In its US guise, the standard Levante uses a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 345 horsepower, which can get the CUV to 60 miles per hour in 5.8 seconds. The Levante S uses the same engine with 424 hp, which cuts the 60-mph run to 5.0 seconds. Both mills use an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. A plug-in hybrid with the powertrain from the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid will reportedly join the US lineup later, too.
The newcomer Levante faces stiff competition among more established luxury CUVs in the US. For example, the base Porsche Cayenne with 300 hp starts at $60,650 after destination and the 420-hp Cayenne is $77,250. The Land Rover Range Rover Sport with the 340-hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6 is $65,945. We'll get another look at the Levante at next week's New York Auto Show. The Geneva Motor Show earlier in the month already provided a great opportunity to check it out.
Thoroughbred on-road handling meets solid off-road capabilities
"Levante" is inspired by a warm wind that can change from gentle to gale force in an instant that can emerge any season or time of
the year, day or night, mirroring the powerful and soulful character of Maserati's first SUV.
Following the success of its global reveal in Geneva earlier this month, the all new Maserati Levante will make its way to the New York Auto Show on March 23rd for its official U.S. debut.
The U.S. market launch is planned for late summer 2016 with a starting price of $72,000 for the 345 hp (Levante) and $83,000 for the 424 hp (Levante S) model (not including destination and delivery), which will be available for order in the U.S. this April.
The Levante represents a new chapter in Maserati's iconic history. With over one hundred years of automotive excellence behind it, Maserati is well positioned to introduce its first ever SUV that represents the house of the Trident's core values and truly is the 'opposite of ordinary'. A unique blend of design, exclusivity and performance in its class, the Maserati of the SUV's – is a genuine Maserati first and foremost. Expected to shift one's perception and ignite the senses, Levante is 100% Maserati and 100% SUV. A genuine 'Made in Italy' product, the new Levante is produced at the Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy.
It is distinguished by a sleek and sculpted exterior, typical of Maserati, thoroughbred on-road handling and solid off-road capabilities. Levante boasts state of the art vehicle dynamics, built on the Ghibli architecture, which was refined to meet the expectations of the premium SUV segment, in which Maserati will now compete for the first time.
Levante is designed to offer outstanding on and off road performance capabilities with leading comfort, exclusive Italian style, high-tech features and exceptional all weather handling even on snow and ice. It boasts Skyhook adaptive dampers coupled with an exclusive and sophisticated adaptive air suspension system that is standard on all versions. This sophisticated suspension - double-wishbone on the front axle and multi-link on the rear, combined with Skyhook electronically controlled damping, four corner air-springs providing 5 dynamic ride levels (plus one additional park-position), plays an essential role in the car's handling offering pure emotions in on-road conditions and superb handling in off-road environments.
With the lowest center of gravity in its class, Levante is perfectly balanced weight distribution (50- 50) between front and rear, high levels of dynamic torsional and flexional stiffness, and a mechanical self-locking rear differential as standard, when driven on-road, the Levante delivers all the performance and emotion typical of every Maserati.
Powered by a 3.0 liter V6 Twin-Turbo gasoline engine built by Ferrari, Levante's potent engines offer either 345 hp (Levante) or 424 hp (Levante S). All engines are combined with the "Q4" intelligent all-wheel drive system, which can transfer torque between the axles instantaneously when required - and an 8-speed automatic gearbox, with integrated Start&Stop System. Levante S (424 hp) covers 0-60 mph in 5.0 seconds and achieves a top speed of 164 mph. The Levante (345hp) accelerates from 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds with a top speed of 156 mph.
The spaciousness of the interior, enhanced by the available panoramic electric sunroof, is combined with coupé-sleek external lines and the best aerodynamic efficiency in its category with a Cx coefficient of just 0.31.
Both versions of the Maserati Levante adopt the eight-speed automatic ZF gearbox that provides seamless comfort and fast gear shifting, depending on the selected drive mode. The Levante driver can choose between four drive modes, "normal", "I.C.E.," "sport" and "off-road". Each one constitutes a distinct car character, intelligently altering engine, transmission, suspension and electronics features.
Two extended feature packages will be available: Luxury Package and Sport Package. Each includes a variety of options and stylistic enhancements to further personalize the exterior and interiors of the new Levante.
The Levante can also be equipped with the optional and highly exclusive Zegna Luxury Package that combines premium Italian leather with bespoke silk from Ermenegildo Zegna, made in Trivero by the Zegna wool mill with a patented process. The Zegna Luxury Package is an upgrade of the Full Leather option and is available only as an option within the Luxury Package. Three different color combinations of leather/silk and contrasting stitching in tan, red or black distinguish the interiors.
Additionally, Levante offers a variety of options, convenience features and stylistic enhancements to further personalize the exterior and interiors with the finest materials and refined handcrafted finishes for a superior touch and feel. A new human-machine interface (HMI), an evolution of the Maserati Touch Control system, has been completely updated for ease and convenience while driving, and includes capacitive 8.4" Touch Screen display with a brand new rotary control.
The luggage compartment of the Levante has been designed to provide a large and versatile load space of 19.4 cu. ft. With its regular shape, it can easily accommodate large luggage items. There is a 12-volt power socket in the luggage area plus three more sockets in the cabin.
The standard power tailgate opens and closes automatically without anyone having to physically lift it up or pull it down. The system has a special anti-pitching function that immediately stops the closing procedure when an obstacle is detected. The power tailgate system can be activated by the buttons on the tailgate, by the car's key fob and by a button on the dome light panel.
The standard equipment, apart from the aforementioned features, also includes: leather upholstery (upgraded for the 424 hp); Maserati 8.4-inch Touch Screen with Navigation; Base Audio System with 8 speakers; cruise control; Hill Descent Control; dual-zone climate system; wipers with rain sensor; keyless entry (all doors); and keyless start and electro-chromatic interior and exterior mirrors. Another standard feature is the easy entry & exit system that facilitates the driver's movements by automatically retracting the seat backwards and the steering column upwards. This is standard along with the electrical adjustable steering wheel. HomeLink® is a standard remote- control device integrated in the dome lighting unit in the ceiling above the dashboard. It can automatically operate garage doors, gates, or security lighting systems as the car approaches. HomeLink® can be programmed to operate up to three automatic systems, which is ideal for customers with more than one property.
The Levante also comes standard with double laminated acoustic glass for the windshield, front and rear windows that reduce external noise and guarantee excellent temperature stability. For total privacy, the rear door windows and the fifth door window come standard with darkened glass. Finally, the glove box lock is standard and can be activated and deactivated via the Maserati Touch Control Plus Screen using a four-digit PIN.
The Maserati display at New York Auto Show will also feature the iconic marque's complete range, comprised of the flagship Quattroporte full size executive sport sedan, successful mid-size Ghibli sedan and range topping GranTurismo Coupe and Convertible models.
The Levante unveil will take place at the Maserati display located on level three of the New York Auto Show – Jacob Javits Center at 1:50 pm (ET) on March 23, 2016.