When the 2024 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore hits the market next fall, consumers may notice some Formula E motorsports DNA running through the automaker’s first EV.
In January, Maserati will become the first Italian team to compete in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship when the series kicks off its ninth season in Mexico City. The series serves as a testing ground for manufacturers to experiment with technology, including power management, thermal management and battery design, that will eventually permeate their passenger cars. Like others, Maserati took what it learned by developing an electric race car and integrated it into its passenger EV.
Maserati’s first EV, the GranTurismo Folgore, is expected to arrive next summer with a sub-$200,000 price tag and pave the way for the Italian luxury sports car maker to go all-electric by the end of the decade. Two V6-powered versions of the GranTurismo are scheduled to arrive in showrooms in the spring.
The brand will add all-electric Grecale SUV and Gran Cabrio GT to it Composition of Folgore (“Thunderbolt”). next year, with electric versions of the Maserati MC20 Spyder, Levante SUV and Quattroporte sedan expected to follow mid-decade.
Where will this Formula E technology appear? The company is taking lessons (and technology) from at least three areas of its Formula E race car and integrating it into Folgore.
The GranTurismo Folgore EV’s T-bone battery pack allowed engineers to position the driver’s seat closer to the ground for better handling and aerodynamics.
The powertrain architecture positions the battery modules around the central body, instead of under the seats as in a typical EV, to create one of the lowest seating positions for an electric passenger vehicle. A lower center of gravity and 50:50 weight distribution help the driver change direction at higher speeds.
The GranTurismo Folgore draws its energy from a 92.5 kilowatt-hour battery and three 300-kilowatt motors – one in the front, two in the back. But the car’s inverter, a key component of the car’s electrical system that converts direct current to alternating current, affects how the driver perceives the car’s 760 horsepower.
The engines use silicon carbide-based inverter technology derived from Formula E, a first in a production car. These inverters provide higher power density than traditional inverters while cooling the battery more efficiently.
Energy management is critical in Formula E. Teams are not allowed to change batteries during the race, so cars must be able to go up to 200 mph for 45 minutes on a single charge.
Motivated by the demands of the higher-performance Gen 3 car the series will begin using next year, Maserati’s 800-volt EV charging architecture is designed to add 270 kilowatt-hours on DC fast charging, adding up to 60 miles in five minutes.
A successful performance in Formula E next year could create visibility for the GranTurismo Fologre and, by extension, the rest of Maserati’s EV lineup. We’ll tune in next year to see if the brand can claim a win on Sunday, sell on Monday.