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At last! Maserati Levante SUV confirmed for early 2016
Maserati’s SUV to debut in Geneva next March, followed by Alfieri and new Gran Turismo
It’s been four long years since the Maserati Kubang concept rolled into town at the 2011 Frankfurt show.
Finally, now, we have some concrete facts on Maserati’s production SUV from CEO Harold Wester. Production will begin in February next year, with a world debut scheduled for the Geneva motor show in March.
Much has changed since 2011, including the name from Kubang (pictured) to Levante, where it will be screwed together (in Italy at the Miafori plant, rather than Detroit as originally planned – hence the delay) and its underpinnings. Originally based on a Jeep platform, the Levante will now be all Maserati underneath.
“It will be based 100 per cent on the Quattroporte platform, and be the lead vehicle for lots of new content that will be rolled out across the range,” Wester explained. “It will be significantly different from the concept and better in every way.”
Fighting talk from the CEO. But then it needs to be, because Wester’s Maserati masterplan isn’t going exactly to schedule. His target was to sell 50,000 cars by 2015 and last year Maserati sold 36,000 – a shortfall accounted for by the SUV’s delay.
Wester’s longer term target is sell around 75,000 cars a year – and we wouldn’t bet against him delivering given the Levante will be followed swiftly by a production version of the F-Type-ish Alfieri concept in late 2016, an Alfieri cabrio in 2017 and a replacement for the GranTurismo in 2018.
We even know what engines each of the newcomers will have under the bonnet. The Levante will have the broadest all-turbo offering with 350bhp and 425bhp V6s, a 560bhp-plus V8, and three diesels ranging from 250bhp to 340bhp.
The Alfieri coupe and cabrio will be V6-only, but in a choice of three outputs: an entry-level rear-wheel drive 410bhp version, plus 450bhp and 520bhp variants with four-wheel drive as standard.
For the GranTurismo we’ll have a choice of just one engine – fortunately it’ll be a socking great twin-turbo V8 with over 560bhp. That’ll do nicely…