While press show goers oozed and waxed poetic over the shiny new fast objects by Porsche, Bugatti, and others, Maserati unveiled its SUV in an attempt to take on the Porsche Cayenne and anyone entering the Uberluxo-SUV segment (cough Bentley cough).
The fact is, the Levante is a hugely important vehicle for Maserati in a segment that is about to get flushed with new models and debut models. If they cannot compete with this car, it could spell disaster for the relatively small Italian exotic company.
Globally speaking, Maserati will offer the Levante with three engine options. All of them are turbocharged 3.0-liter V6s, but they vary widely in output and even burn different types of fuel. The base model packs 350 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque for a 0-62 time of 6.0 seconds flat – the same as the base Ghibli, but four tenths slower with a bigger form to move. The Levante S offers a rather impressive 430 hp and 427 lb-ft (more than the Ghibli S) for a 5.2-second sprint. And while the diesel model has the least power, it also offers the most torque, at 275 hp and 442 lb-ft (slightly more than the oil-burning sedan) for a 6.9-second time. Whichever engine is chosen, it comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, and a limited-slip differential.
So who exactly are they targeting with this new SUV? Well the super wealthy for one, but a better question is who is their target competitor? The engine would suggest a direct compete with the Porsche Cayenne, but Maserati prices dictate a different story. With Lotus (seriously), Rolls Royce, Lamborghini (Urus), and Aston Martin entering the market soon or soon-ish, this car better over shoot it’s selling goal big time.
We’ll bring you more coverage from the New York Auto Show later this month and get your exact sales figures that Maserati are trying to achieve. Until then, enjoy the pics of this pretty damn good looking crossovertruckthing.