A lot happens during Monterey Car Week, and it's easy to get overwhelmed trying to figure out which events to attend. Starting early and choosing wisely can be quite rewarding as the outcome is likely to be an unforgettable experience you'll cherish for a long time. However, sometimes (with some good fortune), the best events choose you.
Surely, the Maserati brand is no stranger to you. The company had a heavy presence during this year's Car Week. The main event was the unveiling of the MCXtrema track-only car at the Quail, but you may not have heard about the invitation-only GranTurismo 75th anniversary celebration at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Hosted by Maserati and Sotheby's, it was a gathering of Maserati owners to celebrate in style with a collection of Maserati cars from different eras.
If you're unfamiliar with the Laguna Seca track, it's at the top of a hill with a fairly steep drive to get there. Having visited multiple GP tracks around the planet, I have to admit there's nothing typical about this track, and it's easy to see why many racing enthusiasts love the place.
The Maserati GranTurismo has a storied history that keeps getting better. You can trace its origin back to the 1947 Maserati A6 1500, which is still considered as legendary among the various grand tourers that have come along over the years. After a short absence, the modern GranTurismo made a comeback in 2022 with three variations announced.
These include the all-electric GranTurismo Folgore, which is a beneficiary of Maserati's participation in Formula E. One such direct benefit is the silicon carbide inverters, which offer higher efficiency than conventional inverters. The 800-volt battery powers three 300kw magnet motors to produce up to 761CV and 1,350Nm of torque.
I got acquainted with the Folgore the night before, and though I didn't drive it, I can confidently speculate that it's well-equipped to lead the way as Maserati moves into the era of electric cars. However, I can confirm that it checks off the comfort box vital for a grand tourer. It took a lot of willpower to get myself out of the well-equipped cabin with the remarkably comfortable driver's seat.
Another event was in progress when most people arrived, so the guests parked at the designated area while waiting for the historic lap to commence. This was an excellent opportunity to explore the variety of Maserati cars on display, from classic grand tourers to the latest models. If you needed to see the evolution of the GranTurismo, this was the place to be.
Bill Peffer, CEO of Maserati Americas, initiated the event with a short speech during which he stated that Maserati has some of the most enthusiastic owners in the supercar community. Watching the participants' eagerness to proceed while some took some time to shine their prized possessions left no doubt that there was merit in this statement.
Andy Goldberg, head of collectible cars at Sotheby's Financial Services, also had a few words for the gathering before it was time to get the cars out to the track.
As the participants got in line with their cars to proceed, you could see from their faces that they took pride in their Maserati cars and were happy to be identified as owners of cars from the brand.
This was the last of the Maserati events we covered at Monterey, and the brand has left quite an impression. Perhaps I won't be such a hardcore Porsche fan for much longer.