Here’s a riddle for ya: when is a Ferrari a Maserati? When it’s the new petrol-powered Maserati Levante S.
The hunking SUV has been available as a diesel since the middle of 2016, but now, it is being offered with a three-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine, built by none other than Ferrari.
Fitted with this zingy 424bhp unit from the prancing horse, the Levante S can dart to 62mph from a standstill in 5.2 seconds with a 164mph top speed. That’s much zippier than the 143mph and 6.9-second sprint reported by the diesel.
With that much power and aggression, it needs to be able to come to a stop fairly sharpish too and that is made possible thanks to a state-of-the-art braking system that adopts Brembo 6-piston aluminium monobloc callipers working on 380mm drilled discs at the front and aluminium 42mm floating callipers with 330mm x 22mm ventilated drilled discs at the rear.
Maserati says that the Levante S has been geared to excite the sport-focused driver, with extensive use of lightweight materials, an ideal 50:50 weight distribution and the lowest centre of gravity in the mid-size luxury crossover SUV segment.
Switching from diesel to petrol has resulted in a £14,505 hike in the Levante’s asking price, with a starting price of £70,755 on the road, climbing to £76,995 for the high-spec GranLusso and GranSport models.
With GranLusso, the Levante S boasts metallic-finish front skid plates, GranLusso badges on the front wings, body-colour side skirts, black-painted brake callipers and 19-inch Zefiro alloy wheels.
The interior is enhanced with Ermenegildo Zegna silk or full premium Italian leather and a Radica open-pore wood trim and leather steering wheel.
Aimed at buyers wanting a sportier looking SUV, GranSport models can be identified by their black piano front grille, skid plates and roof rails. It too has body-colour side skirts, as well as red brake callipers, 20-inch Nereo wheels, leather sport seats with 12-way power, a power adjustable sport steering wheel with gear shift paddles and brushed stainless steel pedals.
Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “Maserati made a massive statement with the Levante – its first ever SUV – in 2016, but the switch to petrol fulfills the sort of performance promise you’d expect from a Maserati.”
Get your FREE Drivers Club fuel-finder app – let’s go.
Fast, easy refuelling is only the start. Log on and get your FREE Drivers Club fuel-finder app, plus exclusive offers. For you, your family & your friends.