Maserati Levante details 5

Maserati is developing a semi-autonomous driving system for the Maserati Levante, Automotive News reports. According to CEO Harald Wester, the system will reportedly be applied to the Ghibli and Quattroporte in the next couple of years too.

A new “highway pilot” system is under development for the SUV and future Maserati cars. The system is a way “to automate the boring part” of driving, as explained by Wester. On that note, the Levante will also offer advanced driver assistance systems including adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning as well.

The Levante has recently entered production in Italy in late February. Deliveries are expected to follow through in Europe by May, Asia in July and North America in September this year. Wester is hoping that Maserati’s first-ever SUV will double the company’s sales by 30,000 units a year with one-third of that coming from North American and the remaining bulk from China.

It will be going up against other luxury SUVs such as the Porsche Cayenne and Jaguar F-Pace. Previously, Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was absolutely certain that the SUV will be able to boost Maserati’s sales, which has been dwindling over the years (32,000 over the past two years compared to a 50,000 unit forecast).

The SUV, which made its official debut in Geneva this year, will be offered with a 275 hp/600 Nm turbodiesel 3.0 litre V6 and a petrol option, which is a 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 with two outputs: 350 hp/500 Nm or a higher 430 hp/580 Nm. All three are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Elsewhere, replacements for the Gran Turismo and Gran Cabrio (sharing the same architecture that underpins the Ghibli and Quattroporte) will be the next priority, ahead of the planned Alfieri sportscar. The plan is to cut development costs and time to market. Future Maseratis may adopt electrification, including a plug-in hybrid powertrain, with components from the Chrysler Pacifica.

GALLERY: Maserati Levante