Maserati’s first-ever built SUV originally was going to be based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee. However, the automaker changed its mind and chose to use the platform developed for the Quattroporte and Ghibli. Maserati mentioned that the platform was intended to accommodate SUVs in the first place—and boasts that it allowed the engineers to give the new Levante a 50-50 weight distribution and the lowest center of gravity in the segment. All of the Levantes will drive on control-arm suspension with the company’s trademark Skyhook dampers and adjustable air springs, allowing the model to achieve 5 different height options, in addition to a separate setting just for parking. You can have your Levante powered by any engine you want, as long as it’s a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6. There will be no fewer than to choose from, including two direct-injected gasoline engines in 345- and 424-hp states of tune and one diesel six that churns out 271 horsepower, yet unlikely for the GCC regions. All are mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic that comes with a mechanical limited-slip differential and Maserati’s Q4 all-wheel-drive system, which here offers torque vectoring. In normal driving mode, 100 percent of the torque goes to the rear wheels only, but when slip is detected, up to 50 percent can be redirected to the front axle. Maserati estimates that zero-to-100-kmh acceleration takes only 5.2 secs with the 424 horsepower engine and 6.0 secs for the 345 horsepower unit; the diesel is said to hit 100 in under 6.9 seconds. We will update you once we know it will hit the UAE markets.
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