MHH International Meets The Maserati Levante

Maserati Levante, Front view at speed,  MHH International.
Last year Italian motor maestro Maserati revealed the Levante. The idea of a SUV from the company that has previously given us such desirable and sexy sports cars stuck in the throat like a tenacious chicken bone. It just did not seem right. Well, they went and built it anyway presumably because all the other brands offered at least one of these leviathans of the road. Fortunately we need not have worried; it is very much a Maserati.

It is the first SUV in the brand's more than one hundred year history and adds the final touch to the existing range of saloon and sports cars, joining the Quattroporte, Ghibli, GranTurismo and GranCabrio models.

 

Looks In Keeping With The Name

 

The design of the Levante follows the SUV template but still features clear associations with the Maserati brand and its distinctive Italian character. The typically aggressive front introduces new, tapered headlights separated into two elements, with the upper headlight unit connected to the radiator grille.

 

Maserati's design signature is clearly visible thanks to the traditional gaping mouth grille. That is augmented on the sides by three 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 back window and streamlined shape, demonstrating that high-performance sports car heritage.

 

When it first appeared on our shores the Maserati Levante came only with a diesel engine. That was fine; it’s a great drive. Finally though the eagerly anticipated petrol-engined Levante S is now available to order in the UK.

 

Maserati Levante Interior, MHH International

 

The Power We Expect From Maserati

 

The Levante S has been engineered to excite the sport-focused driver, thank goodness. It makes extensive use of lightweight materials, boasts the ideal 50:50 weight distribution and the SUV  segment’s lowest centre of gravity. Importantly, this delivers unparalleled agility for a vehicle in the luxury SUV class.

 

Power comes from the latest evolution of the Maserati 3.0-litre V6 engine that delivers the signature sound and exceptional performance we expect from the brand, with 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 164mph. An eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, provides seamless and ultra-fast gear shifting. Drivers can choose between four drive modes: Normal, ICE, Sport and Off-Road. Each one uses different settings, intelligently altering engine, transmission, suspension and electronic settings when required.

 

ICE is for the slippery stuff and routine driving is handled by Normal. It’s the Sport button that is a bit of a revelation. Press it once and the car wakes up, tightening the throttle response, signalling the transmission to hold gears and, most important, opening valves in the exhaust to let people in the next town know you are en route. Poke that button one more time and a more aggressive suspension tune jumps into action, limiting roll as much as it can for such a large vehicle. 

 

Maserati Levante, MHH International

 

The 430bhp Levante S features a state-of-the-art braking system with Brembo 6-piston aluminium monobloc callipers working on 380mm drilled discs. Aluminium 42mm floating callipers with 330mmx22mm ventilated drilled discs are fitted at the rear.

 

In addition, the aluminium double-wishbone, five-link suspension layout of Levante S comprises standard Air Springs and electronically-controlled Skyhook shock absorbers. In conjunction with the Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive System and the torque vectoring system, the chassis delivers GT on-road dynamics and surprising off-road capabilities.

 

As you can see from the image the interior is in keeping with the name. You can buy the Maserati Levante S in the usual two distinct trim levels: the GranLusso and GranSport. The car is available to order now from £70,755 in the UK.

 

Maserati Levante, MHH International

 



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