2017 Maserati Levante wraps Italian style around an SUV

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Maserati has a glittering history that dates to 1914. It's based on gorgeous sports cars, decadent sedans, and a rich motorsports heritage. Now comes a new chapter: the first Maserati sport-utility vehicle. Called the Levante, it will debut next month at the Geneva Motor Show and launch in Europe in the spring. The rollout will continue around the world throughout 2016.

Maserati says the Levante will have gasoline and diesel engines, though it didn't specify what's under the hood for US-bound models. It will be assembled in Turin, and the company says the first units are already in production. Details are slim as far as the rest of the specs, but Maserati says the Levante will have an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive capability. We also hear that serious off-road performance is one of the Levante's capabilities.

The Levante carries many of the brand's styling cues, and the grille, curvy fenders, headlight shape, and vents will fit in with the rest of the brand's products, like the Ghibli and Quattroporte. Maserati joins Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Porsche, and other traditional sporting brands that have added SUVs to their portfolios in an effort to remain relevant and capitalize on new revenue streams.

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