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.