What We Knew Then, What We Know Now
Starting with the hype…
Maserati, famed for its sports cars and performance machines, is broadening its horizons with its latest anticipated creation.
For the first time ever, Maserati is expected to unveil its very own sports utility vehicle. The automotive industry should get its official first glimpse of the SUV at the January 2016 North American International Auto Show, hosted in Detroit. Expect it to arrive in Maserati Albany NY showrooms sometime soon after.
Named for the Via Emilia Levante in Bologne, home of the Maserati brothers, details on the 2016 Maserati Levante are speculatively based on Maserati’s Kubang concept car, introduced at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show.
What we can be certain of is that this SUV is intended to compete with other performance-driven vehicles from the SUV segment, like the Porsche Cayenne. Maserati is not interested in challenging Jeep’s off-roading, all-terrain capabilities. This high-end SUV is designed with speed, style, and ultimate refinement in mind.
Donning svelte headlamps and giant air inlets, along with the Maserati-signature Trident grille, inspired by the statue of Neptune in Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore, the Levante is expected to sell between 10,000-15,000 units annually, potentially increasing yearly Maserati sales worldwide to 50,000 units.
Based on a platform created by modifying the Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans’ rear-wheel drive systems, the 2016 Levante will feature the Maserati-exclusive Q4 all-wheel drive. Rumor has it, the Levante will be powered by a 3.0-liter V6 or 3.8-liter V8, both engines operated by an eight-speed automatic transmission, with the most powerful option backed by 523 horses. Industry experts have already estimated the Levante at five seconds in the zero-to-sixty test, but official numbers have yet to be released.
Though the interior remains literally under wraps, the Levante will sport its own unique design, but will likely share some of the details found in the Ghibli. There should be a two-tone dashboard, for example, featuring a sizable infotainment screen.
As a nod to the Maserati racing legacy, expect to find a race-inspired steering wheel and instrument panel. Although the Levante should offer plenty of head and shoulder room up front, the back seats, particularly with respect to legroom, will likely mimic the Ghibli’s. Given its SUV-status, expect the Levante to offer more cargo space than ever before seen in a Maserati design.
Pricing is still a secret, but projected at a minimum of $80,000.
Amid all the speculation, there is no doubt that the 2016 Maserati Levante will successfully represent the brand’s mission to achieve, “Excellence Through Passion.”
Update! What We Know Now…
The Levante has arrived and is currently being sold as a 2017 model with a starting MSRP of $70,000 – a whole ten grand less than we had initially projected last summer. For an in-depth look at the new Levante, check out the details listed in our dedicated 2017 Maserati Levante page.