Spied before on German roads and once again at the Nurburgring circuit, here is another early look at the coming Maserati Levante – the Italian car maker’s first shot at producing an SUV. To give you a bit of a recap, the Levante will face-off against the likes of the Jaguar F-Pace and the popular Porsche Cayenne.
While the car seen here is still a heavily disguised mule, it is very likely hiding a dedicated SUV body – one that is far closer to being production-ready than we’ve seen before. Previous spyshots were of the mule wearing a Ghibli’s body, albeit with much higher ground clearance, thanks to an adapted chassis from the Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans.
Here, the front grille with its trident emblem is seen peeking through the camo up front, while bits of the front apron and large air intakes are also visible. Sleek headlights can be seen, and if you look closely, underbody skid plates are visible just under the front bumper of the car.
The rear of this prototype is properly disguised, revealing just its quad exhaust tips and Gran Turismo-inspired tail lights. Needless to say, the Levante also has a healthy amount of ground clearance. Apart from the headlamps, Maserati’s renders of its Kubang SUV concept looks to be carried over very well here.
More importantly, this is also the first time the Levante’s interior has been seen. Naturally, there are a lot of test instruments in the vehicle, but this is as clear a view as it gets for now. The steering looks like it’s a carbon copy of what’s available in the Ghibli and Quattroporte, in three-spoke fashion, with column-mounted shift paddles.
The dashboard gets an integrated display screen, just like we’ve seen on the Levante’s sedan siblings too. While the layout of the centre console remains familiar, there’s a new rotary dial on the centre console – one we reckon would be for the infotainment system.
Previously, it was reported that the Levante would offer a similar range of engines available to its sedan siblings, including a petrol 3.0 litre turbo V6 that would offer 350 hp and 425 hp, and a 3.8 litre turbo V8 powerhouse good for 560 hp. Three diesel versions of the Levante have been tipped, each potentially offering 250 hp, 275 hp and 340 hp tunes.
The Italian SUV is expected to make its global debut in a matter of a months now, at the coming Geneva Motor Show in March 2016. The car will begin its production much later in Turin, Italy, after which, a hotter Levante GTS has been rumoured to become available in Europe too.