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Maserati joins SUV ranks with Levante

Luxury performance utility will rival utilities from BMW and Mercedes

Maserati Levante

Maserati will join the luxury utility ranks when it unveils its first SUV, named Levante, at the Geneva Motor show in about a week’s time.

After about 100 years of “sports” history, the company has finally a sport utility to display alongside its GranTurismo, GranCabrio, Quattroporte and Ghibli cars. The look of the SUV is in line with the rest of the line, with large waterfall grille displaying the Maserati trident (which the company refers to as Saetta). From the side, the face has a distinct cat-like predator scowl.

Other signature cues include the porthole vents on the fenders, behind the front wheel wells, and the Saetta logo on the broad C-pillars. The rear also bears a resemblance to other Maseratis, while conveying the wide stable look of most sports cars.

Under the nicely-crafted body, sits the type of chassis drivers have come to expect from Maserati, promising superb unrivalled ride and handling on and off road, thanks to the Q4 intelligent all-wheel drive system, controlled by an 8-speed automatic transmission. The standard electronic air suspension includes controlled damping and springs that can be set to several levels

In Europe, Levante is powered by a choice of gasoline and diesel engines, though only the gasoline variants are likely to be offered in North America.

Specifics will be revealed at the vehicle’s launch in Geneva, though they’ve already started to come off the Turin assembly line for European deliveries in spring 2016. The rest of the world is due to start receiving Levantes later in 2016.

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