Maserati Levante

Maserati boss Harald Wester has overruled an earlier decision only to sell the diesel Levante SUV in the UK and has confirmed the Ferrari-built V6 will now be sold in Britain.

What’s more, it may even be ready in time for the car’s UK launch in October.

Unlike in other markets, Maserati initially decided only the 3.0-litre V6 diesel Levante would be offered in the UK. Our large SUV market is unusual even in diesel-dominated Europe for its love of diesel: they account for 95% of sales.

But the appeal of a sporty luxury SUV with a Ferrari-built 430hp 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine is undeniable, said Wester – so overruled the marketing decision and kicked off the accelerated engineering programme currently underway.

Maserati also sells a 350hp version of this engine but the extra draw of the range-topper – 0-62mph takes 5.2 seconds – means this is the version that will come to the UK

It still won’t be a big-selling model, said Wester, but the halo effect is undeniable. “We can really benefit from the brand power of the Ferrari connection with this version.”

This will offset any additional expense Maserati may incur, believes Wester: indeed, “we’ll probably lose money on this version,” he admitted.

Maserati revealed UK diesel prices will start from around £53,000-£55,000 when ordering opens later in the year. It is too early to suggest how much the V6 petrol will cost but the price differential will likely be the same as for the Ghibli upon which the Levante is derived.