The Levante SUV embodies the enduring, intrepid and endlessly progressive spirit of Maserati – and it’s part of a story that dates back over 100 years. Maserati has a history of naming its cars after the world’s most famous winds. It started in 1963 with the legendary Mistral. Then came the Ghibli, the Bora and the Khamsin. And now the Levante joins the Maserati hall of fame.
With the GranLusso, the styling and trim are more focused on luxury. With the GranSport, it’s more about directly engaging dynamics. Each offers important new advanced driver assistance features, a significant power boost for the Maranello-built V6 petrol engine and an innovative new power steering system.
A new journey has begun – with the Maserati of SUVs.
The protection plates beneath the front bumper – a feature that clearly signposts the four-by-four potential – have a striking metallic finish. The roof rails have a metallic trim, too. The GranLusso badge is impeccably integrated into the bases of the front wings.
The GranLusso offers front Comfort seats with extensive 12- way power adjustment and a memory function for instant access to pre-set configurations. There is also the choice of either full premium Italian leather or Zegna Silk Edition upholstery, both complemented beautifully by Radica open-pore wood trim. Additionally, the power-adjustable steering wheel is finished in fine wood.
At the front, the large and assertive front grille is finished in highly polished Black Piano or, optionally, in chrome. The protection plates beneath the front bumper and the roof rails have the same assertive Piano Black trim. The model name “GranSport” appears at the base of each front wing, while soft- close doors are a welcome extra.
The body-hugging front Sport seats offer excellent support as well as 12-way power adjustment and a memory function. There’s also a firmly bolstered powered Sport steering wheel with multi-function buttons, brushed chrome gearshift paddles and power foot pedals with the purist aluminium Sport finish.
At the front, the aggressively sculpted front grille with its chromed bars is more imposing than ever, given the elevated SUV proportions. At the same time, it retains the timeless grace of Maserati, with the noble Trident of Neptune leading the way forward. At each side, the narrowed, forward-focus of the two-part headlights also catches the eye. These lead the gaze across the muscular, arching front wings to the iconic triple air vents and upper character lines. The Saetta logo in the steeply tapered, coupé-like rear section is another unmistakable Maserati styling signature.
Elegant Italian style, meticulously crafted finishes and a unique, race-bred energy that inspires long-distance, luxurious travel.
There is also a liberating feeling of all-round space on board, which may come as a surprise given the coupé-like exterior proportions.
The seats, front and rear, are hand-stitched and finished in sumptuous leather. Maserati has partnered with Ermenegildo Zegna, one of the world’s leading luxury menswear brand and producer of the finest fabrics.
The finest leather is combined with Zegna’s mulberry silk inserts on the seats, door panels, roof lining, sunshades and ceiling light fixture. The silk is embellished by a hand-stitched micro-chevron pattern while the seating features a central silk insert with a macro-chevron weave. Door panels, roof lining and sun visor are covered with Zegna silk jersey.
All switches and controls fall easily and intuitively to hand.
The speedometer and rev counter, housed in a leather-finished binnacle, are large and backlit with white light to ensure crisp clarity at all times.
There’s also a 7" TFT display presenting essential driving data.
The 8.4” MTC+ unit takes pride of place at the centre of the Levante dashboard. It is designed to help the driver maintain focus on the road ahead. MTC+ can be operated in three ways: via the multi-touchscreen, the rotary control in the central console, or through voice commands. The state-of-the-art system also features both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® mirroring functions. In addition, for iPhone® users, Apple’s SIRI® system acts as a personal assistant.
Harman Kardon Premium Sound system: 12-channel 900-watt amplifier, delivering rich and detailed sound quality, whatever the source: be it radio, MP3 player, iPhone® or audio streaming device. The 14 high-powered speakers are carefully sited throughout the cabin, promising sublime sound for all on board.
Bowers & Wilkins Surround Sound system: seventeen speakers, with mid- range drivers and rear-woofers made from Kevlar®, have been strategically built into the SUV’s architecture, while a 1,280-watt amplifier ensures immersive sound for all on board.
The Maserati Stability Program (MSP) uses an array of sensors to constantly monitor driving status. It can then deploy a host of safety and performance systems to maintain handling and grip. If, for instance, a skid is detected, MSP selectively reduces engine torque and can activate the brakes with finely varied inputs to restore stability within milliseconds.
The MSP system also works in harmony with functions including Anti Slip Regulation (ASR), which reduces wheel spin and improves traction, and engine torque brake control (MSR) that prevents the wheels from locking up when suddenly changing down. Additionally, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) stop the wheels from locking and distribute brakeforce between the front and rear axles. Further support is provided by the Brake Assistance System (BAS).
This combines the virtues of Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Assist to make life even easier on motorways. Using information picked up from a digital camera mounted behind the rear-view mirror and a radar system in the front grille, HAS automatically keeps the vehicle centred in its lane, at a pre- selected speed and at a chosen distance from the vehicle ahead. It will even decelerate the Levante through to a standstill as the traffic dictates. To ensure safety, HAS requires the driver to keep his or her hands on thesteering wheel at all times.
This provides valuable support if the driver is about to unintentionally leave a lane. A digital camera behind the rear-view mirror continuously monitors road markings to keep track of the course ahead. The instrument panel display shows the specific status. White lines on either side of the vehicle image indicate that it is safely in lane. One yellow line indicates that the Levante is moving off-centre, right or left. And one flashing yellow line, warns of lane departure. At that point, when the Visual & Haptic box is selected in touchscreen display, LKA actively steps in with corrective steering torque.
It can be easy to miss traffic signs sometimes, for all sorts of reasons. This is where Traffic Sign Recognition comes in. It monitors three types of sign: speed limits, temporary speed limits due to conditions such as heavy rain, and no-overtaking zones. It then displays the signs digitally in the instrument panel’s cluster display. The system works with a digital camera mounted behind the rear-view mirror and data from the navigation system.
Adaptive Cruise Control constantly monitors the vehicle ahead, maintaining a pre-set distance. With the Stop & Go function, the car will also adjust to the speed of the vehicle in front until it comes to a complete stop, if the stop is less than two seconds.
This, in combination with Adaptive Cruise Control, monitors vehicles ahead and warns if the approach could result in a rear- end collision. This is linked to the Advanced Brake Assist system, which provides additional braking during an emergency stop. If the warning does not prompt any action from the driver, the Automated Emergency Braking system automatically applies the brakes to reduce the car’s speed.
With this system, a warning icon appears in the exterior door mirrors when a vehicle enters the driver’s blind spot. Three levels of support can be selected if the driver nonetheless initiates a lane change. Either the system maintains the visual alert in the door mirrors, the alerts are backed up with an acoustic warning, or the system intervenes with steering torque. The intensity of this torque is also adaptable according to preference. Rear Cross Path function is a welcome feature that emits a warning when an unseen vehicle is approaching, from the right or left, while reversing out of a parking space.
Peak performance on any terrain. On or off road, this showpiece of Italian design masters every situation with the greatest of ease.