Maserati's Grecale Mission from Mars.
Maserati's Grecale Mission from Mars.
Image: Supplied

Maserati’s Fuoriserie customisation programme allows customers to create unique renditions of the Italian brand’s vehicles. One customer has taken a flight of fancy with a Mars-themed rendition of the just-launched Grecale midsize SUV.

The one-off vehicle, dubbed Grecale Mission from Mars, is painted a Galactic Orange in honour of our celestial neighbour, with a special textured metallic paint — inspired by mineral dust and metal erosion — used on components inside and out. To complete the exterior, Grecale Mission from Mars features special Vortex wheels and grey tyres.

Inside, the space theme continues with a star chart on the ceiling projecting the main constellations, while the seats are inspired by “electric currents on Mars with astronauts’ spacesuits”, according to Maserati.T his unique Grecale showcases what is possible with Fuoriserie (“custom-built” in Italian) — a personalisation programme introduced in 2020 for customers who don’t want their Maserati to look exactly like the Joneses’.

“Maserati Fuoriserie is a blank slate, and the brand is offering a wide range of designs and colours for it. The rest falls to the inspiration of individual customers, who are given the opportunity to take on the stance of a trendsetter and express their personal creativity,” the company says.

The Grecale had its global premiere in March as the smaller stablemate of the Maserati Levante luxury SUV, which has been on sale since 2016. It’s named after a wind, as per Maserati convention, and is built on a modified Alfa Romeo Stelvio platform (the sister brands both belong to the Stellantis Group). Taking on premium midsize SUVs such as the Stelvio and Porsche Macan, the Grecale was designed to have class-leading space, with 44mm more rear legroom than the segment average, combined with up to 570l of boot space.

Even without Mars-themed paint the Italian SUV stands out with its athletic styling, with the front end inspired by Maserati’s MC20 mid-engine sports car. The fenders are adorned with the brand’s signature triple portals, and the sleek look is finished off with flush door handles. At the rear, the boomerang tail-light signature is inspired by the Maserati 3200 GT of the late 1990s, with a carbon diffuser and dual double exhausts.

The interior of Maserati's Grecale Mission from Mars.
The interior of Maserati's Grecale Mission from Mars.
Image: Supplied

Inside, the Grecale eschews a clutter of buttons for digitised interfaces, including a digital instrument panel, the largest infotainment screen yet seen in a Maserati, and a head-up display used for the first time in a trident-badged car. Along with a multifunction steering wheel that still has physical buttons, controls are operated via touchscreen, gesture, or voice control using the Maserati Intelligent Assistant (Mia) connected to Amazon Alexa.

Interior of Maserati's Grecale Mission from Mars.
Interior of Maserati's Grecale Mission from Mars.
Image: Supplied

The customary clock in the centre of the dash remains, but it too has migrated from the analogue to the digital world. Its round metal bezel houses a smartwatch-style digital clock with a selectable array of faces. The Grecale was launched in three petrol-powered models, with a fully electric version called the Folgore to follow. The range starts with the GT, which is powered by a 2.0l turbo four-cylinder mild-hybrid engine with 223kW and a claimed 0-100km/h sprint of 5.6 seconds.

Next up is the mild-hybrid Modena with power in the 2.0 engine boosted to 246kW for a 5.3-second 0-100 time. The range-topping Trofeo has a detuned version of the 3.0l V6 petrol twin-turbo engine fitted to the MC20, mustering 395kW for a 3.8-second 0-100km/h blast.

An eight-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive are standard across the range, with the Trofeo’s handling boosted by an electric limited-slip differential. There are five configurable drive modes: Comfort, GT, Sport, Corsa (Trofeo only), and Off-Road, and optional air suspension.The Grecale will touch down in South Africa in the third quarter of this year, with prices still to be confirmed. 

 From the May edition of Wanted, 2022.

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