Maserati Levante looks better than we thought
What a relief. We expressed our disappointment after seeing the first official pictures of this Maserati Levante last week. The relief comes from these images straight from Geneva, which clearly show a more refined SUV than those pictures of last week had us expect. Though we’re obviously still not looking at one of Italy’s finest designs, this is at least agreeable. The coupé-ish roofline lends the Levante its proper and sporty look (and a Cx of only 0,31). The rear is still very much anonymous, though it also looks better in these images than it did on those from Maserati themselves. Especially those rear light units seem to look funky.
The Levante always comes with a Q4-badge. A certain company from Ingolstadt therefore seems to have given up on buying this indication from FCA. This Q4-system comes with Torque Vectoring and a mechanical self-locking rear differential. The hydraulic suspension offers 5 ride levels to choose from and there’s a perfect 50:50 weight balance for – hopefully – that great Maserati-feel behind the wheel. The boot can take up to 580l of luggage and Maserati’s first-ever SUV is 5m long with a wheelbase of 3m. It’s 1,67m high. If you’re still shocked by the fact that Maserati is actually launching an SUV, look away now. There’s an optional tow bar available. On a Maserati… The Levante can hustle along things of up to 2.700kg.
Then we get to the engines. Only V6s for now, as we’d announced already. The 3.0l V6 TwinTurbo comes with either 350hp and 500Nm of torque (6 seconds for the sprint and a 251km/h top (156mph)) or with 430hp and 580Nm of torque in S-guise (5,2 seconds and 264km/h (164mph)). The latter also comes with extra-biting Brembo brakes at the front measuring 380mm. The 3.0l V6 diesel produces 275hp and 600Nm of torque, getting into three digits in 6,9 seconds and onto 230km/h (143mph). The oil burner averages 7,2l/100km (33mpg) and emits 189g CO2/km. The Italian market also gets a 250hp-variant of this V6 diesel. All engines come mated with the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. Drivers get to choose between ‘Normal’, ‘I.C.E.’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Off Road’ when behind the wheel. ‘Off Road’ increases ride height by 25mm, while the driver can then manually raise the Levante another 15mm if he so wishes to a maximum of 247mm.
The interior luckily looks a lot more Italian than the exterior, with leather abound. There’s a completely new infotainment system called Maserati Touch Control Plus controlled by means of the scroll-button in the centre console. For the first time Maserati is offering the newest safety features such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop&Go, Forward Collision Warning with Brake Assist System, Lane Departure Warning, Surround View, Hill Descent Control and of course Bi-Xenon lights with Adaptive Front-lighting System. The Levante comes in 13 different colours and with 4 different alloys (18 up to 21 inch). The interior can be specced in lots of colour combinations with inserted wood, carbon fibre,… The standard packs are called Sport and Luxury. There’s also a delicious special Zegna Edition, as we’ve gotten used to by now.