Nearly five years after Maserati prepared us for their foray into the lucrative SUV market with the 2011 Kubang Concept, the Italians have introduced the production model named the Levante.
The brand’s first ever SUV will have its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in March. In the meantime, production of the Levante has already started at the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Mirafiori assembly plant in Italy, with sales to begin in Europe this spring, followed by the rest of the world later this year.
The luxury mid-size crossover doesn’t stray far away from the original Kubang study, packing a dramatic snout with a large grille and aggressively styled headlamps, a sporty profile with flowing lines, but also a somewhat nameless rear end styling that mostly stands out through the quad exhaust pipes.
Officially, Maserati is keeping the interior a secret for now, but we caught a glimpse of the cabin from the leaked images earlier today, which reveal a familiar design similar to the Ghibli with plenty of leather covering most surfaces, and a large screen on the center console for the infotainment system.
Likewise, the Italians were mum on the technical specifications, but leaked engine specs confirm the same range as the Ghibli sedan, with two 3.0-liter V6 gasoline units for the Levante 350 and 430, and a 3.0-liter V6 diesel.
According to the spec-sheet, the Levante 350 can manage the 0-100km/h (62mph) in 6.3 seconds and top out at 243km/h (151mph), with the Levante 450 completing the same in 5.2 seconds and reaching 264km/h (164mph). The diesel version is said to tap 100km/h (62mph) from standstill in 6.9 seconds and has a top speed of 230km/h (143mph).
Maserati stated that at a technical level, the “Levante’s chassis is designed to combine the outstanding on-road performance typical of every Maserati with unrivalled handling even on very low-grip surfaces and an excellent off-road performance and ride.”
All models will come fitted with a “sophisticated” electronic suspension with controlled damping and air springs, the firm’s “Q4” intelligent all-wheel drive and a specially-calibrated 8-speed automatic transmission, as standard.