The much-discussed Jeep-based Maserati SUV has finally emerged in production form! Maserati took full advantage of this year’s Detroit Auto Show and Paris Auto Show to tout the new Levante SUV. The awkward ‘Kubang’ name was dropped in favor of ‘Levante’, but it is still based on a Jeep SUV platform.
• That odd Jeep Grand Cherokee chassis (Also used in the Dodge Durango)
• Twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8
• 500 horses
• Powertrain details are sparse, these are among the best guesses
Powertrain information is a bit sparse at this juncture, though guesses that the Maserati SUV would boast a modified Hemi V8 were effectively squashed by Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, who proclaimed: “If it doesn’t have a Ferrari block, it isn’t a Maserati”. Will it offer a Ferrari dual clutch gearbox or an automatic? There are simply more questions than answers at this time!
While the name Kubang does not exactly roll off the tongue, it supposedly means SUV in Italian, which makes perfect sense. Levante means east in Italian, and honors the brand’s early history move. In 1919, the strapping Maserati brothers relocated their burgeoning 5-year old auto company to Via Emilia Levante in Bologna, Italy.
What is next for Maserati:
• A production version of the 4-door Ghibli is expected to debut at Geneva or perhaps Shanghai Auto Show. The first Ghibli was a 2-door coupe launched in 1967.
• The flagship Quattroporte sedan is scheduled to arrive in January at the Detroit Auto Show.
• The Maserati Levante SUV won’t arrive until 2014 in production form. It is likely to be made at Chrysler’s Jefferson North assembly plant where the Grand Cherokee and Durango are born.
Post by Imagine Lifestyles Luxury Rentals