Following the debut of the Maserati Ghibli Hybrid in July last year, the Italian carmaker is continuing its electrification offensive with the introduction of the new Levante Hybrid. This is the brand’s first electrified SUV and is making its debut at both the ongoing Auto Shanghai as well as virtually elsewhere in the world.

The hybrid powertrain used here is pretty much identical to the one found in the Ghibli Hybrid, consisting of a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and a 48-volt alternator. There’s also an eBooster electric supercharger to fill in the torque gaps before the turbo spools up, or recover energy during braking and deceleration.

A ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission is paired with the engine, just like with the Ghibli Hybrid, but what’s different is that the Levante Hybrid is all-wheel drive only rather than being rear-wheel drive.

In terms of outputs, the mill delivers 330 PS (325 hp) at 5,750 rpm and 450 Nm of torque at 2,250 rpm, allowing for a zero to 100 km/h time of six seconds and a top speed of over 240 km/h. The Ghibli Hybrid offers better performance – 0-100 km/h in 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 255 km/h – but keep in mind that the SUV is heavier – 2,090 kg against 1,878 kg.

Compared to the rest of the Levante range, the hybrid variant makes more power but less torque than the diesel variant that packs 275 PS (271 hp) and 600 Nm from a 3.0 litre turbodiesel V6. Among its petrol-only siblings, the Levante Hybrid is the least powerful, as the 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6-powered base variant (350 PS or 345 hp and 500 Nm) and Levante S (430 PS or 424 hp and 580 Nm) both offer higher outputs.

It goes without saying that the 3.8 litre twin-turbo V8 in the Levante GTS (558 PS or 550 hp and 730 Nm) and Levante Trofeo (598 PS or 590 hp and 730 Nm) also provide more grunt. Of course, the hybrid should win in terms of efficiency, although the company has yet to provide WLTP-rated fuel consumption numbers. It did state CO2 emissions, which is between 231-252 g/km, besting the base variant.

The launch version you see here features a new metallic tri-coat paint finish called Azzurro Astro, which is available via the Maserati Fuoriserie customisation programme. Other details that help to identify the Levante Hybrid include shades of blue on the side air ducts, brake calipers and trident logo on the C-pillar. These cues are also evident on the Ghibli Hybrid and are hallmarks of the company’s hybrid cars.

Inside, the Levante Hybrid doesn’t differ much from regular variants, save for the blue stitching to mark it out as a hybrid model. The new model also gets the latest Maserati Connect telemetry system, so owners can check their vehicle status via their smartphone or smartwatch, with support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant virtual personal assistants.