Spies have captured new photographs of the upcoming Maserati Levante as it continues to undergo testing in Italy and Sweden. The Levante crossover is Maserati’s first attempt to break in to the crossover and SUV segment. The design featured in the spy shots reveal that the new Levante borrows from Maserati’s Kubang concept, which was first sow at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show.
Now comes word that the Levante will officially debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March. The luxury SUV is taking on the Porsche Cayenne, the new Bentley Bentayga and also to some degree the Porsche Macan or Range Rover.
Maserati has not released a spec sheet for the new Levante, but it is expected to be offered with a variety of engines, including a V6 with tow engines with outputs of 350hp and 425 hp. There will also be a 580-horsepower V8 massaged with input from Ferrari. An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard regardless of which engine is under the hood. The Levante will use a modified version of the rear-wheel drive platforms in use on both the Ghibli and Quattroporte.
In Europe, the Levante is expected to produce at least one turbodiesel engine, and possibly a six-speed manual transmission. But these features will not make their way to North America.
The teaser shot released by Maserati shows the front of the car cloaked in darkness. The full roof line has not been revealed in the Geneva teaser photograph. The full roof line is a bit of a mystery, as spy shots from early February showed extra camouflage on the roof.
The spy shots reveal a crossover vehicle with sharp headlights and a power dome hood. The hexagonal grille with eight vertical slats and large air dams draw inspiration from the Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte. According to patent images that were leaked to the internet in 2015, the Levante has three vents on the fenders, which is a stylistic touch the model shares with Maserati’s Quattroporte, the Ghibli, and the GranTurismo. The headlights connect to the grille with a strong LED brow line.
Although the teaser dovetails almost perfectly with the leaked patent drawings, it does not look like the rounded fog lights made it to the final designs. The testing vehicles also don’t have the fog lights. It is still possible they will be offered as part of an off-road package.
Pricing and Market Strategy
The Levante is a key part of Maserati’s strategy to sell 75,000 cars a year by 2018. This is an ambitious goal, but having a crossover vehicle will certainly help, even with the Levante’s steep price tag. The Levante is will be manufactured in Turin, Italy,and carry a base price of approximately $100,000. Even at $100,000 Maserati thinks it can sell between 10,000 and 15,000 Levantes a year after it goes on sale as a 2017 model later this year. The top two markets for the Levante may be the United States and China.