Published on April 30th, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
Maserati’s First Ever SUV Unveiled, The Levante
The Maserati Levante is a turning point in Maserati’s history. The brand new model, which made its World Premiere at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, enables the Trident to access the largest luxury segment in the world. The Levante significantly contributes to the creation of the most complete product line-up in Maserati’s history.
The name Levante was inspired by a warm, Mediterranean wind that can change from mild to gale force in an instant, mirroring the character of the first Maserati SUV.
The Maserati Levante is based on the evolution of the saloon platform, designed exclusively by Maserati. The chassis has been specifically developed to offer unique on-road drivability and competitive off-road capability, with day-to-day comfort and practicality. The premium Italian SUV was conceived around three main pillars: Design, Exclusivity and Performance. It represents the optimum blend of these three elements in the SUV world.
The Maserati Levante’s design is distinctive and attractive, embracing the aesthetic elements of Italian style. The design brings a new concept to the SUV world, combining spaciousness and coupé lines while achieving the best aerodynamic efficiency in its segment with a Cx coefficient of just 0.31.
Its exclusivity stems from technical features like Air Suspension and the Q4 AWD system, which come as standard equipment, and the high level of customisation that includes two cutting-edge packages, Sport and Luxury. The result is a driving experience that is as unique as the Maserati brand and its customers.
The thoroughbred on-road handling typical of all Maserati cars and the solid off-road capabilities, as demanded in the SUV segment, describe the car’s overall ethos. The Levante is here to excite any sports car driver counting on performance-oriented features, such as the extensive use of lightweight materials, ideal 50-50% weight distribution and its lowest in class centre of gravity. Features that deliver unparalleled agility in the luxury SUV class.
The aluminium “double wishbone – five link” suspension layout is comprised of standard Air Springs and electronically controlled Skyhook shock absorbers. In conjunction with the intelligent Q4 All-Wheel-Drive system and the newly introduced Torque Vectoring system which deliver GT on-road behaviour and surprising – for a Maserati – off-road capabilities: the Levante is designed to deliver best in class comfort on rough roads and handling on snow and ice.
The off-road equipment completes a product made to surprise avid travellers and adventure lovers as well.
Engine-wise, the Levante is equipped with the latest evolution of the Maserati 3-litre V6 engines. The two versions of the twin-turbo petrol engine and the economical turbodiesel are globally acclaimed for their unique Maserati signature sound and for their exceptional performance.
The petrol Maserati V6 engine with latest GDI and twin-turbo is available in two versions: the top of the range 430 hp and the exciting 350 hp. The most powerful Levante makes it to 100 km/h in 5.2″ and has a top speed of 264 km/h, while the figures for the 350 hp version are 6.0″ and 251 km/h respectively.
The Levante is also available with a common-rail, direct injection turbodiesel V6 with reduced dwell time injectors. The 3-litre engine is capable of 275 hp and delivers 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds and a 230 km/h maximum speed while keeping the fuel economy as low as 7.2 litres/100 km under the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).
Both petrol and diesel versions of the Maserati Levante use the eight-speed automatic ZF gearbox that provides seamless comfort and fast gear shifting, depending on the selected drive mode. The Levante driver can choose between four drive modes, “Normal”
I.C.E., “Sport” and “Off-road”. Each one constitutes distinct characteristics intelligently altering engine, transmission, suspension and electronics features.
The Maserati Levante introduces several innovations to the current Maserati line-up; from safety to convenience options and through to the brand new Human Machine Interface and the dedicated cargo solutions. The range of equipment options is wider and more complete than ever.
The Maserati Levante has entered the SUV segment with a marked advantage in terms of new content. The innovative features of the car include: Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, Forward Collision Warning and Brake Assist System, Lane Departure Warning, Surround View camera, capacitive 8.4″ Touch Screen display with brand new rotary control, plus the AHA function, an addition to the Maserati Touch Control Plus which extends the AM, FM and DAB digital radio with a network connection option: the AHA function dialogues with the user’s network-connected mobile device to give access to on-line services (radio stations, programmes, etc.) while on the move.
A new state-of-the-art production line was set up exclusively for the Levante in the historic Mirafiori plant, where high quality standards in every area, from design to development and from process controls to fabrication, are applied in full.
Maserati’s more than 100-year tradition of craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology guarantees outstanding quality right down to the tiniest of details.