Say Hello To Maserati’s First SUV, The Levante

Take a look at the first official photos of Maserati’s first SUV

Four years have passed since Maserati unveiled the Kubang design study at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, but one does not necessarily get that impression when looking at the production car, as the Levante has very similar proportions to the Kubang. The body has roughly the same shape while sporting different design details including the headlights, taillights, and bumpers. The interior should be different as well, although Maserati hasn't released photos with the cabin yet.

The Levante is instantly recognizable as a Maserati thanks to styling cues such as the big Trident logo in the center of the big grille, the three iconic air vents on the front wings, the trapezoidal C-pillar with the "Saetta" logo and the large, frameless door windows.

The aggressive front end features new, tapered headlights separated into two elements, with the upper unit connected to the radiator grille. At the rear, the very tapered back window and streamlined shape remind us this is a high-performance sports car.

Maserati wasn't generous at all with technical details, but said the Levante's chassis is designed "to combine the outstanding on-road performance typical of every Maserati with unrivaled handling even on very low-grip surfaces and an excellent off-road performance and ride." The Levante will offer both gas and diesel engines that are all Euro6-compliant. All bets are on the same 3.0-liter V6 gasoline and diesel units that equip the Ghibli sedan.

The automaker also said the SUV will feature "a high level of content as standard," with all models getting a "sophisticated" electronic suspension with controlled damping and air springs, Maserati's "Q4" intelligent all-wheel drive system and an 8-speed automatic transmission specially calibrated for the Levante.

The first SUV in Maserati's history is paramount for the brand, as it's expected to become the company's best-selling model. Built at the Mirafiori plant in Turin, the SUV will launch in spring 2016 in Europe and later on in the rest of the world.