2016 Maserati Levante revealed

#hashtags: #TAGS #Maserati Levante 2016 #Maserati Levante #Maserati #SUV #Prestige #Luxury Cars #March 2016 #John Carey #CarsGuide #Levante

TAGS Maserati Levante 2016 Maserati Levante Maserati SUV Prestige & Luxury Cars 2016 Maserati Levante revealed

4 March 2016 by John Carey · CarsGuide

2016 Maserati Levante 2016 Maserati Levante 2016 Maserati Levante

Maserati's emblem depicts a weapon, which is now turned threateningly in the direction of Porsche and Range Rover.

The new Levante, the latest model from the boutique Italian brand with the trident badge, aims to challenge well-established luxury SUV rivals built elsewhere in Europe.

Maserati chief Harald Wester told the crowd at the Levante’s Geneva unveiling that it was “a truly unique alternative to the rest”.

The German-born engineer cites the Maserati’s technical advantages. The big, tall and broad SUV has a lower centre of gravity than competitors and ideal 50-50 weight distribution front and rear. It’s been designed to handle well on normal roads, in other words.

Wester claims the Levante can match the best in class all-round capability, meaning it’s been engineered to cope with snow and sand, mud and rocks.

An SUV was always part of Maserati’s brand-revival master plan, he says.

The Levante shares many mechanical parts and much of its structure with the successful Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans. Both started production years before Levante but the SUV was taken into account at the design stage.

Road testing will establish whether the Levante can do all Wester says it can. In the case of Australia, that is some way off.

Levante production is under way in Turin but Europe, the US and other large markets head the queue for deliveries.

Maserati Australasia boss Glen Sealey expects the first Levante shipment to reach Australia at the end of the year.

They will all be diesel powered, he says, with the same 202kW 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 used in the Ghibli and Quattroporte. “That is the most important drivetrain,” Sealey says, noting the dominance of diesels in the luxury SUV market in Australia.

Pricing is yet to be decided but Maserati’s cheapest current model is the $140,000 Ghibli diesel. Levantes will have an eight-speed automatic and Maserati’s Q4 all-wheel-drive. Petrol engine options will be 243kW and 301kW versions of the company’s twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6, produced by Ferrari.

These engines are not confirmed for Australia but Sealey reckons the Levante will become the brand’s best-selling model here.

Do Porsche and Range Rover have anything to fear from Maserati's Levante? Tell us in the comments below. Related articles 2016 Audi A4 review | first drive video3 March 2016 by Peter Anderson Australian fix for Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda diesel engines still unclear26 February 2016 by Joshua Dowling 2016 Audi A4 review | first Australian drive26 February 2016 by Joshua Dowling 2016 Audi R8 V10 Plus review | track test23 February 2016 by Peter Anderson 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron review | road test17 February 2016 by Peter Anderson Comments Related articles 2016 Audi A4 review | first drive video3 March 2016 by Peter Anderson Australian fix for Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda diesel engines still unclear26 February 2016 by Joshua Dowling 2016 Audi A4 review | first Australian drive26 February 2016 by Joshua Dowling 2016 Audi R8 V10 Plus review | track test23 February 2016 by Peter Anderson 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron review | road test17 February 2016 by Peter Anderson Related pages Maserati Levante Maserati SUV Related cars for sale Search Maserati cars for sale Search Maserati SUVs for sale Get the latest news, reviews and advice every week '); }