The SUV market is a very interesting segment of the luxury car industry. It has democratized the 4×4 drive experience. It also allowed a certain luxury clientele to extend the field of possibilities. Now it is Maserati who is launching its SUV called Maserati Levante. After Bentley, Jaguar, Range Rover, and Porsche, it is another luxury brand to take positions in the SUV market. Traditionally it was a segment taken by British and German brands, now Italy is coming to the table of SUVs. We also know that Lamborghini is planing to launch its own SUV in the incoming years.
Maserati Levante, a longterm dream that gets real now
Maserati has a strong automobile know-how and every time the Italian brand decides to extend the brand territory to a new car, it is a great event. The new Maserati Levante is based on a 2003 concept, presented at the Detroit motor show under the name of Maserati Kubang.
Maserati used this project to study, analyse, improve and prepare its entry into the SUV market. As part of the Fiat group, Maserati is linked to Chrysler and Jeep, which gives the Italian company easy access to an SUV architecture—the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s platform, which is actually the new Mercedes-Benz M-class’s platform. While Maserati is upfront about the Kubang’s Jeep roots, the company also promises that its SUV will be pure Maserati when it comes to the engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, and overall feel. The Kubang was powered by a revised version of the Maserati’s current V-8, and an eight-speed automatic was promised. In 2011, during the Frankfurt motor show, Maserati updated its SUV concept by calling it Levante and showing the evolution of the 2003 concept. By revealing the new concept, we could immediately see the aim of the company to bring a SUV to the streets. Here are the first 2016 images of the Maserati Levante – very promising.
The official start of the Maserati Levante will take place during the Geneva motorshow. By revealing the new car in Switzerland it shows as well an interest into the Swiss luxury cars market as the SUVs are clearly a big portion of the market. Leaked details suggest a less powerful Levante 350 will go from 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds and has a top speed of 151mph, while the higher-powered Levante 450 will go from 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds and up to 164mph. The entry-level diesel does the sprint in 6.9 seconds and will manage 143mph flat-out. By 2018, a 560 horsepower V8 will be added. There is an 8-Speed ZF Automatic Transmission from the sixth generation Maserati Quattroporte. The Levante will be four-wheel-drive. The Levante will also gain Maserati Touch Control with a full color 8.1-inch TFT touch screen display, as well as a reconfigurable TFT gauge cluster with full color. The design of the Levante features clear associations with the Maserati brand and its distinctive Italian character: the aggressive front introduces new, tapered headlights separated into two elements, with the upper headlight unit connected to the radiator grille. Maserati’s design signature is clearly visible on the sides: the three iconic air vents on the front wings, the trapezoidal C-pillar with the “Saetta” logo and the large, frameless door windows. The rear is dominated by the very tapered back window and streamlined shape, both typical of a high-performance sports car.
At a technical level, the Levante’s chassis is designed to combine the outstanding on-road performance typical of every Maserati with unrivalled handling even on very low-grip surfaces and an excellent off-road performance and ride. The new SUV boasts a high level of content as standard, with all versions featuring: sophisticated electronic suspension with controlled damping and air springs, which can be set on several levels, “Q4” intelligent all-wheel drive and 8-speed automatic transmission specially calibrated for the brand’s new SUV. When it comes to power units, the Levante is equipped with both petrol and diesel engines that are all Euro6-compliant. The Maserati Levante is built at the Mirafiori plant in Turin; the first cars have already come off the assembly line with the launch planned for this spring in Europe, to be followed by the rest of the world later this year.
To stay tuned and to learn more about the Maserati Levante, please visit the brand official website here:
Between the Porsche Cayenne and the BMW X3, the Maserati Levante has a luxury and comfortable aspect with a heart of a sports beast. This new SUV will definitely find its place in the tight market of luxury 4×4 cars.
Info sourced at Maserati official communication release. Thanks to Lucy Tallo for the information. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available. Images are for illustration purposes only.