Imagine a Ferrari SUV or a Lamborghini SUV! Well, although it might seem odd for now, things are changing I won’t be surprised to find these automakers with SUVs in the near future. The SUV craze is affecting the whole automobile market even the ultimate luxury automakers. The trend started when Porsche threw caution to the wind and moved out of its comfort zone with the Porsche Cayenne. Now Maserati has followed suit by releasing the 2017 Maserati Levante.
In fact, these automakers have realized that buyers will respond to their exotic SUV brands with the same enthusiasm they do with their sports cars. Maserati wants to sell over 60,000 vehicles a year and the Levante will serve a critical role in achieving this ambitious goal. In fact, the automaker aims to sell over 30,000 Levantes in its first year alone. The model is based on the Ghibli. Read along to find out more on this Maserati SUV:
2017 Maserati Levante Exterior
The 2017 Maserati Levante is based on the Kubang concept released in 2011; it also adopts many of its features from the Ghibli on whose platform it is based. In keeping with the automaker’s traditions, the model features a host of Maserati styling elements and will be easily recognizable as a Maserati. Starting with the front fascia, the model features the Trident trademark face with a grille adopted from the Alfieri concept.
The lower fascia features dual intakes. The grille is flanked by feline-shaped Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED DRLs as options. If you look closer, you will realize there is an active grille shutter which combines with the SUV’s aerodynamic body to give the vehicle a 0.31 coefficient of drag. LED lighting is also used on the fog lights and turn signals. The model’s hood features stylish creases that make the front fascia look very aggressive.
On the sides, you will easily notice three side air vents just after the front wheel wells. The side profile also features a trapezoid-shaped C-pillar. The vehicle also features frameless doors while its roofline gently slopes on the sides as if it was a coupe. The sides also feature 18-inch alloy wheels for the base model and 19-inch wheels for the Levante S. 20-inch and 21-inch alloy wheels are also offered as options.
Dimension-wise, the model stretches 196.96 inches long, 77.48 inches wide and has a height of 66.1 inches. Its wheelbase spans 118.26 inches.
2017 Maserati Levante Interior
The interior look is adopted from the Maserati sedans and features their identical layout. The only difference is the stretched dimensions. The cabin will accommodate five passengers. Leather is the standard upholstery material. Real wood, carbon fiber and aluminum are also used extensively in the cabin. He upper pillars, roof, front sun visors and ceiling light surround are lined in Alcantara. There is an option for a Full Leather Package which adds leather on the door panels and the dash. There is also an attractive contrast stitching on the seats and their headrests.
The driver’s seat is 6-way power adjustable while the front passenger seat is 4-way manual adjustable. The driver’s seat has memory settings. A 12-way eclectic adjustable Comfort Seat or a 12-way power adjustable Sport Seat is offered as an option for the driver’s seat. All the seats are heated while the front seats are also ventilated.
The Levante comes with a state-of-the-art infotainment system with AHA, HomeLink and app support. The system features an 8.4-inch touch-screen display. There is another 7.0-inch screen placed on the gauge cluster. USB, SD card input and Auxiliary inputs are standard. For audiophiles, the Levante features an 8-speaker stereo which can be upgraded to a 14-speaker Harman Kardon system. There is also an option for a 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Surround system. There is a dual-zone climate control as standard but one can opt for a 4-zone control system with rear control.
The Levante also features 20.5 cu-ft of cargo space which can be expanded by folding the 40/60 split-folding rear seats. There are 28 interior color combinations on offer. More features are offered as options.
Engine Specs and performance
Maserati has equipped their new SUV with three drive-trains, two gasoline engines and a diesel mill. The diesel won’t be offered in the US. Actually, the gasoline engine is a single twin-turbocharged 3.0 L, V-6 engine with two flavors.
The base engine produces 345 horses and 369 lb-ft of torque while the more potent iteration fitted on the range-topping Levante S comes good with 424 horses and 428 lb-ft of torque. The engines are paired with the Q4 intelligent AWD system with features an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission.
The base 345-hp engine powers the SV to run from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds and attain a top speed of 156 mph while the more potent engine pushes the Levante S to run to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds with a maximum speed of 164 mph.
The third engine is a turbo-diesel engine which is also a six cylinder engine with a displacement of 3.0 liters. The engine produces 275 hp and 43 lb-ft of torque. The engine is a bit slow; it pushes the model to 60 mph from standstill in 6.9 seconds with a top speed of 143 mph. The engine is however very economical compared to the gasoline mills. The mill is paired with an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission system too.
To enhance its handling and driving experience, the model is offered with a number of driving modes, they include Sport, Off-Road and the I.C.E (Increased Control and Efficiency). What’s more, Levante offers a tow bar as an option in case you occasionally tow stuff. It can tow as much as 6,000 lbs.
Price and release date
The new 2017 Maserati Levante will be offered in two iterations based on its two engine choices. The model that produces 345 horses will start at $ 72,000 while the model whose engine produces 424 hp dubbed the “Levante S” will start at$ 83,000.
However, the price will easily surpass the $ 100,000 mark if one opts for additional features.
The Maserati pricing will enable it to compete with a host of luxury SUVs priced either above or below it. Its rivals will include the Porsche Cayenne, Jaguar F-Pace, BMW X 5 as well as X6, Audi Q7, Infiniti QX70 and the Range Rover Sport.