Maserati Levante puts the Trident brand into the hard (but pleasant) path of profits

If Porsche believed in an automotive God, it would build an altar to the God Cayenne. It may not be considered as a true Porsche by purists (what is a true Porsche for them other than air-cooled 911’s?), but it was a hell of a move from Wendelin Wiedeking, Porsche’s CEO at the time. It is amazing that luxury brands have taken 14 years to understand that, but they have. Just check Bentley having to raise its production of the Bentayga due to its success. Or Maserati finally presenting the Levante. And we have its full technical specifications, besides what we had already anticipated.

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The Levante is 5 m long, 1.97 m wide, 1.68 m tall and has a generous wheelbase of 3 m. It is powered by 2 engines: a 3.0 turbocharged petrol V6 that delivers 257 kW, called Levante 350, or 316 kW, called Levante S 430, both at 5,750 rpm, and a 3.0 turbodiesel V6 that produces 202 kW at 4,000 rpm. Torque is respectively 500 Nm and 580 Nm, both from 4,500 rpm up to 5,00 rpm, and 600 Nm from 2,000 rpm to 2,600 rpm.

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With its diesel engine, the Levante can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.9 s and reach a top speed of 230 km/h. With its petrol versions, the Levante 350 will accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 6 s and reach 251 km/h. The S 430 will do the same in 5.2 s and keep on going until its speedometer marks 264 km/h. If it is well calibrated and shows real speed.

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The transmission will be the 8-speed ZF AT8 – HP70 automatic gearbox already used by other Maserati models. There are also rumors of a 433 kW V8 for the top version, which will probably be presented later this year.

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Maserati claims the Levante is fully capable to cope with off-road. Its Q4 All Wheel Drive system would also offer a nice onroad experience, with standard torque vectoring capabilities. A weight distribution of 50/50, as well as an alleged lowest center of mass for SUVs, also promises to help on driving dynamics. We surely would love to see how it behaves!

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It is one of the most aerodynamic SUVs in the market, according to the Italian carmaker, with an aerodynamic coefficient of 0.31. It uses double wishbone suspensions at the front and five-link at the rear, with air springs and Skyhook electronically controlled dampers, with 4 ride height possible levels.

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The entry-level versions, both with petrol and diesel engines, use 18-inch alloy wheels, with 255/60 ZR18 tires. The Levante S 430 uses 19-inch wheels and 265/50 ZR19 tires in the front wheels and 295/45 ZR19 in the rear axle.

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Produced in Mirafiori, the same factory where the Fiat 500X and the Jeep Renegade are built, the Levante will start being offered in the second quarter of this year in Europe. Until the end of 2016 it will also be sold in other markets where Maserati is present.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.