MASERATI LEVANTE 3,0 DIESEL
We scrutinise the very first SUV from Italian premium brand Maserati
R1 650 000 202 kw/600 N.m 230 km/h
ASERATI. The mere mention of the name conjures up images of sun-kissed Italian beaches studded with fashionable socialites drinking champagne while watching the sun set over the Mediterranean. For a brand that epitomises la dolce vita, the last thing we expected from the stylish Italians was a high-off-the-ground, all-wheel-drive SUV. Such a model is at odds with the long tradition of sports and GT models begun by the Maserati brothers at the start of the previous century.
However, even that once die-hard producer of sportscars, Porsche,
M7,44 sec realised that it simply had to recognise market demands to stay pro table and, now, the Modenese rm has also joined the ranks of Bentley, BMW, Mercedes-benz and, soon enough, Rolls-royce and Lamborghini by offering its very own take on the SUV theme. Welcome to the Levante, a model that, if you’re wondering, is named after a warm Mediterranean wind.
Of course, being style-consciously Italian, Maserati wasn’t simply going to churn out a squared-off, two-box design, and the Levante’s curvaceous lines immediately set it apart from more angular rivals. While there are hints of Jaguar F-pace around the rump and more than one tester was reminded of In niti’s ungainly QX70, the Levante certainly stands out from a sea of Range Rover Sports and Porsche cayennes.
Even with relatively few Maseratis on South African roads, and considering that the SUV derivative is all new, it was interesting to note how quickly onlookers pegged our test car as a Maserati. The large front-sited air intake,