Maserati continues to evaluate the underpinnings of its upcoming Levante SUV clad in an altered Ghibli body shell, which of course, has nothing to do with the production model.
The modified Ghibli’s body includes a roofline addition that could be carrying extra weight to simulate the taller body of an SUV, and wheel-arch extensions that point to the use of wider tracks on both ends of the car. Naturally, it rides on a much taller suspension too.
A little over three years ago at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show, Maserati gave us our first look at the styling of the Levante with the suspiciously production-like Kubang concept. There’s a question mark on whether the Italians will keep close or significantly alter the design of the study by the time it enters the market.
It’s also not clear yet if the Levante will use a heavily modified version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s platform or as more recently suggested, the structure of the Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans.
What you can expect is a similar powertrain lineup to the Ghibli, with Maserati having confirmed a 3.0-liter V6 turbocharged petrol in 325PS and 425PS flavors, a 3.0-liter V6 diesel in 250PS, 275PS, and 340PS trims, and a range-topping 3.8-liter V8 twin-turbo delivering more than 560PS, all connected to an 8-speed automatic. The Levante will get an upgraded version of the sedan’s ‘Q4’ all-wheel drive system, most likely revised with the help of Jeep.
If all goes according to plan (and do take this with a pinch of salt…), Maserati wants to have the Levante in the market within the next year or so.
Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops