Since its introduction, the Maserati Levante has been something of a letdown. While the rest of the segment has seen automakers raking in billions from models such as the Cayenne and Macan (Porsche), GLC (Mercedes-Benz), Bentayga (Bentley), etc.; Maserati’s Levante was seemingly forgotten. Though the aggressive look of the Levante is arguably better than the rest of the super SUV segment, it had neither the grunt nor the presence of its rivals. Maserati believes it’s finally found the formula for the Levante to succeed and it involves a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8 developed by Ferrari.
The real problem with the Levante was the lackluster performance from the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 that comes standard. Though enough to propel the smaller Maserati Ghibli sedan, the six-cylinder mill was boring.
The new motor is most definitely not boring. As mentioned, the engine was developed by Ferrari, and though it isn’t shared in any of Maranello’s prancing horses, the V-8 is ready to deliver a fiery 550 horsepower and 538 lb-ft of torque, all of which is sent through the Levante GTS’ all-wheel-drive system.
Doubters of the new engine only need to reference how short a time frame it takes the SUV to hit 60 mph. For the Levante GTS, 60 mph comes in just 4 seconds flat. That’s faster than Bentley’s Bentayga V-8, faster than Jeep’s Grand Cherokee SRT, and just a hair slower than Porsche’s always dominant Cayenne Turbo S. Furthermore, the engine is located far enough back in the Levante GTS’ chassis that allowed Maserati’s engineers to somehow craft the SUV with a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. As such, Maserati claims that the Levante GTS makes no compromise between handling prowess and grand touring comfort.
And though you’d expect a nearly 600-horsepower SUV to be fast, the Levante GTS’ 181 mph top speed still feels somewhat ludicrous given its size and dimensions. As for the price for all this power and performance, well, Maserati has pegged the Levante GTS’ sticker at $119,980, which honestly sounds like one big pill to swallow. But when you compare it the SUVs it competes against, isn’t really a terrible amount, especially when you want to go fast, look good and have a badge with as much history as Maserati.
Thank you, Maserati, for finally giving us the Levante of our dreams. The GTS will be available in fall 2018.
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