The design concept of the Levante combines coupé lines with interior space for five people and exceptional aerodynamic efficiency. The Maserati of SUVs is instantly recognisable from a distance, thanks to its imposing grille, which was inspired by the sensational Alfieri concept, but also pays homage to historic Maserati cars like the Tipo 60 Birdcage.
The silhouette flows along the side of the car from the feline headlights to the characteristic Maserati rear pillar, creating a coupé look that is enhanced by frameless doors – a characteristic feature of modern Maserati cars. The muscular shape of the rear haunches underscores the car’s genuinely Italian style.
This unmistakable Levante design has reached new levels of sportiness in the new top of the range GTS and Trofeo versions, which have also been a source of inspiration for the restyling of the GranSport exterior. The elegant, sport-oriented restyling is focused on the lower front fascia and the rear bumper.
On the new V8 versions and on the GranSport badged Levante, the side air intakes in the lower fascia feature a more aggressive design, defined by two aerodynamic wings that give a sense of further stability, visually “pushing” the weight of the car’s nose towards the massive front wheels. The side bezel blades and the splitter help improving the airflow distribution.
The rear end also looks wider and more muscular with a sharper horizontal element and lower extractor that embrace the exhaust tips, which are also distinguishing features of the V8 equipped versions for their oval shape – with a dark finish those in the Trofeo version.
Alongside the sportier bumpers, the GranSport exterior is also discernible for the front and rear Black Piano inserts, the GranSport badges on the front fenders, the red brake calipers and the 20-inch Nereo wheels.
While the exterior of the baseline V6 versions remains the same, the characteristic features of the GranLusso trim are elegant chrome inserts in the front fascia, chrome front/rear skid plates, body colour rear spoiler, black-painted brake calipers, 19-inch Zefiro alloy wheels and GranLusso badges on the fenders.
The range topping V8 versions feature a specific front grille with double vertical bars, respectively in specific chrome and black piano finish on GTS and Trofeo. Characteristic features are also the honeycomb mesh fascia, the body coloured door handles and the red painted brake calipers.
The Trofeo easily stands out for its polished racing look featuring ultralight high-gloss carbon fibre exterior elements on the front splitter, the side blades, the side skirt inserts and the rear extractor – as well as for the optional 22-inch Orione forged aluminium wheels, the largest ever fitted in a Maserati.
The Trofeo also stands out for its sportier engine bonnet, featuring two heat extractors for better cylinder head cooling. The specific engine cover is an art work on its own, made of high-gloss carbon fibre, featuring a V8 inscription and the iconic Trident. Cylinder heads and intake manifolds are painted red and to top it off, a dedicated “Saetta” Trofeo logo adorns the iconic c-pillar of the flagship Levante.
Meticulous virtual environment simulations and extensive tests in the Turin wind tunnel have resulted in a class-leading drag coefficient Cx of 0.31 for the V6 and 0.33 for the new V8 versions that boast wider wheels.
During the lengthy aerodynamic testing programme, which included a second phase for the development of the new GTS and Trofeo versions, Maserati engineers concentrated on optimising the air flow around and inside the car, particularly in the areas of the concave grille and the wheel-arches.
Complementing the technical sophistication and inspired aerodynamic design is an electric Air Shutter in the front grille. Located between the front air vents and the engine’s radiator, the shutter controls the air flow to the engine compartment through the continuous, electronically-controlled movement of the blades.
This provides multiple benefits, both for the engine (by optimising engine temperature) and in terms of efficiency by reducing the car’s aerodynamic drag and therefore fuel consumption and emissions.
Adaptive full LED Matrix headlights
Adaptive full LED Matrix headlights are available for the first time in the Levante range. They include a front digital camera mounted behind the rear view mirror that supports the Glare-free High Beam detection system, which creates light ‘tunnels’ by deactivating individual LEDs in the relevant zone, ‘cutting out’ the area around the vehicles and allowing the driver to keep high beam on without dazzling oncoming vehicles.
Compared to Bi-Xenon headlamps, LED technology offers 20% better visibility, 32% cooler light and headlights that last twice as long. The full LED headlights illuminate the road as far as 195 metres ahead – 55 metres further than equivalent Bi-Xenon lights.
New colours and wheels
There is a palette of eleven colours in the MY19 catalogue only for the V6 Levante versions. Two of them are brand new tri-coat colours, the Rosso Potente, which has been created to celebrate the racing heritage of Italian sports cars, and the Blu Nobile with sparkling glass flakes glimmering under the sunlight. The two new V8 versions are available in seven colours with two tri-coat among them.
The range of alloy wheels is also new including fourteen in eight different designs, ranging from 18 to 22-inches. Three designs are new, including the top of the line 22-inch Orione in polished and matt finish – the largest ever wheel adopted by Maserati.
The 350hp Levante and the Levante Diesel are standard equipped with 18-inch tyres sized 255/60 ZR18. The Levante S version features 19-inch wheels with wider 295/45 ZR19 rear tyres and 265/50 ZR19 at the front.
The new Levante GTS is fitted with 265/45 ZR20 front and 295/40 ZR20 rear tyres, while the Trofeo is equipped – depending on the market – with 21 or 22-inch tyres, sized up to 265/35 ZR22 and 295/30 ZR22 front – rear.
In the newly introduced Handling Packs, which are available in Europe for the baseline 350hp Levante and Diesel versions are also included wider 19 to 21-inch rear wheels. European spec Levante GranLusso and GranSport trims of the 350hp and Diesel versions are standard equipped with the performance brakes borrowed from the Levante S.
The matt grey-by-default calipers on the baseline Levante V6 versions are painted black on the GranLusso. The Levante GranSport and the new V8 versions are standard fitted with red painted calipers. A wide range of colours with the Maserati logo is available as an option.
As for the recently introduced Nerissimo package, it has been updated for MY19 Levante. It is now available in eight specific body colours – seven of which are brand new – combining black elements (front grille, skid plates, daylight openings and door mirrors) with dark tail lights and exhaust tips. Details such as the grille upper bezel trim, the rear trunk accent, the side air vents, the Trident on grille and all Maserati badges and logos are finished in Black Chrome. The updated MY19 Nerissimo package has also adopted body-colour door handles and lower moldings and new 21-inch wheels with dark finish.
First class environment, luxury or sport oriented
The interior design of the Levante is focused either on luxury or sportiness, respectively in the GranLusso and GranSport trims. The spacious cabin blends innovative solutions, such as the state-of-the art infotainment system, with precious materials like the newly introduced full-grain Pieno Fiore natural leather.
Abundant space for five passengers, fine selection of premium materials, state-of-the art human machine interface and front – rear passenger compartments in sheer harmony are some of the first class features in the cabin of the Levante.
The dashboard is designed around the 8.4” Maserati Touch Control Plus (MTC+) display, which features updated graphics and improved A/C functions for MY19. The central console neatly accommodates a new gearshift lever and a revised button cluster for the driving modes, the characteristic double rotary knob for basic infotainment functions and the air suspension height setup switch.
The instrument panel is backlit with white light that contrasts beautifully with the warm cabin lighting. In the centre of the dashboard is the classic Maserati analogue clock with black background dial, white backlighting, aluminium interior finish and chrome surround. The new Trofeo and GTS versions feature specific instrument cluster graphics and clock dials.
The Levante is second to none in its class in terms of interior space. The rear seats comfortably accommodate three passengers providing them generous headroom, with the two outer seats also offering maximum comfort and lateral restraint.
The luggage compartment has a versatile load space of 580 litres, which is ideal for large items. There is a 12V power socket in the luggage area plus three more sockets in the cabin.
The standard power tailgate – activated by buttons on the tailgate, key fob or dome light panel – opens and closes automatically without any physical requirement to lift or lower it. The system’s special anti-pitching function immediately stops the closing procedure when an obstacle is detected.
Infotainment system with updated graphics
The infotainment system includes a high-resolution 8.4-inch multi touchscreen and a user-friendly rotary knob in the central console, a high-quality forged aluminium component offering intuitive control of audio volume and other functions. Maserati Touch Control Plus (MTC+) is a highly responsive interface unit that works like a tablet, recognising drag, scroll, swipe and rotate gestures. The system includes radio and Bluetooth and supports satellite navigation.
MTC+ also controls front seat and steering wheel heating, seat ventilation and the rear window blinds, if fitted. It has been further improved for MY19 with updated display graphics and improved climate system ergonomics. The button that deactivates the Start&Stop function can now be dragged and dropped on the main screen bar for immediate access in every menu.
The infotainment system benefits from features such as satellite radio, Pandora Internet Radio and downloadable apps. The platform also includes the AHA function, an addition to MTC+ that extends the AM, FM and DAB digital radio with a network connection options. The AHA function ‘talks’ with the user’s network-connected mobile device to provide access to online services while on the move. The system is also compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring functions and with SIRI (Apple® function) Personal Assistant.
Aux-in, USB and SD memory card slots are located inside the compartment at the front end of the central console. For rear-seat passengers, inside the compartment located at the back of the central console, there are two USB ports where they can connect their electronic devices to play music or view images.
Wider choice of leather materials
Since the GranLusso and GranSport trims were adopted, the interior of the Levante is even more oriented to luxury or sportiness. Each of the new GTS and Trofeo V8 versions adds its own touch in the interior. In line with a long Maserati tradition, the customer has a wide range of interior customization. There are now five available materials to choose from with the new Pieno Fiore natural leather on the top-end of the list.
The full-grain leather is available in black, red and tan colour, either with comfort or sports seats, each with its own stitching pattern. Pieno Fiore is like no other leather used in the automotive industry for its natural, soft feel and is processed to develop a unique character throughout the years.
Baseline trim: the standard Levante equipment in every market includes leather-trimmed upholstery and steering wheel, Piano Black trim, Maserati 8.4” MTC+ display, Base Audio System with 8 speakers, cruise control, Hill Descent Control, dual-zone climate control, wipers with rain sensor and keyless entry on the front doors. The standard leather seats are available in three colours – black, beige and tan – with dashboard in black leatherette fabric.
GranSport trim: the interior immediately transmits a sense of passion and sportiness thanks to an array of exclusive elements, like the 12-way power sport front seats with memory function and integrated anti-whiplash headrests, the power-adjustable sport steering wheel with aluminium gearshift paddles, the power adjustable Inox sport pedals, parking sensors and navigation system. The leather seats are available in four colours – black, red, beige and tan – featuring specific stitching, which is also extended to the leatherette dashboard.
GranLusso trim: irrespective of its powertrain, every V6 Levante can be upgraded to the luxury oriented GranLusso trim featuring in exclusive Ermenegildo Zegna Silk interiors, Radica open-pore dashboard wood and leather steering wheel.
The Ermenegildo Zegna silk in dark grey anthracite combines with three different shades of luxurious fine-grain leather (black, tan and red) and 100% natural fibre Zegna mulberry silk inserts on the seats, door panels, roof lining, sunshades and ceiling light fixture. The Trident emblem on the headrests is embroidered while the dashboard and the armrest are padded with Premium leather. This unique and exclusive silk is made using a patented process in Trivero, Italy by the Zegna wool mill.
The GranLusso trim also includes standard 12-way power comfort front seats with memory function, Harman Kardon Premium Sound System, power-adjustable steering wheel and pedals, illuminated doorsills, parking sensors, navigation system and Soft Close Doors system.
Levante GTS: the interior of the new Levante GTS features Premium leather on seats, upper and lower dashboard, central armrest and on door panels, which feature an exclusive single stitching pattern. The Premium leather upholstery is available in black, tan, red, and beige colours. Standard equipment of this new V8 version is sports-oriented and includes 12-way power sport front seats with memory function, power-adjustable sport steering wheel with aluminium gearshift paddles, power adjustable Inox sport pedals and velour floor mats.
Levante Trofeo: interior designers have come up with elegant ways to create a distinctive environment inside the cabin of the ultimate Levante version. The sculpted sport seats feature a premium full-grain Pieno Fiore natural leather available in black, red and tan, all with contrast stitching and “Trofeo” logo stitched on the headrests. Premium leather with specific stitching is used on the upper and lower dashboard and on the armrest. The door panels stand out for their unique, double-stitching pattern.
A new matt carbon fibre wave veneer, specific instrument cluster graphics, floor mats with metal Trofeo badges and a Maserati clock with a unique dial, elegantly underline the exclusive sporty character of this extraordinary Levante. The Trofeo is equipped with a 1,280W, 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Premium Surround Sound System providing a concert hall sound experience.
The standard wrap-around leather seats provide excellent lateral restraint while driving. The driver’s seat offers 6-way electric adjustment, while the Levante GranLusso and Levante GranSport both have standard 12-way power memory front seats.
Front seat heating adds a touch of personal comfort during cold winter days. The heating can be set to two levels from the MTC+ display. Front seat ventilation ensures a pleasant driving experience during long-distance journeys in hot weather. To that end, tiny holes are drilled into the seat’s leather. Pieno Fiore natural leather is offered in combination with fronts seat heating and ventilation.
The rear seats feature a 60:40 split-folding backrest to maximise load capacity. The angle of the seat back can also be manually adjusted to five different settings. The outer rear seats include Isofix fittings and flank a central armrest housing two cupholders. They also come with an optional heating system.
The standard Base sound system has 8 speakers driven by the head unit. The set-up includes two 19 mm tweeters in the dashboard, a 165 mm woofer in each door, and two additional 19 mm tweeters in the rear doors.
Harman Kardon Premium Sound System: this optional premium sound system provides outstanding power and quality of sound. It relies on a 900W class-d amplifier and 14 speakers and includes a black-finish grille pattern, 25 mm tweeters, 165 mm mid-woofer, 80 mm midrange, 12-channel amplifier and bass box subwoofer with 20 litres of internal volume.
Bowers & Wilkins Premium Surround Sound System: this optional system is standard equipment on the Levante Trofeo. Product of long and meticulous sound engineering studies that represents the last word in sound perfection.
The QuantumLogic™ Surround Sound has a 1,280W amplifier and 17 speakers. The style and technical characteristics of the speakers on the doors and rear shelf differs from that of the Base system, featuring a central 100 mm Kevlar midrange cone and three 25 mm tweeters in the centre and on the A-pillar. Each front door houses a 165 mm woofer and 100 mm Kevlar midrange cone, while the rear doors feature a 165 mm Kevlar woofer and 25 mm tweeter. The D-pillar hosts two 100 mm Kevlar midrange speakers and 25 mm tweeters.
The system includes the Clari-Fi music restoration function as standard, which scans all types of compressed audio files for lost music details, intelligently corrects waveform deficiencies and restores high-fidelity by removing unwanted distortions.
Climate control with Air Quality Sensor
The standard dual-zone climate control system provides outstanding on-board comfort thanks to the temperature sensors and the high volume of air it delivers via 13 ventilation ports. The temperature adjustment function can be controlled via MTC+, as well as via a physical control panel under the screen.
The air flow distribution control, which is fully separated for driver and front passenger, has been revised and is now more customizable. There is also a digital “sync” button for left and right side settings and a numeric display for the selected level on the fan power bar.
All Levante variants are equipped with an Air Quality Sensor as standard. This feature combines an intelligent sensor and a signal analysis system that calculates external pollution levels and prevents polluted air and toxic gases from entering the car’s cabin.
A humidity sensor detects humidity levels in the cabin and increases the airflow from the ports accordingly. As an option, the Levante can be equipped with a four-zone climate control system, with two more controls in the rear part of the central tunnel. Rear zone display graphics are also updated with new A/C and “sync” digital buttons.
An additional cabin heater is available on the Levante Diesel and is designed to accelerate cabin heating in cold conditions.
Soft Close Doors
Soft Close Doors are an extra comfort feature that is available as an option in the Levante range and standard fit on the Levante GranLusso model in specific markets.
A mechanism quietly and automatically closes each of the four doors when they are left slightly ajar, doing away with the need for slamming. This increases the car’s safety and comfort, particularly for children in the back seat. Soft Close Doors are also activated whenever the door is manually closed, ensuring that it is properly shut.
550hp to 590hp 3.8-litre Twin Turbo V8
Maserati installed an upgraded version of its powerful Twin Turbo V8 engine under the bonnet of the Levante to deliver two of the fastest SUVs ever built. It is for the first time that Maserati mates the mighty Twin Turbo V8 with its Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system.
The V8 engine is an evolution of the power unit fitted in the flagship Quattroporte GTS. It maintains the same 3.8-litre capacity and the V900 architecture but has been re-engineered and significantly upgraded to deliver significantly higher power output, from 550hp in the Levante GTS to 590hp in the Levante Trofeo. Peak torque has climbed to 730 Nm at 2,250 to 5,000 rpm on both versions.
Like any modern Maserati petrol engine, the Twin Turbo V8 has been developed in cooperation with Ferrari and is assembled in its state-of-the art factory in Maranello. This is the Maserati engine with the highest specific output in history (145-156 hp/litre), Modena’s most powerful V8 ever and second only to the glorious aspirated V12 that was fitted in the road legal version of the Maserati MC12.
The mighty Twin Turbo V8 engine has been revised to accommodate the Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system. In order to make space for the drive shaft towards the front axle, Maserati designed a new crankcase with specific crankshaft assembly, new oil pump and auxiliary belt, as well as a different electric wiring layout.
Considering the maximum power objectives set for the new V8 Levante versions, a new engine mapping calibration wouldn’t be sufficient, so the technical department interfered seriously with the engine componentry.
Two new parallel twin-scroll turbochargers – one for each cylinder bank – with specific wheel design were fitted, providing higher flow performance. Each turbocharger is fed with fresh air by a single intercooler.
The high-tumble cylinder heads are also redesigned and fitted with different camshafts and valves for improved combustion efficiency, higher performance and moderate consumption. Internal parts like pistons and connecting rods were also redesigned to allow reaching the maximum power targets in combination with a specific engine calibration mapping.
Thanks to a remarkable weight / power ratio ranging from 3.9 kg/hp for the Levante GTS to just 3.6 kg/hp for the Trofeo, performance figures have skyrocketed to the higher end of the SUV class and are comparable to those of modern-day supercars: it takes 4.2 seconds for the Levante GTS to accelerate from 0-100 km/h while the mighty Levante Trofeo needs only 3.9 seconds for the same sprint. Top speed is respectively 292 km/h and 304 km/h.
A new Corsa driving mode with Launch Control has been introduced exclusively for the ultimate Levante, which is no other than the 590hp Trofeo. Corsa mode is available in addition to the existing Normal, I.C.E., Sport and Off Road driving modes.
This sportiest driving mode is activated by long pressing the sport/corsa button on the revised center console cluster and enhances the athletic character of the most powerful Maserati today. The driver will immediately feel an eager engine response to the minimum throttle input and will appreciate the unique Maserati engine soundtrack provided by free gas flow through the wide open exhaust valves.
The new Corsa driving mode is also programmed to provide faster gear shifting, lower air suspension height levels, sportier Skyhook damping and optimized Intelligent Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive settings. With this sportiest mode activated, the intervention of the Traction Control and ESP systems is restrained for maximum driving enjoyment.
The Launch Control function can be activated only in Corsa mode and the gearshift level either in D or M position. With the car standing still and the steering wheel straight, the driver needs to pull the downshift paddle on the steering wheel while pressing the brake pedal to activate the Launch Control and get the visual confirmation in the instrument cluster.
Always pressing the brake pedal, the driver can safely apply full throttle input to see the engine rpm climb up. As soon as the brakes are released, the thunderous Levante Trofeo takes off in fast and furious style.
350hp to 430hp 3.0-litre Twin Turbo V6
The latest-generation Euro 6c-compliant engines are powerful, exciting to drive and eco-friendly, thanks to the Auto Start&Stop function. Designed by Maserati Powertrain in cooperation with Ferrari, they are also manufactured by Ferrari in Maranello.
The high-efficiency Maserati units feature low-inertia parallel twin turbos, double continuous cam phasers for each cylinder head and high-pressure (200 bar) fuel injection. Maximum torque is available well below 2000 rpm ensuring superb day-to-day drivability.
In the best Maserati tradition, the petrol engine’s exhaust system is controlled by pneumatic valves to maintain the rich aural signature of the brand. In the default driving mode, the bypass valves are closed for a comfortable and discreet engine sound.
In Sport mode, the exhaust valves open, providing the shortest possible exit route for the exhaust gases. This gives the Levante its maximum engine performance and the unique Maserati engine sound. Beneath the rear bumper, the exhaust gases emerge through two double tailpipes in polished steel.
With 321kW (430hp) of power at 5,750 rpm and 580 Nm of torque in Sport mode between 1,750 and 5,000 rpm, Levante S delivers a powerful driving experience. In Normal driving mode, the torque rises to 500 Nm in the lower rev range, reaching the 580 Nm maximum at 5,000 rpm.
The V6 engine features advanced valve control technology with hydraulic roller finger followers and four cam phasers, twin turbocharging and direct injection technology. The Levante S accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds and has a top speed of 264 km/h. Its 430hp engine is in line with its competitors in terms of fuel efficiency, with 11.8 l/100 km and 273 g/km CO2 emissions.
The 350hp V6 engine also offers an outstanding driving experience along with low fuel consumption, delivering 500 Nm torque from 1,750 rpm up to 5,000 rpm. The entry level Levante reaches 0-100 km/h in just 6.0 seconds and has a top speed of 251 km/h. Its combined consumption and CO2 emissions are respectively 11.6 l/100 km and 270 g/km.
275hp 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel
The 3.0-litre V6, which is manufactured by VM Motori, uses common-rail direct injection with reduced dwell-time injectors. The maximum injection pressure is 2000 bar and the system, which features Injection Rate Shaping technology (IRS), is able to perform up to eight injections in a single cycle. The IRS creates a continuous injection profile that improves performance and reduces emissions, assisted by a sophisticated Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system.
Other significant features are a ball-bearing variable-geometry turbocharger with variable nozzles and a fabricated exhaust manifold with Air Gap technology. Rotating the turbo shaft on ceramic ball bearings reduces friction by 50% and, as a result, turbo lag, and improves boost and torque.
The reduction in emissions is significant, with 8% fewer nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 9% fewer hydrocarbons (HC) in the NEDC cycle. Low friction turbo has more benefits, such as better cold-start behaviour, quicker boost time, significant torque improvements and reduced fuel consumption.
The use of steel instead of cast iron, plus the inclusion of Air Gap, means that the engine can reach higher temperatures, improving the air-flow speed to the turbo for even better performance.
The Auto Start&Stop system on the diesel version reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 6%. Auto Start-Stop is automatically disabled in both the Sport and ESC Off modes.
The Maserati turbodiesel develops 202kW (275hp) of power and a crushing 600 Nm peak torque, 90% of which available below 2,000 rpm. The Levante Diesel version accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds and reaches 230 km/h, while Its combined consumption is only 7.9 l/100 km with 210 g/km combined CO2 emissions.
A thrilling engine sound is essential for every Maserati, and the Levante Diesel is no exception thanks to the Maserati Active Sound system. Two sound actuators, fitted near the exhaust tailpipes, accentuate the engine’s most attractive tones and adjust them depending on the way the car is being driven.
In Sport driving mode, the sound becomes more resonant and remarkably inspirational for a diesel. Just the soundtrack you would expect from a Maserati.
Redesigned gearshift lever
MY19 Levante is fitted with a new gearshift lever for the eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox used on all Levante versions. The redesigned component features an intuitive, dual lane shift pattern providing shorter travel and improved functionality. The driver has the option to use the gearbox in either automatic (RND) or manual mode (M) simply by shifting the lever from right to left, while a new ‘P’ button on top sets the transmission in parking mode.
With the new gearshift lever, the driving modes cluster on the center console is even more user-friendly. The M button has been eliminated and the Off-Road mode button has taken its place leaving space for two separate buttons – instead of one – for the selection of the Sport driving mode and the Skyhook suspension sport setting. The selectable modes are Off-Road, I.C.E. (Increased Control & Efficiency) and Sport. In the Levante Trofeo, the cluster is slightly different featuring a Sport/Corsa button.
The eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox ensures exceptional comfort, low fuel consumption and reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). By default, the car is set to Auto Normal mode, which offers the right balance between ride comfort, reduced consumption and sportiness, performing smooth gear changes at low engine speeds.
In Off-Road mode, when the driver selects a chosen speed the car continues at this pace, even when climbing. This is extremely useful on a challenging climb, as the car will effectively drive itself, with the driver only having to manage the steering wheel. In Auto Off-Road mode the transmission recognises the different types of terrain, interacts with the ESP and alters its shifting response accordingly. In I.C.E. mode, gearshifts are almost unnoticeable, providing unrivalled driving comfort.
Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive System
The Maserati Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive System is based on an electronically-controlled multi-plate wet clutch, installed into a transfer case that is linked by a driveshaft to the front axle. The system is developed to deliver a typical Maserati rear-wheel drive experience, even in low-grip road conditions. It acts on demand by transferring traction to the front wheels with an immediate response.
In normal driving conditions, the Q4 provides 100% of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels. On slippery or loose road surfaces, or in the event of loss of traction at the rear, for extreme acceleration or very hard cornering, the system reacts instantaneously, transferring the necessary torque to the front wheels. In a matter of 150 milliseconds, it can alter the front/rear torque split from 0:100% to 50:50%.
With its variable torque control, the Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system is always active and responds immediately to any variation in the driving conditions. Whilst the activity of the system is imperceptible to the driver, it can be monitored in real time from the 7” colour information cluster display.
A sophisticated algorithm developed by the Maserati engineers monitors an extensive range of dynamic vehicle parameters in real time: wheel speed, steering and yaw angle, power output, speed, and braking action, as well as wheel grip and driving style.
By processing all this data, the system can determine a dedicated grip profile for each wheel, creating optimal vehicle dynamic management for any road condition, at any time. The objective is to ensure driving pleasure and absolute safety at the same time.
Limited-Slip Differential (LSD)
The Levante is equipped with a mechanical LSD at the rear axle. Fitted as standard on all V6 and V8 versions, it guarantees optimal traction in all driving situations. The asymmetric locking feature offers 25% lock-up under power and 35% under release.
The torque-vectoring function has been further developed for the Levante to increase the SUV’s sportiness and driving pleasure in conjunction with the LSD and Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive System. Whilst performing a cornering manoeuvre, the system distributes more torque to the outer wheels by applying a slight braking force to the inner wheels.
Chassis retuned for the new V8 versions
The objective of the Levante was to deliver Maserati-grade on-road handling and surprisingly competitive off-road capabilities. The new V8 versions offer unrivalled performance in the SUV class also thanks to focused chassis retuning.
The chassis of the Levante was designed to provide outstanding levels of rigidity, extremely low centre of gravity and ideal 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution, while keeping kerb weight under control. A genuine SUV, the Levante has been built like a classic Maserati sports car, with close attention paid to every performance-enhancing detail.
The extensive use of lightweight materials aimed not only at the reduction of the car’s weight but also at maximising occupant safety. The front part of the chassis is an aluminium casting with a reinforcing cross strut for outstanding rigidity in all directions. The rear section is in rolled steel, a heavier material that ensures optimised strength and weight distribution. The doors, the bonnet and the luggage compartment are made of lightweight aluminium. The car also features a dashboard strut in magnesium.
The adoption of the V8 engine has resulted in kerb weight increased by roughly 60 kg in comparison to the V6 petrol versions but front-rear weight distribution is still a perfect 50:50 for both new GTS and Trofeo versions.
Light aluminium alloy has been used for the suspension frame, the wishbones, the hub strut, the suspension towers and the crossbeam reinforcement. The suspension geometry is derived from the Ghibli layout but with specific revisions: increased stroke for off-road driving, higher spring rates to cope with heavy duty needs, and increased control of camber and toe variation to respond to the ride height variations that are possible with the Air Spring system.
In keeping with the race-bred tradition of Maserati, the Levante features double-wishbone suspension at the front, incorporating the latest technology for optimum control and precise handling. The suspension towers are integrated into the body structure of the car.
The quadrilateral architecture guarantees precise and direct steering. Multi-link five-arm suspension is featured at the rear to provide exceptional comfort and performance. To reduce weight, all arms are in aluminium: four are forged and one is cast.
Both front and rear suspensions adopt a roll bar for less body roll. The front bar is hollow for further weight saving. To achieve maximum structural stiffness, a cross-beam reinforcement has been introduced, linking the rear part of the suspension frame and the lower body structure.
Air Spring System
The Levante is standard equipped with a state-of-the-art Air Spring suspension. The system is a closed air supply concept, comprising four independent air springs, each with a level sensor, two reservoirs mounted on a rear suspension cradle, a compressor with valve block and the ECU that is integrated with the Skyhook damper management.
Apart from the obvious benefits, such as the improvement of comfort and active safety, the air suspension contributes to the reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, thanks to the lowering of the car and the reduced aerodynamic drag at medium to high speeds.
Stability and car control are also improved thanks to the lower centre of gravity and the reduced load transfer, while maximum speed is increased. The pneumatic system provides six different height levels (including Normal and Park).
The driver can manually alter the ride height via a rocker switch or by choosing different driving modes on the central console. The height variation from the lowest position to the highest is 75 mm – up to 85 mm with the Park level included. When the car stops, the suspension lowers by 45 mm, 10 mm lower than the Aero 2 mode, to assist the passengers’ entry and exit. The suspension returns to Normal at 24 km/h.
The suspension height varies in relation to speed (see “Table 1” strategy) in order to guarantee the highest levels of safety and drivability. Thanks to intelligent mapping, the suspension lowers automatically at higher speeds and accepts high ride (off-road modes) only under determined speeds.
Each of the two new GTS and Trofeo versions has its own Air Spring setup. When Corsa driving mode is selected, the Levante Trofeo is set by default in the Aero 2 level – 35 mm lower ride height than normal.
The driving modes are designed to simplify and make the Levante driving experience more exciting. The car starts in Normal mode by default. The Sport and Off-Road modes – and the Corsa mode in the Trofeo – enhance the dual character of the Levante, transforming it from a sporty, dynamic GT to a capable and comfortable off-road seeker at the push of a button.
The driver can completely de-activate the Maserati Stability Program (MSP) and separately set up the height level of the car using the Air Suspension selector just below the hazard warning button. Torque distribution is the same in every driving mode: 0:100 front/rear which can vary up to 50:50 in just 150 milliseconds.
In Normal mode the driver can choose between two suspension levels, Normal or Aero 1 (-20 mm). This suspension set-up is the best compromise between sporty and comfort damping.
In Sport mode the driver can keep the default suspension level or lower it to Aero 1. The MSP has a specific Sport set-up and torque vectoring is active in this mode.
When the driver pushes the new Skyhook button, the suspension stiffens and switches to Aero 1 level. The driver can modify the ride height from Aero 1 to Normal while maintaining Sport mode and Sport Skyhook damping.
The Off-Road mode can be selected from the appropriate button or from the rocker control. The ride height increases by 25 mm and the Skyhook system response changes. The driver can raise the car by a further 15 mm (Off-Road 2), some 40 mm higher than in the default mode. The resulting ground clearance reaches the outstanding figure of 247 mm.
|AIR SPRING RIDE HEIGHT STRATEGY|
|Selected height level||Ride height||Resulting level according to speed|
|Off-road 2||+40 mm||over 40 Km/h turns to Off-road 1 level|
|Off-road 1||+25 mm||over 90 Km/h turns to Normal level|
|Normal or I.C.E. / Sport||207 mm||over 130 Km/h lowers to Aero 1 level|
|Normal or I.C.E. / Sport||207 mm||over 185 Km/h lowers to Aero 2 level|
|Aero 1||-20 mm||under 90 Km/h returns to Normal level|
|Aero 2||-35 mm||under 140 Km/h returns to Aero 1 level|
Sport Skyhook system
The Levante is equipped with aluminium, electronically controlled dampers. The ECU monitors a wide range of parameters, including the vehicle’s dynamics, body and wheel movements, shock absorber settings as well as the suspension height level, thanks to additional sensors integrated in the air springs. Depending on the selected driving mode, the system adjusts the damping rate separately for each wheel to satisfy the current load and handling conditions.
When the car is switched on, the shock absorbers are set to give priority to comfort. By pressing the new Sport Skyhook setting button on the central console cluster, the shock absorbers get stiffer and significantly give the car a sportier character by reducing longitudinal and lateral load transfer.
Each of the new V8 versions has specific Skyhook settings. The sportiest setting is achieved by selecting the Corsa driving mode exclusively in the Levante Trofeo version.
The new Levante GTS and Trofeo feature a state-of-the-art braking system that deals superbly with the car’s high performance. The front system has adopted Brembo 6-piston aluminium monobloc calipers working on 380 mm drilled discs. 42 mm floating calipers with 330 mm x 22 mm ventilated drilled discs are fitted at the rear. The 430hp Levante S is also equipped with the same braking system.
The 350hp Levante petrol and the Levante Diesel are equipped with 2-piston 48 mm floating calipers working on 345 mm x 32 mm ventilated discs at the front. The rear brakes are the same with the most powerful V6 and V8 versions but without drilled discs.
In Europe, the MY19 Levante GranLusso and GranSport are standard equipped with the brakes of the high performance Levante GTS, Trofeo and S versions, which are also part of an optional Handling Pack for the baseline Levante 350hp and Diesel versions.
Electric Power Steering (EPS)
Electric Power Steering improves the car’s handling and comfort while better supporting the driving modes and enabling the Advanced Driving Assistance Systems. EPS retains the razor-sharp feeling typical of every Maserati and offers improved filtering of road irregularities and peace of mind while parking or carrying out low-speed manoeuvres.
With an electronically-controlled electric actuator on the rack and pinion steering, EPS has better overall response and its functionality can be tuned accurately to exceed any requirement.
Integrated Vehicle Control and Active ADAS
The Maserati Integrated Vehicle Control (IVC) function has been incorporated in the Maserati Stability Program control for the first time in the Levante range, while the optional active Advanced Driver Assistance Systems provide Level 2 autonomous driving technology.
The new V8 versions have introduced the Integrated Vehicle Control (IVC) function as a standard feature in the entire Levante range. Developed in collaboration with Bosch, the IVC is capable to prevent rather than simply correct loss of control, providing enhanced active safety and better dynamics.
IVC uses a smart, feed-forward controller that predicts driving situations and adapts the engine speed and brakes accordingly. The system helps drivers maintain control of their vehicle, instead of simply correcting driver mistakes as traditional ESP systems do.
In its Levante Trofeo application, IVC is specifically tuned to decrease understeer tendencies, typical to SUV cars. An understeer / oversteer function inside the Electric Power Steering control cooperates with the IVC system, resulting in a more natural and predictable driving feeling. The system instantly controls the steering torque on the steering wheel providing the driver with optimum feedback, especially in sporty driving.
Maserati Stability Program
The Maserati Stability Program (MSP) is an advanced active safety and driver assistance system that was further developed for the dual – on-road and off-road – character of the Levante. Thanks to a series of sensors, it detects any unusual handling behaviour and acts upon the brakes and engine to restore car control. The MSP is connected to the Hill Holder function and integrates sub-systems such as ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), Engine brake torque control (MSR) , Brake Assist System (BAS), Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA) and now the Integrated Vehicle Control (IVC).
The Levante is equipped with the Bosch ABS-ESP9, which integrates advanced functions like Torque vectoring (in Sport mode), Off-Road mode with three settings for gravel roads, deep snow or wet grass, Rollover Mitigation, Hydraulic Brake Compensation, Trailer Sway Mitigation (TSM), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Hill Descent Control (HDC).
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
The ADAS package is available as an option in the entire MY19 Levante range. Although ADAS are valuable assets for ensuring a safer driving experience, Maserati also remains faithful to its core philosophy as a manufacturer of race-bred grand touring cars with superior dynamics capable of offering unparalleled driving experience.
This principle fully applies to the Levante, a high-end SUV that puts the driver first – a genuine driving machine that is not intended to be a self-driving vehicle. The addition of the active ADAS package in the Levante range further improves active safety in a variety of traffic conditions, but the driver should remain 100% in control at all times.
Highway Assist: a “hands-on” function intended for use on highways or limited access freeways at speeds up to 145 km/h with the Adaptive Cruise Control activated. It reduces driver fatigue and consequently enhances active safety by allowing the car to keep itself centred in its lane and to adapt its pre-selected speed in full autonomy.
The system employs a radar unit and a forward-looking camera and works with the EPS to control the direction of the car. The multi-function camera detects horizontal road markings and calculates the distance and speed of the preceding vehicle. Highway Assist includes a radio that provides road information, and a ‘hands on wheel’ detection system. The driver can override the system at any time.
Lane Keeping Assist: it keeps the car centred in its lane with direct input to the Electric Power Steering while the instrument panel display shows the specific status. When the Visual & Haptic box is selected in the touchscreen display, LKA actively steps in with corrective steering torque.
LKA uses a forward-looking camera that detects lane markers to determine the car’s position, as well as a radar for data processing. The system works at speeds between 60 km/h and 180 km/h and when the indicators are on, it is deactivated.
Active Blind Spot Assist: a system that attempts to prevent a collision during lane change by using two radar-based sensors to monitor blind spot areas. As well as providing an LED and acoustic warning, ABSA can communicate with the EPS to intervene with steering torque and prevent a possible collision.
Traffic Sign Recognition*: essentially, TSR prevents unintended speeding, providing the driver with real time information on the instrument panel about the current speed limit. Traffic Sign Recognition identifies speed limits for specific conditions, such as rain, fog or hour-specific limits, and uses map data from the navigation system to inform the driver in case actual signs are non-existent, invisible or not recognisable by the camera system.
* System available in specific markets
Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go function: The Levante is equipped with a cruise control system as standard. The optional Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go function further increases comfort and safety when driving on main roads and motorways.
When activated (between 30 and 210 km/h), ACC constantly monitors the space between the Levante and the vehicle ahead, maintaining a safe pre-set distance. If traffic slows or another vehicle moves in front, it slows the car down by making it coast or by engaging the brakes. Thanks to the Stop & Go function, the car will adjust to the target vehicle’s speed until it comes to a complete stop and will set off automatically if the stop is shorter than two seconds.
Forward Collision Warning Plus and Advanced Brake Assist: FCW monitors vehicles ahead by means of a camera and warns the driver through visual and acoustic alerts when they are in danger of a possible rear-end collision. If the driver brakes and the system determines that they have not applied sufficient brake force, ABA will compensate for this.
Hill Holder: The Hill Holder system uses the on-board sensors to detect the vehicle’s angle when parked facing uphill and keeps the braking pressure for a few seconds so that the driver has enough time to release the brake pedal and accelerate before the car rolls backwards.
Hill Descent Control: HDC allows a smooth and controlled hill descent on snow or rough terrain without the driver needing to touch the brake pedal. When activated via the dedicated button on the steering wheel, the vehicle will descend using ABS to control each wheel’s speed.
Surround View Camera and Park Assist
The Surround View Camera system uses four cameras in total and provides a clear 360° view around the car on a top-down image in the 8.4” screen. It is activated automatically in reverse gear or manually by pressing the soft button on the MTC+ display. Park Assist provides visual and acoustic signals of the distance between the rear or front bumper and a detected obstacle when reversing or moving forward. Four sensors in the rear bumper and six in the front monitor the area behind and in front of the car, respectively up to 2 and 1.2 metres.
The front of the occupant compartment features hot-moulded steel components, with a magnesium dashboard strut, while the rear is stiffened with high strength steel. The bars at the front and rear end are in extruded aluminium, while the doors and the bonnet are in stamped aluminium. A third load path has been added at the front of the front suspension frame, improving the crash forces distribution on the car’s structure and ensuring the stability of the body in frontal impacts. Last but not least, the reinforcements on the rear longitudinal beams comply with US rear impact standard Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 301.
The Levante comes equipped with six airbags: two front dual-stage airbags, plus two side airbags located in the front seats for torsos and hips protect driver and front passenger. Two side curtain airbags fitted in the roof lining next to the central pillar cushion the heads of front and rear passengers.
The front seats are equipped with anti-whiplash safety equipment to reduce trauma to the occupants’ upper vertebrae. In the event of an impact from behind, the reactive headrests automatically move in closer to reduce the distance between their surface and each passenger’s head. The front three-point seat belts are equipped with pyrotechnic pre-tensioners and load limiters. In the event of a collision, these restrain passengers securely and help prevent injury.
Challenging testing in five continents
The Levante has been subjected to a long and rigorous programme of reliability tests, which included environments where no other Maserati had ever been before.
Thirty-four Levante mule prototypes were driven in an exhaustive testing programme covering millions of kilometres. Extreme hot climate tests were carried out in South Africa and in the deserts of UAE (United Arab Emirates) and Morocco, where daytime temperatures soared to 48-50°C. More recently, about a dozen V8 prototypes were tested in similar conditions.
Extreme cold-climate tests were executed in Lapland and in New Zealand, while specific quality checks were carried out from Death Valley in the USA to China to the deserts of UAE. High mileage reliability tests were carried out in Nevada and in Russia. In such regional testing cycles, the cars were put to the test by local drivers.
Each component of the Maserati Levante was tested for endurance and its ability to satisfy the high standards of the luxury SUV segment. Then, every single car coming off the production line is test driven on the road for a total of 50 kilometres, following the standardised Maserati procedure.
Before it is delivered to the customer, the car undergoes an additional 30-minute quality test, which includes the BIW unit, paint unit and assembly units, as well as electrics checks, dynamometer bench testing, and a water test.
The development of the new V8 Levante versions started as a skunkworks project by the Maserati technical centre in Modena, well before the official launch of the SUV model in 2016. Without informing the headquarters in Viale Ciro Menotti 322, the engineers built a V8 prototype intended to test the performance limits of the Levante platform. That unbranded V8 “mule” was an inspiration for the top management to proceed with the development of a super Levante built around a Twin Turbo V8 engine.
The development phase officially commenced in summer 2016. The engineers were given a challenging timeframe and they were immediately focused, in association with their counterparts in Ferrari, on mating the V8 engine with the Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system as well as on reaching the high performance targets of the project.
In May 2017, Maserati engineers and testers were sent around the world to test a dozen of V8 prototypes in diverse road and extreme weather conditions, from the proving grounds of Balocco, Nardò and Barcelona to the twisty, desert or icy roads of Sierra Nevada, South Africa, Arizona and Lapland. The long-term testing activities covered extreme environments and climates ranging from -35°C to well over 40°C.