Wait fi­nally over for Maserati SUV

7 Days in Dubai - - BUSINESS - shoshana@7days.ae

An Ital­ian car gi­ant waited 15 years to un­veil an SUV be­cause it wanted a ve­hi­cle that was “pure Maserati”.

So said Gen­eral Man­ager of Al Tayer Mo­tors Hos­sam Hosni to 7DAYS as the flag­ship SUV Le­vante was un­veiled for the first time in the Middle East yes­ter­day.

Speak­ing at an ex­clu­sive launch at the Royal Mi­rage Ho­tel in Dubai, he said: “This is purely Maserati, from chas­sis to equip­ment and de­sign, ev­ery­thing is Maserati. I’m very happy that we waited for so long to have a pure, 100 per cent Maserati SUV.”

The com­pany’s first sport util­ity ve­hi­cle, which re­ceived its world­wide de­but in Geneva on March 1, marks the com­pany’s break into the SUV mar­ket.

Um­berto Cini, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of global over­seas mar­kets, added: “The SUV rep­re­sents more or less 50 per cent of the lux­ury car mar­ket so we want to reach all those cus­tomers with a prod­uct which is in line with our brand, of­fer­ing Ital­ian de­sign, power, ex­clu­siv­ity.”

Cus­tomised with spe­cial fea­tures tailored for the Middle East mar­ket, the car is avail­able in UAE show­rooms from July for Dhs316,150 for the base model and Dhs363,150 for the Le­vante S, which is avail­able im­me­di­ately.

The car will be specif­i­cally tuned for the re­gion, with tech­ni­cal fea­tures such as cool­ing sys­tems and sand-driv­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

“The pro­ject was in the mind of Maserati for 15 years,” said Hosni, whose firm is the of­fi­cial Maserati im­porter in the UAE.

“They were al­ways de­lay­ing the launch of the con­cept un­til they got it right. This long pe­riod ac­tu­ally de­vel­oped the idea to have a pure Maserati, so ev­ery­thing in the car is Maserati, ex­cept the en­gine is made with our part­ners Fer­rari.”

Aside from it’s trade­mark Ital­ian swag­ger, the Le­vante is equipped with the 3.0l V6 en­gines found in other Maser­atis as well as a 360-de­gree cam­era and a dou­ble-wish­bone sus­pen­sion sys­tem.

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