kubang-2

Maserati is banking on its upcoming Levante SUV to help recover its dwindling profits, according to Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The brand’s earnings reportedly fell by 30% in the second quarter of 2015 as a result of declining sales worldwide, most prominently in China.

Marchionne seems absolutely certain that the SUV will be able to boost Maserati’s sales. Speaking to Automotive News Europe, he said that “we will need to wait until then,” referring to the new SUV’s impending market arrival in 2016. He noted that dwindling market demand for imported luxury vehicles in China seems to be a “permanent change.”

Late last year, a Levante test mule was captured in wraps in Germany, wearing a modified Ghibli body. The upcoming SUV will be built on the same platform as the executive sports sedan, and is not expected to veer too far away from the Kubang concept from 2011 (pictured above).

The upcoming luxury SUV is speculated to be available with a twin-turbo 3.0 litre V6 engine as well as a diesel option, both of which are likely to be paired to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission – the same formula that is used on the Ghibli and Quattroporte.