THE PREMIUM OFF-ROADER
A premium SUV is the automotive version of the decathlete – very good at a lot of different events. It has to be as luxurious as an executive saloon, as capacious as an estate, and as sure-footed as an off-roader. No wonder everybody wants one. Ah, but what if you also want it to be as thrilling to drive as a powerful grand tourer? Fret no longer – the 430Hp Maserati Levante S is here. Up until now the UK has only had one Levante engine option, a torquey and capable 3.0-litre V6 diesel developing 275hp. That’s more than respectable in the performance stakes and a fine riposte to anyone who feels that the words ‘diesel Maserati’ is an oxymoron. However, the new Levante S is for those who demand something more, namely sports-car performance together with the kind of sounds that a thoroughbred petrol engine makes.
From the outside, Levante’s sinuous, sleek silhouette stands out from the generic premium SUV crowd. The classic Maserati traits include the trident badge on grille and C pillar, and three distinctive air vents on the front wing. It’s a sporty, yet practical shape with ample space inside for five. Driver and passengers are cosseted in a beautiful – and beautifully-crafted – interior, with premium leather upholstery or the option of Zegna Mulberry silk for the top of the range models. Bowers and Wilkins or Harman Kardon audio systems deliver the power and precision of a live concert to the cabin, and you can personalise the interior with a wide choice of finishes, including carbon fibre. Infotainment options are accessed via Maserati’s Touch Control 8.4" screen.