These days, it’s not just Bentley that want a chunk of the ever expanding market for SUVs as, rather surprisingly, Maserati are also getting in on the act. MotorMartin was extremely interested to find out what Maserati’s interpretation would be and so was pleased to finally see the exterior form of the Levante, the first SUV in the brand’s more than one hundred year history: the new model completes the existing range of saloon and sports cars, extending the offering together with the Quattroporte, Ghibli, GranTurismo and GranCabrio models.
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 in the view of MotorMartin as on the sides are 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. Fortunately Maserati have remained true to their roots and have designed a vehicle that looks correctly proportioned and sporting as well as providing a quite stunning silhouette.
On 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. Maserati were especially Po leased to point out to MotorMartin that 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 which should provide their customers with an exceptional ride quality whatever the surface.
When it comes to power units, the Levante is equipped with both petrol and diesel engines that are all Euro6-compliant and should provide Maserati future proof engines for the foreseeable future.
The Maserati Levante, we are told, is being built at the Mirafiori plant in Turin with the first cars already having come off the assembly line with the launch planned for this spring in Europe, followed by the rest of the world later this year.
From the images and information provided by Maserati to MotorMartin, it’s clear that Maserati have high hopes for the Levante and have put a great deal of blood sweat and tears into the design, testing and production of this impressive looking SUV. With the general increase in sales of SUVs Worldwide it really is difficult to see how this Levante cannot be anything other than a success. So for that Maserati, it’s a fully deserved, MotorMartin well done and I certainly look forward to seeing one in the flesh some time soon.
Where will you go?