Many of the premium brands have turned to producing SUVs, amongst them, Maserati and the Italian company has seen a whole new interest in the brand with their SUV offering, the Levante.
It came as no surprise, therefore, to learn that a Hybrid version of the Levante will soon reach our shores. The latest in the Levante line made its international debut at the recent Shanghai Auto Show, a location which saw the wraps come off several new offerings. The Levante is the first electrified SUV from Maserati and it takers a major step forward in the brand’s strategy for electrification, which commenced with the Ghibli Hybrid. For those who seek performance, and there are many in our midst, the Hybrid version is not only greener but it is faster than the diesel version which I discovered is no slouch. The Hybrid version can whisk you from rest to 100kph (62mph) in just six seconds and, where legal, on to a top speed of 240kph (150mph). Maximum power output is 330bhp and 450nM torque delivered from just 2,250rpm.
The aim by this Italian carmaker with the Levante is to deliver performance and agility while saving fuel and reinforcing the Trident’s dedication to driving pleasure and luxury and the end result is a SUV which retains the distinctive roar of every Maserati. I have been fortunate to get behind the wheel of a number of Levantes and I came away impressed by the mix of luxury and performance and I hope to be able to bring a driving impression soon of this latest model to hit the SUV global stage. To the heart of the matter and proving the power is a two litre, four cylinder engine with a 48 volt hybrid system to recover energy during braking and deceleration The Hybrid version weighs less than the six cylinder engine and has a much better weight distribution- which should add further to the handling qualities of this generous sized SUV. The battery is placed in the rear without compromising the load capacity of 580 litres, again another factor aiding the balance of this vehicle.
When the Levante Hybrid takes to our roads, you will not fail to recognise it; many design elements of the exterior, some of which are in blue, the shade chosen to identify hybrid cars and already in use by Maserati for their Ghibli Hybrid. Other recognising exterior features are, three iconic side air ducts, the brake callipers and the C-pillar logo. The same blue is carried to the interior of the Levante Hybrid and especially on the embroidered seams of the comfy seats. The newcomer is connected to the new Maserati Connect programme and this enables you to keep an eye of the vehicle’s health and this system will alert when a service is due thus improving the customer care experience. With smartphone or smartwatch you can stay in contact with the Levante Hybrid via the Maserati Connect app, this is also possible from home via a virtual personal assistant (Amazon & Google Assist). Yes there is no doubt the Hybrid version of the Levante ticks a lot of boxes, and is a thoroughly modern and a highly desirable means of transport.