Maserati reveals Levante SUV

Article by Andrew Christian, on February 23, 2016

Maserati has finally unwrapped its new Levante SUV -- its latest offering that completes its current range of saloon and sports cars. The imposing front end of the new Maserati Levante features new tapered headlights divided into two elements: upper and lower units.

The upper headlight unit is linked to the Levante's radiator grille. Meanwhile, the rear of new Maserati SUV features a tapered back window and streamlined shape that are typical of a high-performance sports car.

On the other hand, the sides of the new Levante carries the brand's vaunted design signature, like the three iconic air vents on the front wings, the large frameless door windows, and the trapezoidal C-pillar with the “Saetta” logo.

Just like any Maserati model, the Levante has a chassis that allows it to eke out a superb on-road performance, complemented by unparalleled handling even when traversing on very low-grip surfaces. Moreover, the chassis of the new Maserati Levante allows it to deliver a superior off-road performance and ride.

All versions of the new Maserati Levante are fitted with highly sophisticated electronic suspension with controlled damping and air springs that can be set on different levels. Moreover, all versions of the SUV come with the “Q4” intelligent all-wheel drive and eight-speed automatic transmission.

In terms of power, customers could choose to equip their Levante with available petrol and diesel engines – all of which are Euro6-compliant. Maserati is building the Levante at its Mirafiori site in Turin and is planning to commence sales of the SUV this spring in Europe. It will arrive later this year in other markets around the world.

Exterior Design

The Maserati Levante is an ultimate standout as it visibly bears the Maserati DNA. Inspired by the Alfieri concept, the imposing grille of the Maserati Levante is now a Maserati identity.

Even from a distance, the Levante can easily be distinguished as a true Maserati because of its muscular rear haunches that offer a highly appealing Italian design. The signature concave grille is reminiscent of Maserati's heritage, which includes the historical Maserati Tipo 60 Birdcage.

The front wings emphasize the engine compartment lid's shape as it runs into the front headlight surrounds. The feline-inspired headlights, which come with the Bi-Xenon and LED technology, converge with the Trident symbol located at the center of the grille.

Maserati Levante's silhouette moves from the vehicle's headlights along the side to the rear pillar, resulting in a coupé appearance highlighted by the frameless doors. The Saetta logo insertion, which was first employed on the 1963 Quattroporte, refines the rear pillar as it seamlessly follows the side windows' shape.

Swaged lines running through the entire length of the vehicle define its sides. The lines depart from the side vents at the front and fades over the rear wing, giving the Maserati Levante a bold structure and appeal.

Levante comes with a wide variety of alloy wheel choices that are sporty and lightweight. Moreover, they are consistent with the styling cues of Maserati with the Trident design incorporated into the spokes.

The five-meter-long vehicle is the longest offering under its segment. Moreover, the three-meter wheelbase is also longer than most of its rivals by six to 10 cm. As a result, the Maserati Levante provides one of the roomiest and sportiest driving experiences with an uncompromised elegance in the luxury SUV segment.

Interior Design

The interior of the Maserati Levante is characterized by horizontal tension lines. Real material elements underscore the design language, creating absolute harmony among the compartments. With the standard leather seats, passengers can enjoy a first-class lounge experience.

The optional dual-color leather also enhances the state-of-the-art interior styling. Customers can personalize their vehicles with a wide variety of options. At launch, there are 28 interior color combinations available.

The dashboard and the central console are built to accommodate the 8.40-inch Touch Screen display, brand new rotary knob, air suspension switch, and a number of mode buttons. The instrument panel, which follows the Ghibli/Quattroporte layout, is backlit with white light contrasting perfectly with the warm interior lighting. The classic Maserati analog clock is placed at the center of the dashboard, featuring a blue background dial and white backlighting.

The entire interior is finished with aluminum complemented by a chrome surround. In terms of spaciousness, the Maserati Levante is the best in its class. The long wheelbase and wide body structure offer a three-seater rear compartment.

Two outer seats, on the other hand, provide maximum lateral restraint and comfort. The seats also come with ergonomic configuration for better headroom. Meanwhile, the luggage compartment is also specially designed to contain up to 580 liters of load space. Its roominess can accommodate large baggage.

A 12V power socket can be found in the luggage area and three can be found in the cabin. Furthermore, the standard power tailgate automatically opens and closes. It comes with a special anti-pitching feature that stops the closing when there is a detected obstacle.

The system can be activated using the key fob, the tailgate buttons, and a dome light panel button. Other standard features include the Base Audio System with eight speakers, Hill Descent Control, cruise control, dual-zone climate system, Maserati 8.40-inch Touch Screen display, wipers with rain sensor, power lift tailgate, keyless entry system at the front doors, and a leather upholstery, which is upgraded for the 430-hp version.

Styling Language and Customization

As part of Maserati's traditions, there is a wide array of finish and material options for the Maserati Levante. It can be availed in 13 different colors, three of which are exclusive to the new model. The Maserati Levante is available in a pearlescent color, Bianco Alpi, two solid colors: Bianco and Nero, two metallescent finishes: Champagne and Grigio Maratea, three metallic finishes: Grigio, Grigio Metallo, and the new Verde Ossido, and five mica colors: Blu Emozione, Blu Passione, Nero Ribelle, and the new Rame and Rosso Rubino.

The 350-hp and 275-hp diesel models are available with the standard 18-inch tires. They can also come with the optional 19-inch, 20-inch, and 21-inch tires. The front and rear tires have the same standard dimensions of 255/60 ZR18.

The top 430-hp S version is built with 19-inch wheels as part of the standard due to its increased performance levels. It is also equipped with a rear axle of 295/45 ZR19 and a front axle of 265/50 ZR19. All wheels for the Maserati Levante are made with flow-forming technology in order to reduce core thickness, making them extremely lightweight with uncompromised delivery and rigidity. All Maserati Levante wheels can be availed with the optional All-Season tires except for the 21-inch versions.

Another optional feature is the silver finish roof rails. Moreover, Black Gloss roof rails can also be availed with the Sport Pack. An integral design of the Maserati Levante is the protective skid plates, which are available in Black Gloss for the Sport Pack and Silver Finish for other versions.

These skid plates protect the lower ends of the vehicle, especially for off-road driving. Aside from offering protection, they also provide the Maserati Levante with a more distinctive appearance.

AFS - Adaptive Front-lighting System

The AFS is optional for the front lights. With the automatically adjustable headlamp beam, the AFS offers outstanding road visibility in all driving conditions. Moreover, it also promotes efficient safety without dazzling oncoming drivers. The AFS comes in different beam modes for different driving areas and weather conditions.

When the AFS is integrated, a motorway driving beam control system automatically maximizes the beam depth without requiring manual activation of the high-beam because of the video camera mounted in the rearview mirror housing.

The uniform, intense beam, paired with the automatically adjustable headlight depth and width, offers excellent visibility without blinding oncoming drivers. The camera constantly monitors the road ahead. The sensors linked to the ECU record the driving style and speed of oncoming vehicles as well.

If the road ahead is clear, the beam is varied to provide the best depth and width of the road view together with the automatic headlight rotation. Additionally, there are also various automatic lighting modes to support different road conditions such as country roads, motorways, and city roads.

Drivers can also modify the lighting mode if they are driving in countries where they drive on the other side of the road. Each mode automatically employs the best possible way to illuminate and guide the driver. The Motorway Mode, for example, sets the beam to a moderate position that is ideal for top speeds.

The Town Mode, on the other hand, shortens and widens the beam and deactivates its automatic rotation function depending on the steering angle in order to avoid disturbing pedestrians and oncoming drivers. Meanwhile, the Adverse Weather Mode activates the wipers continuously and offers a higher and wider beam on the pavement side and a lower and wider beam on the inner side to minimize reflection and avoid dazzling oncoming traffic.

Bi-Xenon and LED Lighting Technology

The highly effective front lights of the Maserati Levante are integrated with Bi-Xenon headlights complemented by the optional Adaptive Front-Lighting System (AFS) and LED technology for the indicators, standard fog lights, and Daytime Running Lights.

Furthermore, the LED DRLs provides maximum visibility day and night while underscoring the elegant and athletic look of the Maserati Levante. When the low/high beam is off during daytime, the DRLs are at a maximum brightness level and automatically dim when the low/high beam or an indicator is turned on.

On the other hand, the LED tail lights also offer efficient visibility without compromising the essential style and safety features.

Aerodynamics

The Maserati Levante takes pride in its aerodynamic efficiency with a 0.31 Cx coefficient. This resulted from the stringent tests in the Turin wind tunnel and simulations in a virtual environment. Maserati focused on advanced aerodynamic testing procedures in order to simulate real-life conditions for the Maserati Levante in the best possible ways.

Maserati engineers focused on enhancing the air flow around the entire vehicle. The production team worked on maximizing the air flow in the concave grille and in the wheel arches surrounds. Enhancing the advanced features and active aerodynamics is the electric Air Shutter at the front grille, which was a first for a Maserati.

The Air Shutter is in between the radiator of the engine and the front air vents. With the electronically-controlled blade movement, the Air Shutter delivers continuous air flow to the engine compartment and offers a variety of benefits for aerodynamic and engine efficiency.

It offers optimal control of the engine temperature and minimizes the vehicle's aerodynamic drag, fuel consumption, and carbon emission levels.

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