Less than 24 hours after Maserati started production of the Levante at its Mirafiori plant in Turin on Monday, the Italian firm rolled out its first ever SUV in Geneva.
Named after a warm Mediterranean wind, the Levante is pivotal for Maserati’s efforts to increase sales over the next few years, especially in China and North America, where it will try to conquer sales from the likes of Porsche’s Cayenne, BMW’s X5 and X6, and Mercedes-Benz’s GLE series.
The new Maserati SUV rides on an evolved version of the Quattroporte and Ghibli architecture, sharing the same powertrains as the latter, including a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 gasoline unit in 350PS (345hp) and 430PS (424hp) forms, and a 275PS (271hp) 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo diesel. All engines are combined with Maserati’s “Q4” intelligent all-wheel drive system that can transfer torque between the axles instantaneously when required, and an 8-speed automatic transmission, with an integrated Start&Stop system.
The base 350PS Levante accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in 6.0 seconds and achieves a top speed of 251 km/h (156mph), with combined cycle consumption and emission figures of 10.7 l/100 km and 249g CO2/km respectively.
The fastest model in the range is the 430PS Levante S that hits 100km/h (62mph) in 5.2 seconds, has a top speed of 264 km/h (164mph), and provides combined consumption and emission figures of 10.9 l/100 km and 253g CO2/km respectively.
As for the most frugal model, it is, of course, the 275PS Levante diesel that accelerates to 100km/h (62mph) in 6.9 seconds and achieves a top speed of 230km/h (143mph), returning a combined fuel consumption of 7.2 l/100 km with CO2 emissions of 189g /km.
The SUV has a double-wishbone suspension on the front axle and multi-link on the rear, combined with electronically controlled damping and four corner air-springs that provide 5 dynamic ride levels plus one for park-position. According to Maserati, the Levante has a perfectly balanced weight distribution (50-50) between front and rear.
It will come equipped with a variety of driver assistance systems including adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic brake assist system and lane departure warning, as well as blind spot alert, surround view camera and a powerlift tailgate. For those who want their Levante with a bit more style and technical contents, Maserati will offer two extended feature packages named Luxury and Sport.