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Maserati Levante SUV revealed before early 2017 arrival

CHASING THE DOLLARS: Maserati follows Porsche and Bentley as a sportscar brand hoping to score big sales in the lucrative SUV market.
CHASING THE DOLLARS: Maserati follows Porsche and Bentley as a sportscar brand hoping to score big sales in the lucrative SUV market.

SO, another proud sports car maker selling its soul to the SUV gods?

Well, yes and no. Maserati does large, sumptuous and rapid long distance GT cruisers very well indeed (see the Quattroporte for example), so the SUV leap isn't exactly surprising, especially when there are buyers bashing down doors to drop dollars on anything luxury and high riding.

Welcome, then, the Maserati Levante. Pictures of the premium Italian SUV have been released ahead of its in-the-metal reveal at next week's Geneva Motor Show, with confirmation the model will arrive down under early in 2017.

Maserati Levante SUV. Photo: Contributed
Maserati Levante SUV. Photo: Contributed

Sadly there are scant details on much else Levante related, principally exactly what it will be powered by and how quick it will go. It's a Maserati so we're not expecting anything too pedestrian of course, but all we know for now is there will be petrol and diesel versions.

All Levantes will feature electronic suspension with controlled damping and air springs, "Q4" intelligent all-wheel-drive and a specially calibrated eight-speed automatic transmission.

Design-wise you can make your own call on Maser's first SUV effort, which its media release says features "clear associations with the Maserati brand and its distinctive Italian character (with) aggressive front end, three iconic air vents on the front wings, trapezoidal C-pillar, frameless door windows and strongly tapered back window typical of a high-performance sports car."

Maserati Levante SUV. Photo: Contributed
Maserati Levante SUV. Photo: Contributed

While there will be aficionados decrying a Maserati SUV, its tradition of building GT cars makes it a logical (from a dollars point of view) next step in the market, not least with rival sporting GT builder Bentley offering its Bentayga SUV. A car, Bentley said, it pre-sold 5000 of, making it easily the brand's best seller and a dead-set hero with the company's bean counters.

Besides, Lamborghini is launching its Urus SUV effort in 2018, showing very little is sacred. Unless you're Ferrari, who insists there will be no Prancing Horse SUV. We'll see…

Maserati Levante SUV. Photo: Contributed
Maserati Levante SUV. Photo: Contributed

Topics:  future models motoring suv


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