The Maserati Levante:
A warm Mediterranean wind, a levante can turn bold, fast.
The new SUV from Maserati turns bold anywhere, as fast as you command. With two V-6 engines available that waft you quickly and safely in whatever direction you need to go, the Levante takes easily to its multi-tasking role as a family car that’s fun, too, Maserati style. Drop the kids off, then it’s on to an adult ride.
Even in the very competitive SUV luxury niche, the newest Trident makes many more than three points: best in class interior space; best in class aerodynamic coefficient: a Cx of 0.31; best in class specific power and torque for the 430-horse powerplant; best in class handling and brakes; an ideal 50:50 weight distribution, front to rear; and the lowest center of gravity in the SUV class.
The Levante will begin deliveries in October, says Gary Simon, general sales manager at Scottsdale Ferrari/Maserati, a Penske Automotive Dealership. Chad Morgan is the general manager.
The basic model will start in the mid $70,000 range and the S model in the mid $80,000’s.
Simon is estimating about three months for an ordered Levante, a wait worth the pangs of separation and expectation. “In short,” he says, “It is Italian good looks, responsive, with a great-sounding engine: a complete package at a very reasonable price.”
Manufactured in the refurbished Mirafiori factory outside of Turin, the Levante is based on the Ghibli platform and extensively incorporates aluminum in the chassis, body and suspension for lightness and strength, increased performance and decreased fuel expenditures.
Power comes either through one of two 3.0-liter twin-turbos built by Ferrari in Maranello: a standard engine with 350 horses and 369 lb/ft of torque or the stallion 430-horse, 428 lb/ft.
Automobile Magazine recently praised the Levante, as have other reviewers. “Every review raves about the power and response from the engine,” Simon explains. The 0 to 60 times are 5.8 seconds for the base car and 5.0 seconds for the S model, with top speeds of 156 and 164, respectively, he says.
Either way, the soccer field or neighborhood laundry never looked so close or mountain roads so tempting. Four-wheel drive is standard on all models, including torque vectoring, which enables the differential to vary power to each wheel.
“This is an engine built by Ferrari,” he adds. “The feel and sound of the engine also screams Italian sports car and puts Porsche on notice that there is a new sheriff in town.
“It is not about picking up the laundry; it is making a SUV feel and handle like a sports car. This does not look like every other SUV on the road. The exterior and interior of this car says, ‘I’m Italian and I’m a Maserati, get out of the way.’”
Available in 13 colors, Levante is expert in town, where its luxury, aesthetics and convenience are most apparent, and adventurous out of town, where toughness, agility and power allow you to enjoy those roads less traveled by lesser vehicles.
“All the tests of the car have raved about the comfort and drivability on and off the road,” Simon explains, adding that its two sports modes and two off-road modes allow tuning for any driving style or condition.
The Maserati Stability Program was specifically developed to satisfy the varying demands of on-road and off-road use. Other Levante standard features include a double wishbone front and five-link rear suspension, air spring suspension with four ride-height levels in addition to normal and parking height levels.
And, the electronically controlled Skyhook shock absorbers are adjustable to ride expectations. Press the “sport” button twice on the gearshift, and the shock absorbers stiffen, reducing load transfer. In sport mode, the throttle pedal is also more responsive, the engine mapping provides maximum over-boost and the exhaust system opens completely for that guttural sound enthusiasts enjoy.
The braking system is one legacy of Maserati’s long racing heritage: What goes fast must slow fast. On the Levante S, fronts are Brembo six-piston aluminum mono-bloc calipers working on drilled discs and aluminum floating calipers with ventilated drilled discs at the rear.
Advanced Driver Assistance systems ensures a safe ride for yourself, your family and guests. These are the hill holder; hill descent control; adaptive cruise control with stop and go; blind spot alert; lane departure warning; forward collision warning; rear view and surround view camera; and park assist. And, six airbags are standard: two dual-stage front, two side airbags and two side curtain airbags fitted in the roof lining to protect against head injuries.
Inside, this is also undoubtedly Maserati, with standard features such as all-leather interior, sport steering wheel, brushed steel sport pedals and an interactive 8.4-inch touch command screen. Upgrade, too, with luxuries such as the Zegna Edition pack that combines premium Italian leather and silk from fashion designer Ermenegildo Zegna.
“It looks, smells and feels Italian grand touring car inside,” Simon notes. “I was impressed with the open, spacious feel of the interior. Best of all, there’s good rear seat room for even tall adults.
“Home to the grocery store or home to the mountains and back, the fun is in the drive, not the destination,” he adds. “Couple that with a spacious, comfortable and beautiful interior, and you have something special.
So special, Simon concludes, “Maserati gets five gold stars. This car is going to be a winner!”
Scottsdale Ferrari | Maserati, www.scottsdaleferrari.com or (888) 964-6056