2017 Maserati Levante SUV Officially Revealed

Levante, the Maserati of SUVs, has been officially revealed after a few photos were leaked online earlier today. However, the Italian carmaker has left us wanting more, as the rumored technical details were not backed up by the press release.
2017 Maserati Levante SUV Officially Revealed 8 photos
Photo: Maserati
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Instead, we are told that the Levante is named after wind, just like the Scirocco and a few other cars. Levante is a warm, Mediterranean wind that can change from mild to gale force strength in an instant. It sounds better than "Kubang" and implies typical Italian flair.

The styling is not typical of modern SUVs, as the Levante is long and narrow with a big hood and rakish windshield. Some people are already comparing it to a hatchback, but we think that's unkind and will reserve our judgement for when we see it in the flesh.

The front end puts a modern twist on the Maserati design language by moving the grille right up against the hood line and adding typical off-roader chunkiness at the bottom. The headlights are narrow and much cleaner than the Porsche Cayenne's.

The sports styling is continued by the three portholes on either side and a sloping roofline. Rear seat passengers might complain about the headroom, but nobody can say the Levante has dull styling. Around the back, the Italian luxury SUV seems understated compared to its German counterparts. The exhaust system and LED taillights don't shout out for attention, while the character lines are shallow.

"At a technical level, the Levante's chassis is designed to combine the outstanding on-road performance typical of every Maserati with unrivalled handling even on very low-grip surfaces and excellent off-road performance and ride," Maserati says. That's a little vague, but we're told that every model will come with an 8-speed automatic, AWD and electronic adaptive suspension as standard.

Full technical details may come in Geneva or even later when the Levante enters production. The engine range will reportedly start off with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 rated at 350 hp and capable of pushing the SUV to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds and on to a reasonable top speed of 243 km/h (151 mph). There will also be a 450 horsepower version of the same engine that will rocket the Levante to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds while offering a top speed of 264 km/h (164 mph).

For the record, a Porsche Cayenne S draws 420 hp from its 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 and reaches 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds. But we're not 100% sure the comparison is fair because Maserati has not revealed the weight or overall dimensions of its first SUV.

Rumors suggest the first diesel model will have a 275 hp 3.0-liter V6 engine and will be capable of 0 to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds. Maserati's old 5-year plan outlined 250 and 340 hp versions of that same block. However, we don't know if they are still valid. What we can tell you is that a plug-in hybrid is also being developed.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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