TURIN, Italy – Maserati’s first on/off-road sport utility vehicle is pretty certain to draw some speculative attention when showin in the metal at the 2016 Geneva international auto show in March.
These images are believed to be the first official pictures of the vehicle – to be marketed as the Levante – which claims to be the first such product in the Trident brand’s more than a century of production.
It will, the automaker says, complete the Maserati’s range of sedan and sports cars – the others are the Quattroporte, Ghibli, GranTurismo and GranCabrio.
“The design of the Levante,” Maserati told The Corner in a media release, “has clear associations with the Maserati brand and its distinctive Italian character. The nose has new, tapered, headlights in two elements, the upper unit connected to the radiator grille.
“Maserati’s design signature is also clearly visible from the sides through the three iconic air vents on the front wings, the trapezoidal C pillar with the Saetta logo and the large, frameless door windows. The rear is dominated by the very tapered rear window and streamlined shape, each typical of a high-performance sports car.”
The Levante’s chassis is said to combine the “outstanding on-road performance” typical of every Maserati with unrivalled handling even on very low-grip surfaces and an excellent off-road performance and ride.
Technical stuff is also generous: all versions have sophisticated electronic suspension with controlled damping and air springs which can be set on several levels, all-wheel drive and and eight8-speed auto transmission calibrated for the SUV.
Petrol or diesel engines will be available.
The Maserati Levante will be assembled built at the Mirafiori plant in Turin though the first units have already come off the line with the European launch is planned for March/April 2016 with other markets receiving stock during the rest of the year.