Mini Review

Maserati Levante with Mansory modificati­ons

- Special thank you to SMG Collection

Fun Factor Performanc­e Rarity Investment Value

This is something special! A Ferrari derived V6 twin turbo upfront, a wide body from Mansory and carbon fibre embellishm­ents very tastefully done front and rear. No trident Levante has looked so menacing. The blacked out grill treatment brings to mind another mythical creature and I somehow hear him say ‘Luke, I am your father’. Then the engine fires up and I am convinced that Darth Vader would drive this when amongst us mortals. A crackle and a snarly burble lets you know that the heart of this beast has been orchestrat­ed for aural bliss. I don’t know any other manufactur­er that spends as much time on the engine note like Ferrari does. Their engine noises have been known to intoxicate petrol heads the world over and Maserati has chosen well from sister company Ferrari for the heart of this beast.

The Maserati Levante has not been the nicest SUV to look at but Mansory, the German luxury car modificati­on company has taken the Levante to the dark side of aggression levels. This vehicle turns heads wherever you venture and the exhaust note in sports mode certainly announces your arrival. Mansory have given it a complete wide body kit including side flaps and a new grill mask with vertical and horizontal accents in carbon fibre. The wheelhouse expansions and door attachment­s increase the width of the vehicle and the rear diffusor which most motorists will view, fit in perfectly with the angular quad exhausts split on either end. Brown chocolate leather with matching wood inserts shout Italian styling and the feeling one gets is one of quality and luxury in a very tasteful execution. Not many manufactur­ers make seats that cosset you like the Maserati does and very few are able to withstand 22 inch wheels on sports suspension without it pounding your kidneys and lower back. The ride quality is the perfect balance between luxurious comfort and dynamic performanc­e.

I always wondered about those tail like barbs on the edges of the trident - Maserati’s emblem - and I can see how it works. The tail whips itself out of the front grill and cracks itself on the cars in front hogging the fast lane. Boy, it certainly works. It’s like watching mice scurrying out the way of this rather aggressive looking creature coming up behind them. Or is that Stormtroop­ers wishing that the light saber is not cracked on their heads? Speaking of light sabers, this car is wrapped in frozen white which accentuate­s the carbon fibre better than any other colour.

This is not so much an SUV but more a GT that could traverse expanses of country or planet in a short space of time in comfort. The twin turbo V6 has no noticeable lag and the gearbox a ZF eight speed has a cog for every situation. I don’t know who measures gear changes any longer however for me it’s perfectly instant. Flick the lever and a gear is available, while the engine will blip the throttle on a downchange and that crackly snarl is there in between changes. Its symphony for the enthusiast driver or for those listening on the sidewalk. This is theatre and this is what the Italians bring to motoring. The Germans may have perfected the modern motor vehicle but the Italians give it soul. In this case Mansory have done both.

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