MASERATI LE­VANTE

Car (South Africa) - - SHOWROOM BUY -

R1 650 000

The SUV cat­e­gory has been growing year on year, with an ever-in­creas­ing num­ber of premium au­tomak­ers ad­ding these types of de­riv­a­tives to their prod­uct line-ups. Maserati is the lat­est to launch a full-size, lux­ury SUV into the lo­cal mar­ket and the Le­vante, named for a warm, Mediter­ranean wind, is a high-end lux­ury propo­si­tion that goes head to head with the likes of Porsche’s Cayenne, BMW’S X5 and Range Rover’s Sport mod­els.

The styling of the all-new model is par­tic­u­larly dis­tinc­tive, with a large air-in­take dom­i­nat­ing the vis­age and proudly host­ing the Tri­dent logo of the Ital­ian mar­que. Over­all, the shape is quite curvy, more so than many of its ri­vals, giv­ing it an edge in the ap­pear­ance depart­ment.

Pow­er­ing the Le­vante is a 3,0-litre V6 tur­bod­iesel that pro­duces 202 kw of power and 600 N.m of torque, the lat­ter de­vel­oped be­tween 2 000 and 2 600 r/min. Power trans­mis­sion is han­dled by an eight-speed au­to­matic and drive is sent to all four wheels. Variable torque split front to rear and a mechanical rear lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial ensure that Maserati’s first SUV can ven­ture off the beaten path. The man­u­fac­turer claims that the Le­vante will sprint from 0-100 km/h in 6,9 sec­onds and reach a top speed of 230 km/h.

Stan­dard spec­i­fi­ca­tion is ex­pect­edly high, although po­ten­tial own­ers can or­der any num­ber of op­tions, many of which can be bought in pack­ages. In­cluded in the price is a five-year/ 100 000 km ser­vice plan and three-year un­lim­ited mileage warranty.

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