Words: Ganesh Murthy
Maserati has brought in the Levante, its first ever SUV, for the Indian market. The 2018 Levante is available in three variants and is offered only with a diesel engine. The Levante looks mean and aggressive with its vertical 8-slit grille, and the massive signature trident nestled at the centre. It has muscular wheel arches with gills on its sides, a signature trait that all Maserati cars come with. The roof of the SUV gently flows to give it a coupe like appearance, ending with a roof spoiler and it gets quad exhausts to complete the sporty look.
Under the bonnet of the SUV is a 3-litre V6 turbo diesel motor that belts out 275bhp. It comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission and comes with an all-wheel drive system. It can hit the ton at a claimed 6.9 seconds from standstill with a top whack of 230kmph. The SUV also boasts a drag co-efficient of 0.31 and a weight distribution of 50:50. The Levante gets air suspension with electronically controlled damping and five ride levels. The Levante comes with driver aids like electric power steering, Advance Driving Assist Systems (ADAS) packages which include highway assist, lane assist, blind spot assist and traffic sign recognition. Optional features include start/stop function, collision warning, brake assist, lane departure alert, blind spot alert, surround view and auto tailgate mechanism.
As expected of an SUV from Italy, style takes precedence as the carmaker has roped in Ermenegildo Zegna, an Italian luxury fashion house that makes men’s apparel and accessories, for designing the car’s interiors. The interiors are made from wood, platinum-effect metals, leathers and gets handcrafted stitching. It gets an 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system and customers have a choice to select between Bowers & Wilkins and Harman Kardon audio systems. The SUV is also available in three variants. The base variant is priced at Rs 1.45 crore while the two new variants, the GranSport and the top-of-the-line GranLusso are priced at Rs 1.48 crore and Rs 1.53 crore (ex-showroom, India) respectively.