Maserati Australia has confirmed a $139,990 starting price for its first-ever SUV, the Maserati Levante, with the all-new Ghibli-based crossover all set for a late-2016 debut.
Due to arrive in local showrooms in December this year, the Levante will be available in three distinct models - base Levante, Levante Sport and Levante Luxury - with all variants powered by the same 202kW 3.0 litre turbo diesel V6.
The Levante Sport and Levante Luxury wear identical $159,990 price tags, but differ in their presentation and fit-out.
While the Levante Sport features deeper-contoured seats, 21-inch alloys, wheel-mounted shift paddles, steel sports pedals, a unique steering wheel, additional aero parts and a blacked-out grille, the Luxury receives a chromed front grille, premium leather upholstery, 20-inch alloys, comfort-oriented front seats and wood interior trim.
The Levante’s boot measures in at 580 litres with the rear seats in place, and towing capacity maxes out at 2700kg on a braked trailer.
Features available on the range include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and autonomous braking, a top-down parking camera view, lane departure warning, an 8.4-inch colour touchscreen (a 7-inch display is standard), bi-xenon headlamps, DAB+ digital radio and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring.
A special Zegna Edition option pack can also be specified for the Levante Luxury, which adds Italian leather and Mulberry Silk upholstery from the Ermenegildo Zegna fashion house.
Beneath its bodywork lies an evolution of the Maserati Ghibli’s chassis architecture, which, though largely constructed of steel, makes extensive use of aluminium to reduce overall weight, lower the centre of gravity and deliver a dynamically-beneficial 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution.
With aluminium double-wishbone suspension at the front and a five-link independent setup at the rear, all Levante’s are equipped with adjustable air suspension and electronically variable dampers as standard, with ride height able to be adjusted through an 8cm range.
Power and torque goes to all four wheels via Maserati’s Q4 AWD system, which incorporates an agility-boosting torque vectoring function. Under normal driving conditions, 100 percent of torque is sent to the rear wheels.
Torque only starts to be taken to the front axles when slip is detected, and a limited slip rear differential helps promote traction under power.
Maserati bills the Levante as being one of the best-handling SUVs in its class as well as one of the most comfortable, and it certainly has the right hardware to back up that claim.
Unlike the bulk of its competitors, though, the Levante will only be available with diesel power for now.
Sharing its powerplant with the Ghibli D and Quattroporte Turbo Diesel, the 2017 Maserati Levante’s 3.0 litre diesel V6 makes 202kW of power at 4000rpm and 600Nm of torque between 2000rpm and 2600rpm.
An eight-speed automatic is standard across the range, and all models accomplish the 0-100km/h run in 6.9 seconds and consume an average of 7.2 l/100km per 100km.
- Levante - $139,990
- Levante Sport - $159,990
- Levante Luxury - $159,990
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