We were at NAZA Tower in the heart of Kuala Lumpur earlier today for an exclusive preview of the new Trident in the stable. The Levante is Maserati’s first foray into the luxury SUV market, and signifies a new milestone in the marque’s heritage of over 100 years. Maserati says the new car combines flexibility with power, performance and flair that the brand is well known for.
The Levante is based off the Kubang concept car, which made its first appearance at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. It’s name takes inspiration from the warm Mediterranean wind and Maserati says the Levante will be able to handle competitive off-roading, all whilst buffeting its occupants in a luxurious interior. Production at the Grugliasco plant in Turin is said to have been ramped up to meet Maserati’s target of 30,000 cars by 2017.
“The Levante takes Maserati to new heights of luxury and appeals to the adventurous spirit with utter practicality and sophistication in one alluring package. Based on the Quattroporte and Ghibli architecture but further refined for greater versatility, the Levante once officially launched will make a strong entrance into this market segment and will more than meet the expectations,” said Farid Sulaimain, Vice President of NAZA Italia.
Even at first glance, the Levante’s Maserati design DNA is clearly visible – headlamps, front grille, rear lights and overall silhouette takes obvious cues from the Ghibli and Quattroporte models. Another standout feature are the frameless doors; they look fantastic, but we’re just not sure how practical they will be at speed.
Step inside and you are cocooned in luxurious, plush leather. The interior feels well designed, with thoughtful touches for occupants at both front and rear. Maserati says the car’s spacious cabin is the best in its class, and we can confirm that it does not feel claustrophobic inside.
Now here is the interesting part: the Maserati Levante is said to feature their tried and tested 3.0 litre V6 engine in two states of tune, and will be later joined by a stonking 560hp V8. These engines will be mates to a super slick 8-speed ZF automatic.However, we have heard the new Tridents that are headed to Malaysia will be diesel only – which should mean a 3.0 litre turbo diesel V6 that makes some 275PS/600Nm.
No word yet on pricing, although NAZA Italia are already accepting bookings for the car. Interested parties are invited to head over the the NAZA Italia showroom in Petaling Jaya, where their sales team will be able to provide more information and details of Maserati’s newest offering.
Enjoy our full gallery from this morning’s preview below: