The Maserati GranCabrio Is Better as an EV

Driving the electric GranCabrio back-to-back with its gasoline-powered twin, it immediately becomes clear: Get the EV.

Listen. Don’t buy an electric car if you live somewhere where charging is a hassle. Don’t rely on an EV if you regularly drive further in a day than a fully charged battery can take you. And definitely don’t buy an EV you can’t afford.

Barring all of that: If you’re in the market for a new Maserati GranCabrio, do yourself a favor and get the all-electric Folgore. It simply lives up to the grand-touring ideal better and more elegantly than its gasoline-powered twin.

Quick Specs 2025 Maserati GranCabrio Folgore
Battery 92.5 Kilowatt-Hours (83.0 Usable)
Output 760 Horsepower / 995 Pound-Feet
0-60 MPH 2.8 Seconds
Weight 5,249 Pounds
Range 233 Miles
Price $206,995

The 2025 Maserati GranCabrio comes in two varieties: The Trofeo, powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine making 542 horsepower, and the Folgore, with three electric motors making a standard 760 horsepower—with a short burst of up to 1,200 horsepower. Both models are all-wheel drive. At a sumptuous drive program on the shores of Lake Maggiore, where Northern Italy brushes up against Switzerland, Maserati introduced us to both versions of the all-new four-seat convertible.

The gasoline-burning Trofeo gets its power from a lightly finessed version of the Nettuno engine that first debuted in the MC20 supercar. This engine, with its unusual 90-degree layout, is compact enough to sit entirely behind the GranCabrio’s front differential, which allowed Maserati to snuggle the engine down lower than you’d typically see in an all-wheel-drive car. (It also let Maserati head of design Klaus Busse draw the clamshell hood nice and low, the way it should be on a sports car).

Utilizing precombustion-chamber technology adapted from Formula 1, the GranCabrio Trofeo makes 479 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm and pulls authoritatively right up to its 6,500-rpm redline.

The combustion-powered Trofeo can sprint from a stop to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, on the way to a 196-mph top speed. On the hairpin-heavy, sometimes alarmingly narrow mountain roads of the Italian Alps, the gasser never ran out of breath. There’s no soft spot in the Trofeo’s powerband. There’s just a steady rush as mid-range torque hands you off to top-end horsepower.

The Nettuno engine sings baritone, a scale that starts at a loping, bassy burble and ends in a classic sports-car rasp, accentuated by a multi-mode exhaust (and a little airbrushing via stereo-system enhancement) that gets progressively louder as you dial the drive-mode knob from GT to Sport to Corsa. With the cockpit closed, you’ll never hear a whisper of turbo noise, but roof-down days add an undercurrent of whooshing air to the music.

Here’s the thing: With its relatively low 6,500-rpm redline, the GranCabrio Trofeo upshifts right as the soundtrack gets exciting. The gearbox is the ubiquitous torque-converter eight-speed manufactured by ZF and installed in seemingly everything but washing machines and cement mixers. Left on its own, it upshifts obsessively, pushing the tach needle down below 2,000 rpm where the engine’s roar becomes an unenthusiastic groan. There are paddle shifters, of course, roughly the size and shape of a scrawny banana. Shifting for yourself, you can keep the engine in its ideal vocal range, but you’ll never be able to ignore the slight lag between shift request and gear change.

You look at a car like the GranCabrio, with its pouncing silhouette and athletic curves, and you imagine yourself driving every mile heroically, upshifting at redline and cracking off burbling downshifts into Alpine apexes, the song of racing legacy echoing behind you. It’s a fantasy. Most of us spend the brunt of our driving days farting along from place to place, hemmed in by traffic, bad roads, and the law. That’s why if you’re eyeing the GranCabrio, I suggest you opt for the all-electric Folgore.

Viewed by the rigid metric of straight-line performance, the Folgore is the obvious choice. Thanks to 995 lb-ft of instant torque, the BEV convertible does zero-to-60 in 2.8 seconds, according to Maserati, and sprints the quarter-mile in 10.6 on its way to a 180-mph top speed.

Unlike nearly every other EV on the market, the GranCabrio Folgore doesn’t have a floor full of batteries—the 92.5-kilowatt-hour pack is T-shaped, fitting inside the transmission tunnel and behind the passenger compartment, repurposing space demanded by the combustion drivetrain. This let Maserati keep the electric GranCabrio deliciously low-slung and helped the Folgore achieve a perfect 50/50 front/rear weight distribution.

Like most BEVs, the GranCabrio Folgore weighs a ton—nearly two tons, actually. It’s 5,249 pounds in US spec, compared to 4,316 pounds for the gasoline-powered Trofeo. It’s also mostly silent, emitting a distant, low thrum that rises with speed. What were once shift paddles now control regenerative braking, adjustable between three levels but never quite strong enough for true one-pedal driving.

Here’s the part that feels slightly like magic: On a winding mountain road, the all-electric Folgore handles almost identically to the dinosaur-burning Trofeo. Both take a curve with no perceptible body roll, the steering is light, and the brakes linear and accurate. Each car uses electronic dampers that firm up in Sport mode and go one notch further in Corsa, which sends the height-adjustable air springs down to their lowest ride height.

Our Italian test route was defined by annoyingly high-quality pavement, the stuff American drivers only see during daydreams or European vacations. When I could find the occasional pothole or frost heave, the GranCabrio had great compliance even in its firmest setting. Occasionally, Corsa mode delivered a ripple of flinty high-frequency motion, eliminated by hitting the damper button, which adjusts between firmer and damper sub-settings within each drive mode.

The GranCabrio, of course, is the drop-top sibling to the GranTurismo coupe. Grand touring, as a concept, is not about ultimate, hair-on-fire speed. It’s about effortlessness, elegance, and the ability to dispatch hundreds of miles at a time with grace and pace. Functionally, just about any brand-new car on sale today can take you long distances in relative comfort, so our definition of grand touring needs a 21st-century update. Speed? Absolutely. Power? Undoubtedly. But to truly tour grandly, you need stylish nonchalance. The Italians have a word for this—sprezzatura. Get there fast, and make it look like nothing. The all-electric Folgore is dripping in sprezzatura. Always powerful, never shouting about it.

Sure: If Maserati offered a clutch pedal and a gated shifter in the GranCabrio, I’d tell you to get it. But that would be a different kind of machine, one defined by the work it demanded of its driver. With the GranCabrio Folgore, you can rocket your way up the Alps and never have to raise your voice. Plus, where else can you get a drop-top EV? Even if a miracle happens and the Tesla Roadster arrives, it’ll never be mistaken for stylish.

The GranCabrio is not perfect. The back seats are more inviting than what you’d find in a Continental GT or 911, with just enough headroom for this six-footer to squeeze back there with the roof closed, but they’re still occasional-use-only. The trunk is decently sized for two people on a long weekend, slightly less so when you fold down the roof, which kicks out an expansion panel that eats up a little cargo space. Speaking of which: You open and close the convertible roof by swiping and holding your finger on the center-stack touchscreen, an unnecessarily fussy way to handle the task if, say, you’re trying to get out of a downpour.

The all-electric GranCabrio is not for everybody. Maserati predicts a relatively mediocre battery range of 233 miles and says you can get as much as 48 miles of charge in 5 minutes if you manage to find an 800-volt station. The navigation system automatically locates Maserati charging stations and shows your predicted driving range as a continuously updated radius, but we were not given the chance to test the charging experience on our one-day, two-vehicle drive.

And then, well… the electric GranCabrio costs $205,000, a whole 13 grand richer than the gasoline-powered Trofeo. Both models arrive in US dealerships this summer.

Right now, there’s really not anything out there that compares to the GranCabrio Folgore. Four-seat, drop-top performance EVs are a category of one. And that’s probably the ultimate expression of sprezzatura: Doing it in a way nobody else can.


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2025 Maserati GranCabrio Folgore

Motor Three Permanent-Magnet

Battery 92.5 Kilowatt-Hours (83.0 Usable)

Output 760 Horsepower / 995 Pound-Feet

Drive Type All-Wheel Drive

Speed 0-60 MPH 2.8 Seconds

Maximum speed 180 Miles Per Hour

Weight 5,249 Pounds

EV Range 233 Miles

Charge Type 270-Kilowatt DC Fast Charging

Seating Capacity 4

Cargo Volume 5.3 / 4.0 Cubic Feet

Base Price $206,995

On Sale Fall 2024


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