Maserati have just released some of the first details and pictures of the widely anticipated Levante, which will be the company’s first ever SUV. But we want to know is, what’s the hype all about?
What’s so special about the Maserati Levante?
The Levante will be Maserati’s first ever SUV in over a hundred years of making stunning sports cars. In terms of specifications, both the Levante 350 and Levante 430 will use the same 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine that is already in the Ghibli and Quattroporte. The Levante 350 is set to be able to do 0-62mph in 6 sec and achieve a top speed of 151mph, while the Levante 430 will cover 0-62mph in 5.2 sec and a have a top speed of 164mph. The diesel engine is also another 3.0-litre V6, and will do 0-62mph in 6.9 sec and have a top speed of 143mph. A top of the range Levante will also be released, most likely using the Quattroporte’s V8. Hybrids will also start to feature heavily in the Maserati line-up, with the Levante set to be one of the first, and then “across the entire range, starting at the end of 2017.”
What’s the design like?
The design of the Levante is quite clearly distinctive Italian. For instance, the aggressive front shows separated, tapered headlights, iconic air vents on the front wings, the trapezoidal C-pillar with the “Saetta” logo and the large, frameless windows. The rear of the car is taken over by the tapered back window and a streamlined shape – both of which are very Maserati – along with a boot-mounted spoiler and 4 exhaust exits. The design is described as being “100 per cent Maserati.” The Levante 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”. This is all achieved with the help of sophisticated electronic suspension with controlled damping and air springs, “Q4” 4-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission, specially made for this model. Inside, the car looks to be fully leather, with a large control screen in the centre which will control the entertainment and general car options.
Who are the Maserati Levante’s main rivals?
The main contenders for the Levante will be the Porsche Macan and the Range Rover Sport, which are both the forerunners in the SUV class. The range rover sport is also one of the most widely loved family cars currently, so the Levante will truly need to be something special.
When can I buy one?
Maserati’s first SUV is to be unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show, and in terms of an actual release date, while the first cars have indeed already been made, the Levante is not due to be launched until later spring for Europe and then later in the year for the rest of the world. Maserati are looking to have sold over 70,000 units by 2018. In terms of price, the Levante has had no official figure given. However, Maserati have said that it will sit between the Ghibli and the Quattroporte, so we are looking at around £68,000.