The Maserati Levante is Finally On Its Way for 2016
After three years of hinting, Maserati is finally set to release its Levante luxury SUV model.
The high performance crossover represents Maserati’s first foray into the SUV market and easily one of the most anticipated models for the coming year.
If you’re as excited as we are about the Levante and other Maseratis for sale this and next year, make sure to get in touch with your nearby Maserati dealer to keep in touch about release dates and details.
The Levante began as the Kubang concept, which first premiered at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. This impressive display was hinted as having a uniquely-built engine and a specially-developed eight-speed transmission.
Since then, the model has been significantly developed into the newly-patented Levante model, which Maserati first announced at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. Notably altered from the original Kubang concept, the new model was, as Edmunds quoted a Maserati insider describing it, as “a Latin blend of the BMW X6 and Porsche Cayenne.”
Because of design changes and an overhaul on the platform system, the release date of early 2015 has been pushed, with production expected to begin in early 2016. Maserati says the Levante model should be out to consumers by late 2016 as a 2017 model.
Originally, the Levante was set to be based on the Jeep Cherokee’s running gear, but Maserati decided on changes to the platform system involving customization of the rear-wheel-drive underpinnings of its own 2016 Quattroporte and Ghibli models that make the Levante wider and slightly shorter.
The Levante model will feature the standard V6 engines found in the Quattroporte and Ghibli – the 3.0-liter, 350 hp and the 3.6-liter, 425 hp – along with a V8 which Maserati promises will deliver over 560 hp. European drivers can expect a diesel engine Levante as well, in three states of tune. The Levante will also come with an eight-speed ZF Automatic Transmission from the sixth generation Quattroporte.
This four-wheel drive SUV promises to deliver classic Maserati luxury as well, boasting a center console featuring Maserati Touch Control with a full-color 8.1-inch TFT touch screen display.
Maserati has done quite a job keeping the design of this new model under wraps – even outfitting test cars with a modified Ghibli body and a heavily camouflaged trim – just to maintain the secrecy of the final design. Unfortunately for them, leaked patent drawings registered in Australia give a pretty detailed look at what consumers can expect in the new Levante – and everyone seems excited.
Although Maserati had originally planned to build the Levante at Chrysler’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, which made particularly more sense when the two shared an underpinning design. Demand for Jeep Cherokees, however, pushed the Levante’s construction back to Maserati’s Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy.
According to Motor Authority, the Levante should expect to see sales around 10,000 to 15,000 per year to start. The 2017 Maserati Levante is set to be officially unveiled next March at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.
Photos by David Villarreal Fernández via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.