As the 100% electric Maserati GranTurismo Folgore is about to appear on international markets, we take a look back at the history of the legendary Italian model. A trajectory that began in 1947 with the A6 1500, a car that combined performance, comfort, luxury and elegance.

A mixture of qualities that, until then, seemed impossible to combine and that has remained for decades in the successive models that have emerged. If you like, let's look back over almost eight decades of history through the 10 most special GranTurismos. Let's get started!

1. A6 1500 (1947)

Maserati presented its first road car at the 1947 Geneva Motor Show, the A6 1500, a new model with the 65 PS racing engine of the 1500 6CM. The bodywork was designed by Battista "Pinin" Farina, but what was most revolutionary was the car's sum of virtues. 

Maserati A6 1500

Maserati A6 1500

Yes, it was fast and sporty, but it was also comfortable and elegant. Production lasted until 1950 and only 58 units were produced. From that moment on, Maserati became a prominent road car brand. 

2. Maserati 3500 GT (1957)

The 3500 GT proved that such a car could be produced in large numbers. In total, more than 2,200 units were produced of a car that, according to connoisseurs, is one of the most beautiful Maseratis in history. 

Maserati 3500 GT

Maserati 3500 GT

The engine also came from the world of racing. Specifically, it was a 3.5-litre in-line six-cylinder block that produced 220 PS. In 1959, the Spyder cabrio version was introduced and in 1960, the 3500 GTi, the first Italian production car with fuel injection. There was also a 3500 GTi S (Sebring), with 2+2-seater bodywork. 

Maserati 3500 GT Spyder 1959

Maserati 3500 GT Spyder 1959

3. 5000 GT (1959)

Back to the small production run, with only 34 units built. The 500 GT was a high performance car with a 325 PS V8 engine that allowed it to reach a top speed of 160 mph. 

Maserati 5000 GT 1959 Michael Furman

1959 Maserati 5000 GT

This model quickly became the object of desire of many celebrities, including Prince Karim Aga Khan, Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli, industrialist Ferdinando Innocenti, film star Stewart Granger and Mexican President Adolfo López Mateos. Incidentally, the 5000 GT was born as a specific commission from the Shah of Persia, Reza Pahlavi, a great car enthusiast and lover of the marque.

4. Mistral (1963)

The Mistral was the first Maserati to be named after a wind, inaugurating a tradition that has continued to this day. It was also the last Maserati car to be fitted with the legendary inline six-cylinder engine from the Maserati 350 S, with an output of 235 PS.

Maserati Mistral

Maserati Mistral

The Mistral made its debut at the 1963 Turin Motor Show and featured a body designed by Pietro Frua with a steel core and aluminium doors, bonnet and rear window frame.

Maserati Mistral Spider 1965

1965 Maserati Mistral Spider

5. Ghibli (1966)

The Ghibli, which debuted a Maserati design language, was created by a certain Giorgetto Giugiaro from taut, geometric lines. However, the most original part was the front end, with a very small grille and retractable headlights. 

Maserati Ghibli 1966

1966 Maserati Ghibli

Production began in 1967 and ended in 1972. A total of 1,204 coupés and 128 Spyders (from 1969) were produced. One of them was acquired by Henry Ford (grandson of the founder of the eponymous marque), who placed it in the lobby of the Ford Product Development Centre in Detroit, as an example and source of inspiration.

The car measured more than 4.5 metres and was initially intended as a two-seater, but production versions featured a 2+2 interior. The engine was a 330 PS V8 under the long bonnet. 

6. Khamsin (1972)

This iconic model was Giulio Alfieri's last work at the head of Maserati's engineering department, and also the brand's first series production car designed by Bertone, under the masterful pen of Marcello Gandini, who recently passed away.

Milano Auto Classica 2016 Khamsin

Maserati Khamsin

It was characterised by its wedge-shaped design and also by new technologies such as the hydraulic system to control brakes, clutches, retractable headlights and steering. 438 examples were produced between 1974 and 1982, and the engine produced 320 PS.

7. Shamal (1990)

The Shamal was not a vehicle built from scratch, but was based on the short Karif chassis, to which two rear seats were added. It was powered by a newly developed 326 PS twin-turbo V8 engine that reached 155 mph. 

Maserati Shamal

Maserati Shamal

Also by Gandini, the Shamal featured some truly original rear wheel arches and was said to be a car for expert drivers with 'hands', i.e. the ability to control the power of such a car. 

8. 3200 GT (1998)

With much more rounded lines than its predecessors and an aesthetic philosophy borrowed from the original A6, the 3200 GT was Giugiaro's masterpiece. As a curiosity, this car featured the first LED lights on a production car. The interior was also particularly revolutionary and the engine, of course a twin-turbo 3.2-litre V8 produced 370 PS. 

Maserati 3200 GT 2

Maserati 3200 GT

9. GranTurismo (2007)

To coincide with the 60th anniversary of the A6, Maserati and Pininfarina created a new generation, now called the GranTurismo, which kept those qualities of sportiness and comfort intact in a single car. 

Maserati GranTurismo SMC SportLine 2008

Maserati GranTurismo

Of course, it enjoyed an almost neutral weight distribution and a V8 engine that broke the 400 PS barrier, reaching 405 PS. This car clocked a 0-60 in just 5.2 seconds.

10. GranTurismo Folgore (2023)

The first electric Maserati could only be a GranTurismo. Named Folgore, it produces 761 PS and promises a 0-62 mph in just 2.7 seconds. Incidentally, Maserati is the first Italian luxury brand to launch an emission-free car. 

Maserati GranTurismo Folgore 2

Maserati GranTurismo Folgore

The car features an 800-volt architecture to support rapid recharging at high power and, most importantly, will integrate an artificial sound system so that the classic 'roar' of a V8 block when accelerating hard does not disappear.