Can You Spot The RAM Parts In Maserati’s Levante SUV?

Scalable architectures, modular engines, platform sharing even between competing brands – all with one purpose: cost cutting.

As new cars get more advanced, manufacturers have taken an old practice to a whole new level. Everyone does it, from low-end brands to ultra-luxury ones.

What you don’t know won’t hurt you, and you, dear customer, probably don’t know, and don’t care, what lies beneath this posh styling and prestige badge as long as it lives up to your expectations.

This last word brings us to our subject. Don’t care much for stereotypes, but there’s a good chance that someone purchasing a Maserati does so not for going all out in each and every occasion and squeezing the engine and chassis for all they’re worth, but mostly because of its Italian flair, heritage, great-smelling and stylish, bespoke interior…

At least that’s what is says on the label. Some, however, have taken issue with FCA scourging its parts bin, drawing some RAM parts and sticking them to Maserati’s first-ever SUV. And they’ve gone public with their discontent at the Levante, juxtaposing the Italians’ fancy brochure with the bits and pieces that stick out like a sore thumb among the Ermenegildo Zegna silk upholstery and carbon fiber trim.

This is certainly not the first time someone has received flak for borrowing parts from a “lesser” brand; just ask Lamborghini about the Audi bits in the Gallardo. A choice that might have worked well but launched a thousand criticisms for “tarnishing” the Raging Bull’s heritage.

Nevertheless, the Gallardo became the best-selling Lambo ever, Audi climate control, nav-screen and all. The Levante is supposed to do the same trick: take advantage of the customers’ thirst for SUVs and seduce them with its looks, Ferrari-fettled engines, heritage etc. Want a sporty and luxurious SUV? That Cayenne (which, ironically, is based on a VW) is too common, why not try the Trident instead?

Like we said, what you don’t know… But now that you do know, do you actually care? Does a start or window button from a humble truck on your chick Italian ride make that much of a difference?

H/T to Jalopnik!

PHOTO GALLERY

  • ChrisInIL

    The window/door lock/mirror folder switch gear is identical to the RAM. The headlights and wiper stalk are different than the RAM.

    • Jim Ragland

      As if Audi parts aren’t scattered around in Lamborghini’s. I guess they could have spruce them with a chrome strip to make it unique…:-)

      • Andrewthecarguy

        Exactly. No one expects them not to parts share, it makes economic sense…but do it in a way that doesn’t allow for criticism because of sloppy obvious laziness.

        • Jim Ragland

          I agree.

  • Craig

    As long as they look good and work – I honestly don’t care what parts are used. Or from what other vehicle they were/are used in first.

    • Six_Tymes

      I agree.

    • Andrewthecarguy

      I gotta disagree. You pay for lux and brand cache when you buy certain marques…Maserati certainly fits that. Here, Marchionne has signed off on pure laziness. It is hurting the brand too.

      • europeon

        Not on that price bracket.

        The diesel Levante starts at around 73k euro in Europe, similar to a Grand Cherokee Summit 3.0 CRD (basically the same engine) at 75k, or a VW Touareg Executive V6 TDI at 70k.

        Same goes for the Ghibli.

        • Andrewthecarguy

          Those prices are certainly NOT the same in the US. The Levante will outprice the Grand Cherokee by about $20k in the US. Touareg for $70k is a joke, let alone in pounds sterling! I gotta say I love linving in the US.

          • europeon

            You DO realize that (except the pickup trucks) there are no cars made especially for your great US of A, right?

            And euro is no the same thing as the pound sterling.

  • Shobin Drogan

    So I guess these are the only parts that will work in the car?

  • Ramón Rivera Notario

    Who cares? Honestly, I think it is really unfair to criticize the Maserati for this. If anything, really exclusive cars actually tend to use more parts from mass-produced cars, as their limited production numbers make it impossible to tool up for new parts.

    • Kash

      But this isn’t like an Aston Martin one-77, where only 100 units will be made of this car, this is supposed to be a fairly large scale production vehicle. Maserati will probably produce 3 of these to every 2 Ghibli’s if not more because the SUV craze is still very strong. I think that warrants some of their own parts. FCA also uses 300 parts in the Ghibli and Quattroporte two 30k units/year cars.

      • Deckard_Cain

        No it doesnt. You want another example, the motherfreaking Bentley Bentayga uses Audi parts. For me, that’s much more outrageous than this.

        • Kash

          But VW has been doing that for years, when the Continental re-debuted a few years back everyone pointed out that they were using the same shifter in the Phaeton as they were that and even the same engine. That’s not new and at least they’re using Audi parts and not Skoda parts. FCA is using Chrysler/Ram parts in a Maserati. What parts were they using in the cars before Fiat bought Chrysler? Then they’re trying to sell the Levante as a car with “pedigree” and “Highly crafter interior…” i mean i guess the last part could be said about a Ram pickup then and i guess pedigree now means parts used in entry level Chryslers all the way up to top tier Maseratis. It’s not just the use of the parts that’s shameful, but how they’re marketing the car itself.

  • S3XY

    Man that thing is ugly

  • Ilbirs

    I’m also part of the “who cares?” team. What are the purposes of these parts? A headlight switch, as we know, is to turn on the lights of the car. If it works, great. The same can be said when it comes to switches for power windows and wiper. Only people with nothing more useful to do will complain about that. Strangely they don’t do that when looking at the switches of a Hennessey Venom GT:

    http://www.seriouswheels.com/pics-ghi/Hennessey-Venom-GT-Dark-Knight-Interior-Details-8-1680×1050.jpg

    Maybe Americans don’t remember where they came from, but people in Latin America, Europe and China are very used to them:

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-EnhV6vFlLQ4/Va-157SVyqI/AAAAAAACLrg/wrYPkfNcQf8/s1600/Chevrolet-Classic-2016%2B%25285%2529.jpg

    http://images.gasgoo.com/attachment/Approved/001/530/400_400/001530505.JPG

    Is there a problem a Bugatti-beater using this kind of switch from bread-and-butter rides from the 1990s? Only if they don’t work, but they are very cheap to buy and replacing them is very easy. Maybe the Venon GT is a too low production car from a small maker, but we could think about the R8, Audi’s top dog, now in its second generation:

    http://image.superstreetonline.com/f/95155406%20w%20h%20q80%20re0%20cr1/2017-audi-r8-v10-interior.jpg

    http://www.seriouswheels.com/pics-2016/a/2016-Audi-R8-Interior-10-2560×1600.jpg

    http://cdn.slashgear.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/2017-audi-r8-v10-interior.jpg

    I think I’ve seem some switches and knobs in lesser rides:

    http://st.automobilemag.com/uploads/sites/11/2014/09/2016-Audi-TT-interior1.jpg

    http://i0.wp.com/carzoom.pt/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Audi-Q2-9.jpg

    http://autocarsto.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2016-Audi-A1-Interior.jpg

    These Audi-shaped elements found even in some entry models of the brand can also be found on a Bentley Bentayga:

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5j5xcUAO6tk/Vfi_HVnE67I/AAAAAAAR-lg/H6ruhlkTpAw/s1600/Bentley-BTG-2.jpg

    What’s the meaning of it? That like what happens in the VW Group, there are some parts in FCA products that are used across the entire lineup as they’re already engineered, work well and even give some sense of common identity to all the brands without ruining their individuality.

  • melo

    what about the chasis uded in a Bentlay coming from a VW? Lot of Vw component used without shame for Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche, Skoda and Seat… Cars, super cars, commercial wagons and Trunks? I will no blame Maserati for this, I think it’s a very common in the modern automotive world.

    And this Levante is gorgeus!!!

  • Michael_66589

    thats good – they use parts from best pickup trucks in America. Thats no shame.

  • psiqtas

    Nothing new – most F.I.A.T. products “recycle” now Mopar parts – see other Maseratis (for example Quattroporte = 300), F.I.A.T.s, Lancias…because their own parts were cheap piece of c**p!

  • Six_Tymes

    meh.

  • Bo Hanan

    At least cover them in leather for the Maserati.

    • Andrewthecarguy

      Right?! It’s simple and inexpensive way to set it apart.

      • Bo Hanan

        It does create a better perception of quality.

  • Deckard_Cain

    Now do an article about the Bentley Bentayga using Audi parts. Or of Audi using VW parts in their interiors.
    This is just prejudice against Maserati because they’re an italian brand.

  • stelvio

    They might actually be of much better quality than if maserati sourced those from the fiat parts bin

  • Markey

    People making an issue on FCA parts on Maseratis, posting silly “LOL’s” on twitter, and then probably driving Audi-badged Skoda’s. Or admiring VWs dressed as Porsche Cayennes, Jaguars with Land Rover bits, Rolls Royces based on BMWs and/or Chevy’s badged as Cadillacs.
    Laughable.
    Pathetic.

  • DMJ

    It´s funnny how people write articles about 3 pieces of plastic from RAM in a Maserati when they actually know that Porsche Cayenne rides on a entire VW wheelbase.

    • Bo Hanan

      The original Cayenne was a knock-off. Porsche helped design the current platform.
      Two very different cars now.

  • europeon

    Here we go again…

    It was the same story when Ghibli III and Quattroporte VI were released. Even if Maserati is trying to hide the fact they are based on (a heavily modified tho) Chrysler’s LX platform, this is no secret anymore, and there was no other way to make such Ghibli or Levante happen at those prices.

    What I can’t understand is why are you giving attention to this guy. He calls himself some sort of an auto industry expert, yet he ignores the fact the “RAM parts” are literally light years ahead of what Maseratis and Ferraris of old had. Anyone remember the pre-FCA Ferrari navigation systems, or the failing and the peeling indicator stalks and dashboards on the GranTurismo and Quattroporte V (which shares parts with Alfa Romeos – yes, the 150k Quattroporte V shares interior switches and the wing mirrors with the Alfa Romeo MiTo, a 10K car)?

    • Andrewthecarguy

      So FCA has been guilty for years, much like other car companies. The point here is that with modern tech there are very simple ways of making the same part appear A LOT more luxurious and indistinguishable from their lesser siblings.

  • smartalec

    At least the audi parts are from a premium brand, not like the RAM parts in this.

  • Bash

    those can be seen not only in the RAM, but also in the dodge and the 300C Chrysler

  • Bob White

    And the engine is basically a Chrysler V6 with upgraded parts and cosmetic touches.

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