Maserati has disclosed that the Beijing car show will be the fourth and last motor-show appearance for the Kubang SUV Concept. CEO Harald Wester disclosed that they will retire the concept after Beijing. The SUV will reappear in its production version and with its "final name in due time," he told Automotive News Europe on the sidelines of the Beijing car show.
According to sources, the production form of the SUV will make an appearance at the Detroit motor show in January 2014. The Kubang was unveiled last September at the car show in Frankfurt. It also has been showcased in Detroit and Dubai.
In Beijing, the Kubang was found near the Lamborghini Urus Concept -- one of its rivals in the future. Maserati, Bentley and Lamborghini want to enter the SUV niche 10 years after Porsche entered with tradition and launched the Cayenne in 2002.
The SUV units comprise half of the 118,867 sales that Porsche achieved last year. Demand for premium SUVs, including the Mercedes-Benz GL class and the Cayenne, is estimated to rise 49% in China to 265,200 automobiles in 2015, according to IHS Automotive.
Maserati intends to launch its new SUV for sale in the U.S. and European markets in the first half of 2014. According to Media reports, the Urus would arrive in 2017 at the earliest. The SUV of Maserati will share its foundations with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It will be assembled by Chrysler in Detroit. Maserati will supply diesel and gasoline engines from Italy. The Fiat subsidiary intends to achieve sales of 20,000 to 25,000 units of the SUV annually.
Making its World Premiere during the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, the Maserati Levante is considered to be a turning point in the history of the brand. With this latest model, Maserati is now part of what is the world’s largest luxury class. This new model also helped create the most complete product range in its history. The name is considered apt as it was derived from that warm wind in the Mediterranean that can be mild but immediately turns to a gale in a second.
This is almost the same qualities that were in the first SUV released by the brand. To describe what the Levante truly is, it has the on-road handling one would expect from a purebred Maserati and combined with the off-road capability that is required for models in the SUV class.
For sports car drivers who want features that are oriented for performance, the Levante can clearly appeal to them. To prove this, the Levante has a center of gravity that is the lowest in its segment, ideal weight distribution of 50%-50%, and wide use of lightweight materials. All of these mean that Maserati’s latest offering has the best and unmatched agility in the luxury SUV segment. What makes the design of the Levante both appealing and unique is that it makes use of visual elements that are clearly Italian.
It has those coupé lines that give it the best when it comes to aerodynamic efficiency with a coefficient of drag at 0.31. Mix in a large amount of space and this particular design presents the SUV segment with an entirely new concept. Designed specifically for the brand, the Levante makes use of the evolved platform of the saloon. Its chassis for instance was developed to not only be able to offer that needed off-road capability but to also have that rather distinct on-road drivability. Not only that, it also delivers practicality along with comfort on a daily basis.
In coming up with this high-class Italian SUV, the brand focused on three main principles which are Performance, Exclusivity, and Design. All of these three are not only combined in the Levante but are optimized as well. One of the reasons why this model has that exclusivity is because of the different technical features fitted as standard like the Q4 AWD system and Air Suspension.
There is also a high-level of customization offered in the form of the Sport package and the Luxury package. What this means is that the Levante has a driving experience that is truly unique much like the brand and its many customers.