We’ve just gotten used to the idea that Maserati is now an purveyor of SUVs, albeit a sleek and very Italian interpretation of a four-wheel driven high-riding 5-seater, with the release of the Levante earlier this year.
And let’s face it, we were all wondering how much performance they'd be willing to endow it with. While the 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged engine is a decent dance partner that produces either 261kW or 320kW, so too is the 8-speed ZF automatic transmission, the loom of Maserati’s V8 engines is too much to ignore.
That same engine has been pushed to 372kW when planted at the front of the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV, and Maserati ‘limiting’ it this way suggests a V8 is being prepped to fill that role, the 3.8-litre twin-turbo. Maserati had been keeping relatively mum about those plans and the anxiety has had a chance to build.
Thankfully, an Alberto Cavaggioni, Maserati’s head of global operations, has come to allay our fears somewhat. In a report by Autocar UK, he said that the powertrain potential is most definitely present in the Levante, but exploiting it “has to be justified by volumes.”
Cavaggioni also brings up the sales chasm between rival sports SUVs that sell far more units of their smaller displacement turbocharged variants than their larger V8 counterparts, adding ”If you mirror what we do with the Quattroporte, we could do the same on everything we do.”
To that end, it’s likely Maserati will be pushing the twin-turbo petrol V6 versions of the Levante in popular markets such as China and North America, with year-on-year improvements in addition to also populating showrooms with Levantes powered by a 202kW V6 turbodiesel to select European countries as it has with Australia.