As sales for the Levante heat up, we could see a souped-up version of Maserati's SUV based on the Quattroporte.
The sleek and stylish Maserati Levante is arguably the best-looking crossover SUV released this year, which probably isn't surprising given its Italian heritage. It's more than just a pretty face too, packing a 3.0-liter V6 engine that delivers 430 hp. Eager to compete with rivals such as the BMW X6 M, Maserati has hinted at releasing a hot version of the Levante. Should this happen, the potent Levante could be based on Maserati's flagship Quattroporte luxury sedan, which has a 3.8-liter V8 engine delivering 523 hp.
Both have similar weights too, so the Levante shouldn't have too much trouble matching the Quattroporte's 0–62 mph time of around 4.5 seconds – that's 2 seconds faster than the Levante's current 3.0-liter diesel can currently manage. "For sure, we have the engine on the Quattroporte so there is potential, but it has to be justified by volumes," Maserati's global operations boss Alberto Cavaggioni told Autocar. For now though, Maserati is focusing on making "lots of improvements" to the standard Levante. Speaking to Auto Express, Cavaggioni cites slow sales in the performance SUV market for being apprehensive.
"The global market for SUVs beyond 500 hp is tiny – only around 12,500. So we would have to look at how much we put in and what we can get out. But it is good to have something in your pocket to show what you can do." Cavaggioni also sees the Quattroporte as a benchmark for the future: "If you mirror what we do with the Quattroporte, we could do the same on everything we do." Recently released in the US, Maserati's first SUV has been a huge hit. The company's sales are up globally by 21 percent this year, while November figures were up 65 per year on year thanks to the Levante's launch. Quite an achievement for a company that only sold 6,000 cars a few years back. Maserati's reputation is truly back on track.