Right now, this is probably the closest you can get to driving a Ferrari SUV. It’s called the Maserati Levante S and it’s packing a Ferrari-built 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine.
If you’re still coming to terms with the idea of a Maserati SUV with a diesel engine, the 430hp petrol version might bring some light relief, but it’s unlikely to change your opinion of the styling.
At launch, Maserati claimed the Levante would only be offered to UK buyers with the 275hp turbodiesel unit, so this represents a u-turn of cabinet minister proportions.
We suspect the threat of anti-diesel legislation and the continued growth of the SUV segment is behind Maserati’s decision, as the Levante squares up to a new Porsche Cayenne, waiting in the wings.
The Levante S isn’t cheap: at £70,755, the petrol version is £14,505 more expensive than the Levante diesel and around £4,000 dearer than a Range Rover Sport HSE Dynamic.
For their £70k, Levante buyers will be treated to the Ferrari-built 3.0-litre V6 engine, which produces 430hp, enough for a 164mph top speed and a 0-62mph time of 5.2 seconds.
Air suspension is fitted as standard, along with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, four driving modes, all-wheel drive and torque vectoring. Maserati claims this delivers “GT on-road dynamics and surprising off-road capabilities.”
Two trim levels will be available: GranLusso and GranSport. The entry-level GranLusso boasts metallic-finish front skid plates, body-coloured side skirts, black-painted callipers, 19-inch alloy wheels and a choice of leather for the interior.
The GranSport features piano black grille, skid plates and roof rails, red brake callipers, 20-inch alloy wheels, powered leather seats, gearshift paddles and stainless steel sports pedals.
The Maserati Levante S is available now.
Tales of the unexpected, when car manufacturers venture off-piste
Even if you've already bought one, you'll get a warranty upgrade
We ride with David Brabham in his new, track-only BT62 at Goodwood Festival of Speed. Neither of them likes to…