2015 Maserati Levante: A Blend of Porsche Cayenne and BMW X6
- The 2015 Maserati Levante will offer a Latin blend of the BMW X6 and Porsche Cayenne, company insiders told Edmunds.
- Maserati now says the Levante will not be produced in the U.S., due to high demand for Jeeps.
- Drivetrains for the 2015 Maserati Levante will include the brand's new 410-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, a 530-hp twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 engine and a turbodiesel engine for Europe.
The Levante is Maserati's first SUV. It is slated for launch in the first half of 2015. Pricing has not been announced.
Drivetrains for the 2015 Maserati Levante will include the brand's new 410-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, a 530-hp twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 engine and a turbodiesel engine for Europe. The engines will be linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission and a version of the all-wheel-drive system now debuting in the Maserati Quattroporte.
The all-wheel-drive system will be modified for the Levante's dual-purpose role, however, and Maserati is expected to draw on sister brand Jeep's expertise for the SUV's rough-terrain capabilities.
The Levante's core structure will likely owe something to the new Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans, and some electronic architecture will come from Chrysler and Jeep. As with the Quattroporte and Ghibli, the Levante is expected to feature a high aluminum content for its body and suspension in a quest to reduce weight.
The key ingredients in the Maserati Levante will be a sporty feel, pavement-biased driving dynamics, athletic styling and room for five. The cabin is said to be as sumptuous as that of the new Quattroporte.
The Maserati Kubang concept continues to provide clues to the SUV's visual character, if not its actual shape.
The Levante may not have a "Made in America" label.
Maserati originally planned for the Levante to be built at a North American plant, but the demand for Jeeps at Chrysler's Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit is now too strong for this to make sense, Edmunds has learned. The Levante shares underpinnings with the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Maserati boss Harald Wester says that the Levante is now expected to be built in Italy, although not at Maserati's newly equipped Grugliasco plant. The Levante is too big for the body-framing equipment and paint plant to handle.
Maserati confirmed the name of its new SUV at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. It scrapped the Kubang name, which was used on the concept version. The Levante name is derived from "Via Emilia Levante" in Bologna where, almost a century ago, the Maserati brothers came up with the idea for their company.
Edmunds says: The Levante is a major weapon in Maserati's drive to push global sales from 6,300 last year to 50,000 as early as 2015.