Looking at the way everyone is building SUVs, sedans are probably going to extinct in a few decades. Maserati, the Italian sports’car’ maker, has also joined the bandwagon and has broken cover of its first ever SUV, the Levante, at the Geneva Motor Show. The soft-roader crossover SUV will be produced in Mirafiori, Italy as part of the Maserati range.
Named after a Mediterranean wind, the Maserati Levante is just like all other Maserati cars – the trident up front, the long bonnet and the breathing gills on the side fender. At 5003mm it is quite long for a five seater SUV. Not very tall, but butch, the front fascia resembles an angry face especially with the vertical slats on the grille looking like bared teeth.
The Maserati Levante is a luxury SUV. The two tone leather upholstery looks sporty with the three-spoke contoured steering wheel and bucket seats. Features like power adjustable front seats and steering, electrically operated sunroof, dual-zone climate control are standard along with the safety net of airbags. The 8.4-inch touchscreen system with a new rotary controller fob is complemented by a 17-speaker setup from Bowers and Wilkins. Driver aids are in abundance with the ninth gen ABS-ASP setup from Bosch performing its duties.
The Levante is gets two engines – a 2979cc V6 twin-turbo petrol and a 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel V6. Both the engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic ZF gearbox. The petrol engine is available in two states of tune – 350bhp of power and 430bhp of power while the diesel develops 275bhp of power. Four-wheel-drive is standard across the range. There are three driving modes – ICE, Off-road and Sport where ICE stands for comfort and economy. It gets a double-wishbone setup like sportscars with pneumatic shocks that alter the ride height depending upon the drive mode and the speeds the car is carrying to optimise grip and handling.
The Levante will be Maserati’s answer for the Porsche Macan, Jaguar F-Pace and the upcoming Alfa Romeo SUV. Knowing the affection Indians have for SUVs, there is a good chance of the Levante making an Indian debut quite soon after the international launch.