The 2017 Maserati Levante crossover had its North American debut at 2016 New York Auto Show and will be arriving at dealerships in the United States in fall 2016. Starting prices for the base 345-hp base Levante and the 424-hp Levante S model will be $72,000 and $83,000, respectively.
Prices exclude delivery charges. While Maserati will commence Levante production for North America at its Mirafiori site in Turin on July 1, dealers could start taking orders in April. To accommodate the sales of the Levante in the US as well as to increase its North American volume, Maserati is planning to expand its retail network in the region from 116 dealers to 130 retailers by the end of the year.
Maserati chief Harald Wester earlier remarked that the brand's sales growth in North America would surge to 20,000 units once the Levante touches down in the US. Notably, Maserati sold around 12,000 vehicles in North America in 2015. The new Levante is considered a vital piece of Maserati's effort to increase its sales in the next two years by reviving otherwise dipping demand in the US and China.
This new crossover is underpinned by an evolution of the saloon platform that was designed and developed exclusively by Maserati to deliver both on-road drivability and off-road capability while offering the needed practicality, functionality and comfort. This is the same platform that underpins the Maserati Ghibli. Right from the start, the brand aimed to infuse into the Levante the three main SUV elements -- Design, Exclusivity and Performance.
The all-wheel-drive Levante is powered by the latest iteration of the Maserati 3.0-liter V6 engines -- two twin-turbo petrol versions and an economical turbodiesel variant. The lower-powered petrol V6 engine for the Levante is able to produce up to 350 hp of output, allowing the Italian premium SUV to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in just 6.0 seconds and reach a top speed of 251 km/h. The other version develops up to 430 hp of output, allowing the Levante to sprint from nil to 100 km/h in just 4.2 seconds and achieve a max speed of 264 km/h.
Both petrol Maserati V6 engines feature the latest GDI and twin-turbo. Meanwhile, the common-rail, direct injection turbodiesel V6 engine for the Levante features reduced dwell time injectors. This diesel V6 engine could produce 275 hp in max output and allow the Levante to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 230 km/h. Interestingly, the diesel version of the Maserati Levante consumes only 7.2 liters of diesel per 100 km, according to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).
All available engines for the Maserati Levante are paired to the eight-speed automatic ZF transmission that promises smooth and seamless gear shifting, depending on the selected drive mode. Four drive modes are available -- "Normal," I.C.E., "Sport" and "Off-road" -- each featuring unique characteristics achieved by intelligent alterations of engine, transmission, suspension and electronics features.
To match the inherent power of the V6 engines, the new Maserati Levante comes equipped with the Q4 AWD system and Air Suspension as standard. Moreover, clients could further customize their Levante with two available yet very innovative packages -- Sport and Luxury. Moreover, Maserati ensured that the Levante is loaded with performance-oriented features. For instance, the SUV extensively uses lightweight materials and features an ideal 50:50 front-rear weight distribution.
The new Levante also has the lowest center of gravity in its in class. Making sure that the new Maserati Levanti is agile and easy to handle both on the road and off the road are a number of performance elements like the aluminum "double wishbone - five link" suspension layout made of standard Air Springs and electronically controlled Skyhook shock absorbers. Allowing the Levante to remain as stable and comfortable no matter where it is treading is the intelligent Q4 All-Wheel-Drive system and the recently launched Torque Vectoring system.
It also boasts of off-road equipment that would surely bring delight to avid travelers and adventure lovers. Donning the aesthetic elements of Italian vehicles, the new Maserati Levante comes with a distinctive yet appealing design that combines spaciousness and coupé lines while boasting of the best aerodynamic efficiency in its segment at a Cx coefficient of just 0.31. In terms of safety and convenience features, the new Maserati Levante has the latest that the auto world could offer.
Safety features include Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go function and Forward Collision Warning and Brake Assist System as well as Lane Departure Warning and Surround View camera. Convenience features include a capacitive 8.4-inch Touch Screen display with new rotary control and the AHA function.
This function is in addition to the Maserati Touch Control Plus that adds network connection option to the already existing AM, FM and DAB digital radio functions. This AHA function works by communicating with the user's network-connected mobile device to access Online services even when on the move. Functionality is ensured by the brand new Human Machine Interface and the dedicated cargo solutions.