For the first time ever, Italian luxury car maker, Maserati is planning to produce a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) in its range, which is to be called the Maserati Levante SUV. This much was revealed when the company released the first official pictures of the SUV on Friday in the US.
The move is believed to be aimed at resuscitating the dwindling fortunes of the brand, which has slumped in recent years, especially in the United States. Maserati is known for producing exotic sports cars.
Before the introduction of the Levante SUV, Maserati’s parent company Fiat Chrysler had tried to bring back the brand into the American market and consciousness with the introduction of the Ghibli sedan in 2014. While the Ghibli sedan made a huge impact at the time, this has since waned.
The Levante SUV is expected to tap into the booming SUV market in the US, and will join the already-existing Maserati line that includes the Quattroporte, Ghibli sedans, GranTurismo abd GranCabrio GT models.
While the Levante keeps some of the features of the other models in the Maserati lineup such as the grille and headlights, it adds other features to emphasize its uniqueness. This includes a sloping roofline and partially integrated spoiler.
Maserati is yet to reveal the Levante SUVs internal features and specs.
The company says the Levante SUV will come in diesel and petrol engine models, an 8-speed automatic transmission and its Q4 all-wheel-drive system.
It is expected to be rolled out in 2016; first in Europe and later in other parts of the world.