Unconfirmed reports say that a production-ready version of the Levante SUV from Maserati will be launched at this January’s Detroit auto show and that production will begin shortly after in March. With this Levante, Maserati will have a competitive entry in this quickly expanding segment for luxury crossovers, which include the Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover Sport as well as upcoming models from Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and Aston Martin.
Sources said that this crossover from Maserati will be available as a five-seater everyday car that’s highly practical but also very luxurious. The automaker has yet to confirm these reports. This SUV is a major part of a plan by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne to increase Maserati sales to 75,000 units in 2018 from 36,500 units in 2014.
Maserati considers the U.S. as its largest market, having sold 12,943 units there in 2014. The automaker is planning to roll out 25,000 units annually of the Levante model at its Miafiori plant in Italy. According to reports, the Levante has a starting price of around 90,000 euros, with the most expensive variant being priced at almost 200,000 euros.
Sources also said that this SUV will be offered with a V-6 diesel engine and Ferrari-built V-6 and V-8 gasoline engines that have outputs of up to 580 hp.
The Levante will soon come with a plug-in hybrid variant. It will be built on the modular platform used for the Ghibli and Quattroporte sports cars. The Kubang concept, which was initially seen at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show, is considered to be a preview for the Levante.
When viewed from any angle and even from a distance, it is very apparent that the new Levante features the hallmark Maserati design genes, allowing it to stand out from its rivals.
For instance, the new Levante features a grille that takes inspiration from the Maserati Alfieri concept. Interestingly, this new grille will be adopted by all Maserati cars starting with the Levante. This new signature concave grille pays tribute to iconic Maserati models of the past like the Tipo 60 Birdcage and is highlighted by the flow of the front wings. Flowing into the headlight surrounds, these wings, meanwhile, help underscore the shape of the engine compartment lid. The Levante is provided with headlights -- employing Bi-Xenon and LED technology – that converge with the brand’s Trident symbol at the center of the concave grille.
On the other hand, the new Levante features a sleek silhouette that starts from its cat-like headlights and flows along the flanks to the distinctive Maserati rear pillar. This design gives the new Levante a coupe appearance as accentuated by its frameless doors. The new Levante also features rear haunches with a muscular shape. The rear pillar of the Levante dons the characteristic "Saetta" logo that made its debut on iconic Quattroporte in 1963. This Saetta logo smoothly follows the shape of the car’s side windows.
Meanwhile, the side profile of the Levante is marked by a swaged line spanning its entire length, starting from the signature side vents on the front and eventually fades over the rear wing. The profile of the new Levante is also defined by lightweight, sporty alloy wheels that feature the Trident design integrated into their spokes.
Measuring 5 meters in length, the new Levante is the longest car in its segment. Likewise, its three-meter wheelbase is from 6 cm to 10 cm longer than that of its major rivals. These dimensions make the Levante one of the most spacious offering in its class, while bragging of having one of the most elegant and sportiest designs in the luxury SUV segment.