wishbone suspension (front), five-link suspension (rear), anti-roll bars, anti-roll bars (front and rear), cast iron Brembo brakes245/35ZR19 (front), 285/30ZR19 (rear); 111.0″ wheelbase
2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio2.9L twin-turbocharged V6505 hp, 443 lb-ft torque8-speed automatic (ZF)3.6 seconds191 mph110.9×77.0x66.3″ (LWH); 4,309 lbsDouble wishbone suspension (front), five-link suspension (rear), anti-roll bars, anti-roll bars (front and rear), cast steel Brembo brakes255/40ZR20 (front), 285/35ZR20 (rear); 110.9″ wheelbase
2024 Maserati GranTurismo3.0L twin-turbocharged V6542 hp, 538 lb-ft torque8-speed DCT automatic transmission (ZF)3.8 seconds202 mph195.2–195.5×77.0x53.3″ (LWH); 3,844 lbsDouble wishbone suspension (front, five-link suspension (rear), anti-roll bars (front and rear), steel Brembo brakes245/35ZR20 (front), 285/35ZR20 (rear); 115.3″ wheelbase
2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale (ICE)2.9L twin-turbocharged V6612 hp, torque TBD8-speed DCT automatic transmission (ZF)<3 seconds206 mph<3,307 lbsFull double wishbone suspension, virtual steering axle, anti-roll bars, carbon ceramic Brembo brakes245/35R20 (front), 305/30R20 (rear); 106.3″ wheelbase
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio vs Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio vs Maserati GranTurismo vs Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale specs

The same goes for the battery-electric version of the 33 Stradale, which houses the same tri-motor configuration as the GranTurismo Folgore while making about the same power. At any rate, if you’ve got deep pockets but not, like, $1.9 million deep, the Maserati GranTurismo Folgore is right around the corner – for a lot less money if the $205,000$215,000 estimates turn out to be true.

ModelPowertrainPerformance output0-60Top speedElectric rangeBattery capacityWeightDimensionsChassis
2024 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore3 electric motors761 hp, 995.7 lb-ft torque2.7 seconds202 mph240 miles (est.)83 kWh4,982 lb195.2-195.5 x 77.0 x 53.3 in (LWH);255/35ZR20 (front), 295/30ZR20 (rear)
2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale (EV)3 electric motors750 hp, torque TBD<3 seconds192+ mph280 miles90 kWh<4,630 lbs182.6 x 77.4-85.5 x 49.8 inches (LWH)245/35R20 (front), 305/30R20 (rear); 106.3″ wheelbase
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio vs Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio vs Maserati GranTurismo vs Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale specs

2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale design

As I noted earlier, the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale takes us back to a simpler time, 1967, when the world treated our global fuel supply as if it were endless. Gas prices were of no concern, and we didn’t yet fully understand the environmental impact of slapping a naturally aspirated V8 on just about anything with a chassis.

Nevertheless, on the outside, the 33 Stradale stays true to its roots, with sharp yet functional styling, minimal body lines, and an Italian design ethos that is distinctly Alfa Romeo. And it wouldn’t be an Alfa without the scudetto grille prominently on display, as every model has done since the 6C 2500 in the late 1930s. Because of its low center of gravity and wide stance, it should be able to cut through wind, generating enough downforce to corner at speeds that would lift most cars off the ground. Thanks to its active shock absorbers, the 2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale’s double-arm suspension automatically adjusts to the terrain, making it as comfortable to drive on the road as it is on the track. In fact, that’s where its name comes from: ‘stradale’ translates from Italian to ‘road-going’ or ‘street-legal’.

Although the original Stradale weighed merely 1,543 pounds, modern safety and CAFE standards, as well as the inclusion of electronic luxuries in every vehicle have seen to it that even the lightest sports cars exceed 3,000 pounds. It’s probably for the best, though. Imagine pushing 612 horses in a 0.75-ton car with no modern safety features. No thanks!

Known for its unique, vibrant paint colors, it comes as no surprise that Alfa gave 2024 Stradale customers a decent-sized palette to choose from, most of which won’t be found on Alfa’s other current cars. The three standard options are Villa d’Este (tinted clearcoat red), a refashioned Royal Blue, and the classic Rosso Alfa (Alfa Red). Alternatively, nostalgic 33 Stradale buyers had the choice to outfit their ride in a white and red livery, a retro throwback to the Tipo 33 design.

2024 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale interior and tech

Here’s where the Stradale will be polarizing among people who weren’t the target demographic anyway: the interior isn’t quite as high-tech as many consumers have grown accustomed to. You won’t find a giant tablet in the center stack as you would in a Tesla Model X, nor does it claim any sort of ‘auto-pilot’ mode. Inside, it’s more Bugatti Chiron than Mercedes EQS.

As I’ve quoted countless times, and I’ll continue to quote countless times more, Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato has gone on record saying, “I don’t sell an iPad with a car around it, I sell an Alfa Romeo.” Still one of the most badass things the head of a car company has said since Enzo Ferrari argued, “The client is not always right.” (Although, Fiat discontinuing the color gray because it’s boring is a strong contender.)

The Stradale is intended as a true driver’s car, unencumbered by a dizzying array of touch screens and scroll wheels. There’s a digital instrument cluster behind the wheel, a small UConnect-based infotainment display, and an aluminum control panel in the center console. Above the rotary gear shift are a mishmash of knobs and dials for changing drive modes, adjusting the suspension, and even controlling the sound of the exhaust – you know, so you can tone it down a bit while your neighbors are sleeping. From the photos, you’ll notice a set of extra physical controls positioned along the center of the car’s interior roof. Unfortunately, the only one I can see is the hazard light switch. I’ve reached out to Alfa Romeo for clarification on the other overhead inputs.

The best Alfa Romeo cars you can actually buy, used and new

Don’t have $2 million and a time machine?

Because it’s impossible to buy a Stradale, not to mention prohibitively expensive for most people to begin with, those interested in driving a modern Alfa Romeo might want to take a peek at used listings on CarGurus. While the 2024 Giulia‘s 505-horsepower Quadrifoglio (QV) trim sells for north of $80K, you can pick up a lightly driven one for less than $50,000 if you’re willing to travel for it. I should know – back in May, I drove six hours each way to trade in my BMW 4 Series for a 2018 Alfa Red Giulia QV and haven’t looked back.

After putting another 5,000 miles on the odometer, so far the only major problem I’ve had was when one of my blinkers went out and I had to replace the headlight. Granted, that was an expensive and time-consuming fix that resulted in me taking it to the dealer, but so long as you opt for a bumper-to-bumper extended warranty, you’re golden (I recommend Mopar Maximum Care, which covers my Gabagiulia for up to 96,000 miles).

Though it’s not quite the same as pushing a relatively lightweight-for-2023, four-door super sedan with a low center of gravity, you can squeeze the about same power out of a Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUV, the only way to get a QV with all-wheel-drive. In some cases, the Stelvio is even cheaper. Even if it still handles more like an SUV than a sports car, it’s just as fast off the line as the Giulia QV – both can accelerate from 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds.

Not all Alfas are equal, though. Some models are less about performance and more about making that timeless Alfista style and handling to the everyday driver. Maybe you don’t need 505 horsepower and you’d rather have better fuel mileage and save some money on your lease. In that case, you can find a secondhand Alfa Romeo Giulia without the Ferrari V6 for less than a new Nissan Altima, and it’s probably just as reliable, if not more so because CVT. Plus, unlike the Quadrifoglio trim, which is built for the track, the

You can also get an Alfa Romeo Stelvio with a 2-liter turbocharged four-banger. It’s basically the same thing as the four-cylinder Giulia except it’s an SUV. Not to sound like a broken record, but if you are considering a new Stelvio, I strongly encourage you to at least test drive an Alfa Romeo Tonale. I know it’s a lame mom car or whatever and the Dodge Hornet is the same thing but cheaper if you don’t buy the PHEV and make false equivalencies between trim levels – but trust me on this! The torque hits different in a hybrid.

Why do Alfa Romeos depreciate so much?

2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio Quadrifoglio 100th anniversary models with 1923 RL Quadrifoglio
Image credit: Alfa Romeo

Truth be told, the answer is complicated. No, they’re not as unreliable as the haters make them out to be. Or at least no less reliable than their German counterparts. Before 2014, when the mid-engine 4C was released, Alfa Romeo had been absent in the United States since 1995. Sure, there was the Alfa 8C in 2008, but between the Competizione grand tourer and the Spider convertible, only 125 units made it stateside. So even though Alfa led the pack in JD Power’s initial quality survey in June 2023, repairs and maintenance are mostly relegated to a limited network of dealers.

Although its sales and service presence has grown 40% since its reintroduction to the States almost a decade ago, there are still only 130 dealerships open across the entire country, according to ScrapeHero, an online data collection and aggregation service. That includes the 107 Fiat and three Maserati dealerships that also sell Alfas. All 130 are spread across just nine states, the vast majority of which are concentrated in major metropolitan areas in states like Florida, California, and Texas. 18 of these locations are within 100 miles of where I live in New York City.

Regardless of badge or nameplate, cars today are more difficult than ever to service yourself. This is due in part to the sheer number of components required to increase performance while simultaneously reducing emissions. As a result, carmakers are forced to get creative with the engine bay layout, adding things like turbochargers to keep improving performance despite housing fewer (or no) cylinders. Moreover, the technology we now take for granted – built-in navigation, backup cameras, parking sensors, and heated seats – are all nice to have, but it also means more parts to break… parts that can obstruct other parts, making it harder to replace them yourself.

Take your Alfa to an independent repair shop, and most mechanics will look at you puzzled for a minute before sending you back to the dealership. And when you only have 130 to choose from, chances are you’ll have to travel. Even here in Manhattan, the Maserati dealership where I would’ve gotten my Alfas serviced closed the same month I bought the Giulia. Fortunately, there are about eight others I can reach in an hour or less by car. But I’m in the minority. The next time you see a suspiciously good deal on a Giulia in Nebraska, bear in mind that in a state with 1.9 million people scattered across nearly 80,000 square miles, there is only one Alfa Romeo dealer.

Back to the question, for those asking whether an Alfa Romeo is worth it after seeing the 33 Stradale in all its glory, remember, you can’t be a “true petrolhead” without having owned one. Just kidding.

Keep Reading