Not keen on the Lamborghini Urus? Alfa Stelvio too slow? Maserati has you covered
Maserati has stormed the 2018 New York motor show – and the 542bhp Jaguar F-Pace SVR’s welcome party – with its own super-SUV. The interloper is the new Levante Trofeo, and it’s aimed squarely at the new supercharged Jag, and the likes of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and BMW X5 M.
Behind the enormous new front grille lives a 3.8-litre bi-turbo V8 built by Ferrari in Maranello and related to the drop-top Portofino’s engine. In the Levante Trofeo, it’s developing 582bhp and 730Nm, which punts Maserati right into the sharp end of the super-SUV set. You’ll need a Bentley Bentayga or Lamborghini Urus to trump the numbers behind that grille.
And even in our mind-pulverising age of potty 4x4 performance, the Levante Trofeo’s figures are eye-watering. Maserati’s timed the car from 0-96km/h (old school) in 3.7 seconds, and to the usual industry standard of 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds. Pesky gearchanges…
Apparently, weight-distribution is a spot-on 50:50 across the axles, and with standard all-wheel drive and a new ‘Corsa’ driving mode, plus lowerable air suspension, the ingredients for another high-riding assault on physics and common sense are all present and correct.
The top speed is said to be north of 300km/h. At which point, we don’t really want to contemplate the forces attacking the 22-inch tyres that wrap the new forged aluminium wheels.
Besides the enormous wheels and gaping intakes, the Trofeo’s set apart from your dentist’s Levante by a carbon fibre aero kit, twin bonnet vents, and a carbon fibre engine cover with red-painted intake manifolds. Inside, we’re promised the leather hides, which you can spec in black, red or tan, “is like no other leather used in the automotive industry for its natural, soft feel and for the unique character it develops throughout the years.” Hmm. Isn’t that just called ‘wear’?
With the Alfieri sports car delayed and the GranTurismo now so old it’s officially a fossil, Maserati’s been badly in need of a new performance flagship for a while. Is this what you had in mind?
STORY Ollie Kew