You know it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas when automakers start to dress their prototypes in red camo attire. Caught in a winter wonderland, the Maserati Grecale had the vibrant colour all over, even on the spokes of the wheels and the grille's vertical slats. Being the high-performance Trofeo version, the brake calliper finish complimented the striking livery of the work-in-progress vehicle.

But how much work is there to be done? After all, Maserati first teased its sub-Levante sporty crossover way back in September 2020 and spies have been sending us images since this past April. However, the semiconductor shortage has forced the Italian brand with the trident logo to push back the official reveal of its Porsche Macan fighter to next spring. In the meantime, test vehicles are undergoing final evaluations in northern Europe.

Gallery: 2023 Maserati Grecale Trofeo winter spy photos

Positioned above the GT and Modena trim levels, the Trofeo could get the twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 from the MC20 supercar where it makes a healthy 621 bhp and 538 pound-feet (730 Newton-metres) of torque. That seems too much for the crossover since it would make it more powerful than the larger 580-bhp Levante Trofeo, so logic tells us it will be detuned to avoid stepping on big brother's toes.

Regardless of the version, all Grecale models will boast all-wheel drive out of the box, but the Trofeo should be able to send torque only to the rear axle in its sportiest setting. An eight-speed automatic transmission will be standard across the range, with the obvious exception of the all-electric derivative. Maserati's smaller crossover will ride on the Giorgio platform shared with the Alfa Romeo Stelvio (and Giulia), but with wider tracks, an adjustable air suspension with a three-chamber setup, and hydraulic suspension bushes.

When it goes on sale in 2022, the Maserati Grecale Trofeo won't have to fight the combustion-engined Macan for a long time since Zuffenhausen’s petrol-fuelled crossover is rumoured to bow out in 2024 and leave the Macan EV as the sole model.