Milan Design Week 2023: Maserati GranTurismo Celebrates Its Roots and Future

The automaker's CEO, Davide Grasso, tells us about evolving the brand, innovation and three exciting one-offs

It’s been quite the week for Maserati. Between the unveiling of three GranTurismo one-off cars at Milan Design Week and the introduction of their electric SUV, Grecale Folgore, at the Shanghai Auto Show, the Italian luxury automaker has been busy. In Milan, Maserati showcased the new, exclusive 300-car GranTurismo Launch Edition PrimaSerie 75th Anniversary, alongside three captivating one-offs—one of which is digital— and all of which integrate the brand’s heritage while showcasing innovation in sustainability. The new releases have many wondering what this next era for the automaker has in store. We caught up with Davide Grasso, the CEO of Maserati since 2019 (who was formerly the CEO and President of Converse and CMO at Nike), to catch us up on where the brand is heading.

Maserati Grecale Folgore, courtesy of Maserati

“When I joined, I asked myself, ‘Well, the automotive industry is a very insular type of industry. Why would someone like me, going from sports and brand building of a different kind, succeed in automotive?’ Well, it’s about building a brand and being consumer-based,” he says. “We’re not talking about automotive, we are talking about delivering on mobility needs of the global luxury consumer with a luxury brand which has expressed Italian excellence for almost 110 years. Therefore, it’s about building the brand and understanding consumer behavior, because the trick is if you approach it from an automotive perspective, then you’re looking internally.”

Maserati GranTurismo One Off Prisma and One Off Luce, courtesy of Maserati

This willingness to look at mobility from different and diverse perspectives also means Grasso, and thus Maserati, are considering its audience, desiring to evolve with them while still maintaining the brand’s design language and ethos. “The question is: do you have the humility to understand what are the traits of a certain brand and apply your skills to those traits without bastardizing the brand and bend it to your arrogance? Really, that’s the thing,” he continues. Evolution naturally brought them to electrification.

Maserati GranTurismo One Off Ouroboros by Hiroshi Fujiwara, courtesy of Maserati

“We are enjoying the fact that we’re the first luxury car brand going full electric now with the GT and the GranTurismo. We’re going to be the first ones to go full electric with an entire electrified range in 2027, and we’re going to have a first full electric sports car which should be coming out in 2025,” says the CEO.

Maserati GranTurismo One Off Prisma, courtesy of Maserati

From the new additions for Milan, it’s clear that the automakers are keeping their past in mind while looking towards the future. The GranTurismo One Off Prisma does this and then some, featuring the names and colors of past vehicles. Livia Chiani, color and trim specialist for Maserati’s Fuoriserie customization program, tells us, “We decided to study the history of the car. We went through our archive and decided 12 models from Maserati were important for the GranTurismo. And for each of these, we decided to pick a color.” All 12 shades (and an additional two that represent future colors) are painted onto the car by hand, along with their names which consist of almost 9,000 hand-applied letters. “It was 160 hours of work and at least ten layers of paint,” says Chiani.

Maserati GranTurismo One Off Prisma, courtesy of Maserati

The other one-off cars featured in Milan are the GranTurismo One Off Luce and the GranTurismo One Off Ouroboros. The Luce features an electric Folgore engine, chromatic mirrored monolith, laser-etched pattern and an interior made of ECONYL, a regenerated nylon made from material waste. While the Luce is a real vehicle, the Ouroboros is digital. Inspired by Japanese Street Culture and conceived by designer Hiroshi Fujiwara, the latter is Fujiwara’s take on an electric and contemporary GranTurismo with the Ouroboros symbol representing the perpetual cycle of destruction and creation. Both incorporate innovation and electrification with exciting character unique to the brand.

Maserati GranTurismo One Off Luce, courtesy of Maserati

“Our mission statement is: we move those who move the world with the best in performance luxury, and therefore, the engine is a piece of the puzzle,” says Grasso. “What is really, really paramount is as we move from combustion to electric engines, they both have to be a benchmark type of engine—and we did just that.”

Images courtesy of Maserati