The Italian luxury car maker Maserati is launching its sporting SUV model called the Levante. Early this month, Maserati Levante made its debut in Geneva. At the end of the month, a follow-up will come at the New York Auto show.
According to Forbes, with its new Levante SUV sporting car, the auto maker Maserati is hoping to replicate the market success and the stream of profit gains of Macan and Cayenne SUVs.
Early in the development of Maserati's Levante SUV, the company turned to a car based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee architecture. However, the manufacturing and market priorities shifted later and Maserati changed the plan.
Levante is built at the Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy, and it is based on the Ghibli four-door sedan's architecture. Since Levante is a taller version of the Ghibli, the sporting SUV aims to deliver car-like ride and handling quality.
Beyond its Italian exterior design, in terms of engine, Levante is based on a version of the Ferrari's 3.0-liter V6 found in other Maserati cars. The engine provides 424 horsepower in Levante S and 345 horsepower in the regular Levante model.
Both Levante and Levante S models feature 8-speed automatic transmission. An adaptive all-wheel drive system installed in both models can instantaneously transfer torque between the axles. Levante comes with a sophisticated system with air suspension and adaptive dampers, featuring double-wishbone up front and multi-link at the rear.
Maserati Levante offers an optional Zegna interior. The luxury SUV is fairly conventional, following the standards of almost any other models in its range from North America, Japan, or Germany.
That combination of Italian style with relatively mainstream engineering is a sure recipe for success. Maserati is hoping to achieve long-term stability and improve its margins with the new Levante SUV.
According to the Autoblog, Maserati announced that Levante will be available on the market in late summer 2016. Maserati Levante will come with a price tag starting at $72,000. The top model Levante S will reach a price tag of $83,000.
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