Maserati is bringing its 21-speaker Sonus faber setup – aka the top-tier High Premium Sound System – to its more affordable SUV. And if you're in the UK, Maserati wants not only to tell you about it, but to show you as well.
The keen-eyed will notice that where the Maserati MC20 Cielo's system (which can detect when the roof is up or down) boasted 'only' 12 talented Sonus faber speakers, this new SUV adds another nine if you want them – proof that the relationship between these two high-end Italian outfits continues to blossom.
And so it should – after all, Sonus faber has made some of the most notable hi-fi speakers on the planet, including the newer Omnia which is still one of the best wireless speakers we've ever had the pleasure of testing. If the partnership continues to bear such fruit, we need to take notice.
As Maserati proudly (but casually) announces on its website: "The High Premium sound system, with its 21 overall speakers, gives a total output of 1,285-watts: 7 x 45W tweeters, 3 x 60W midrange speakers… we can continue, but no data could ever fully express what you will hear."
To rectify this by inviting you to actually listen to what Sonus faber can do with in-car sound, Maserati is touring the UK with its new Grecale, an SUV that sits below the Levante in its range.
What you'll get to hear and feel, from that sweet-spot behind the steering wheel, is Maserati's mid-range SUV automobile (if £58,500 for the GT base model still counts as mid-range in your book) complete with a top-tier Sonus Faber sound system – which comes at a nominal surcharge of, ahem, £2,200…
Want to know about the name? The Grecale is a north-easterly wind from the Mediterranean, and it's not the first time Maserati has named its cars after certain zephyrs: Mistral, Ghibli, Bora, Khamsin and indeed Levante are all names of blustery breezes – all of which will come as music to the ears of anyone who recently endured the UK's stifling 40-degree heatwave.
Opinion: affordable, no, but Maserati's Sonus faber partnership is surely the new in-car audio class-leader
While Maserati doesn't feel any pressing need to furnish you with Grecale's full audio specs, I will – because they're pretty special.
The 21 independently-driven speakers are designed, engineered and tuned in Italy by Sonus faber, featuring 3D Surround with an intensity level achieved thanks to a proprietary algorithm.
Said system comprises 7 x 45W tweeters, 3 x 60W midrange drivers, 2 x 45W surround midrange units, 2 x 100W front woofers, 2 x 60W rear woofers, 4 x 45W height midrange drivers and a 200W subwoofer.
If Bentley's first full electric car will suit speed demons, Maserati's Grecale will surely please the audiophile in all of us.
The new Maserati Grecale (M182) front-engine, five-door compact crossover SUV entered production at Maserati's Cassino plant in March and has only just become available to buy, however the electric Grecale Folgore is coming next year, in 2023.
Where do you need to go for a listen? The 10-venue UK tour started on July 8 at Maserati dealer Maranello Egham (Surrey), but it doesn't end until August 27, at Charles Hurst, Northern Ireland and it'll give attendees the opportunity to experience the new Grecale and the natural sound of Sonus faber’s sound system, which has been carefully developed in collaboration with Maserati over a three-year period.
I recently drove to Cornwall from London and nearly (very nearly) stopped by that Egham dealership. Not a good idea though is it? Too tempting by far…