The new Maserati Levante SUV, regarded as a game-changer for the Italian luxury brand, has been officially revealed.
The car is due to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on 1st March and it is believed Maserati had no plans to preview that reveal until leaked images of the Levante appeared on a Dutch website.
Maserati first indicated its plans to add an SUV to its range in 2011 when it unveiled the Kubang concept. The move towards crossover-type vehicles follows the lead of fellow luxury brands such as Bentley, with Rolls-Royce also known to be working on such a vehicle.
The pictures of the Maserati Levante clearly show the effort that has been put into maintaining the family design lineage in a vehicle that is very different to the current Quattroporte, Ghibli, GranTurismo and GranCabrio sports and saloon models.
The front end is heavily sculpted but retains the signature Maserati grille, into which the top sections of the split headlamps flow. Along the sides there are more Maserati-specific details, notably the three air vents on the wings, a trapezoidal rear door pillar with the brand’s ‘Saetta’ logo and large, frameless door windows.
The rear end is particularly aerodynamic for an SUV, with a sharply tapered window and a roof spoiler.
Official technical details are scarce, particularly with regard to powertrains, Maserati only said that petrol and diesel alternatives will be available., all Euro6 emissions compliant. According to the leaked information on the Dutch website these will include the 3-litre V6 petrol engine of the Ghibli and Quattroporte in two levels of power, and a 3-litre V6 diesel.
Maserati is stating that the Levante’s chassis will “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.”
All versions, the brand adds, will include electronic suspension with controlled damping and air springs, which can be set on several levels, ‘Q4’ intelligent all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission specially calibrated for the new SUV.
First examples of the Maserati Levante have apparently already come off the production line at the plant in Mirafiori, Turin. It will launch in Europe in the spring, with sales going global later in 2016.