Was the wait worth it?
It has taken years but Maserati finally revealed its Levante SUV today. You might remember that the Levante first started life as the Kubang. It's been many years since the Kubang concept debuted and as such a lot has changed. Maserati only released shots of the exterior so we don't know what's going on inside or under the hood. Okay, we know a bit about what's under the hood but we'll get there in a second. The biggest change from the concept to production version is in the looks department. The Levante looks sleeker and longer than the Kubang.
Its signature exterior highlights include the three air vents along the front wings (a Maserati standard), trapezoidal C-pillars, nifty headlights that run into the grille and frameless door windows. Press release talking points aside we really do love the grille of the Levante and the back-end. It's a lot sharper than the curvier Kubang and looks more SUV-ish than whatever the hell concept car Maserati was parading around last year. Maserati didn't release exact engine details but did say that an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive will come standard. What size engine that transmission will be mated to remains a mystery, although the automaker did say that diesel and gasoline options will be on offer.
Also standard is "sophisticated" electronic suspension featuring controlled damping and air springs. Maserati says that production has already started and that the first vehicles will be sold in Europe this spring. A worldwide roll out is set for the end of 2016. The Levante is entering an increasingly crowded field but from the looks of its exterior it could be a serious competitor. Maserati didn't announce a price but remember that one of its execs said it would check in at 10 percent over the Ghibli. Maserati needs all the help it can get nowadays, and if we've learned one thing over the past few years it's that people can't stop buying SUVs. We'll know more about the Levante and have live shots when it makes its official debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.