When Chrysler was developing the current Jeep Cherokee, matte black, lifted Alfa Romeo Giuliettas weren't an unusual site around the company's Auburn Hills, MI headquarters. That's because the Jeep rides on a modified version of the Alfa's platform.

Judging by these images, Maserati is following a similar path for the upcoming Levante. The presence of the modified and lifted Ghibli basically confirms that the company will look in-house for the new CUV's platform rather than outsource it to Jeep (otherwise, we'd be seeing modified Grand Cherokees running about).

The mule's Ghibli body has been fitted with a number of tweaks. Most notable are the higher roof and stretched wheel arches, which we're guessing are an attempt at increasing the sedan's center of gravity and width, respectively, in a bid to match the eventual production model.

Take a look at our gallery of images and let us know what you think in Comments.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      EXP Jawa
      • 3 Months Ago

      While you can certainly draw conclusions from pictures of test mules, claiming that they "prove" anything (as in conclusively) is a bit of a stretch.  One thing I've learned in this business is that mule vehicles are built from all sorts of things for all sorts of reasons.  Without knowing context - what it was built for - its tough to prove that it proves anything...

        • 3 Months Ago
        @EXP Jawa

        This...Test mules are usually just thrown together with whatever they have lying around sometimes. If I remember correctly from when I worked at Chrysler back then, the mules for the Dodge Caliber had PT Cruiser bodies on them, even though they were totally different platforms.

          EXP Jawa
          • 3 Months Ago

          I recall a mule for the Ford Freestyle over a decade ago that was built from a Mazda MPV.  Very, very different platforms.  The MPV had essentially been drawn & quartered, then stitched back together with extension in every direction...

      Timothy Tibbetts
      • 3 Months Ago

      l o l

      Bill Burke
      • 3 Months Ago

       Now let's take this one step further.... Since the Ghibli is based off the Chrysler 300, could this be the potential platform for a Chrysler crossover,similar to the late, great, near luxury and oh so attractive Chrysler Pacifica. As a former Pacifica owner who will be in the market for a crossover to replace my Jeep in two years, I like my chances of driving a Chrysler crossover again. If not. I'll go with a Jeep Grand Cherokee again. I win either way I guess.

      • 3 Months Ago

      Looks like an Infiniti FX

      K. Rogers
      • 3 Months Ago

      The Homer by Maserati.

      Steven Pierce
      • 3 Months Ago

      This is awful.....not worthy of a trident!  They should stick to what they know.

      Eta Carinae
      • 3 Months Ago

      This doesnt prove anything....and why would maser build an SUV on an aging platform when they have the wonderful jeep GC at their disposal. ..

        • 3 Months Ago
        @Eta Carinae

        The "wonderful Jeep GC" is an aging platform dating back to the Daimler days (just like the Charger/300). The origins of the Ghibli platform are a bit fuzzy, but at least it was recently generated and heavily revised from whatever older inspiration that was used.

      • 3 Months Ago

      Sometimes I loathe this world. 

      Every luxury manufacturer is pandering to the gaudy, ostentatious tastes of the ultra rich.

        • 3 Months Ago

        I disagree. CUV's are a popular body style in every price segment. I personally prefer wagons for their lower center of gravity and better driving dynamics, but wagons are nearly dead in the U.S. 

        The masses want their CUV's, and manufacturers in every price category are foolish not to build one for them. 

          • 3 Months Ago

          I like siting high up, so for me it's nothing but tall cars.

      • 3 Months Ago
      This is what a cop car in Sparta would have looked like if they had cars back then.
      • 3 Months Ago

      why does it have 2 roofs?

    • Load More Comments