Maserati Levante Trofeo rises to the upper echelons of the performance SUV pack
The Jaguar F-Pace isn't the only one of the world's best-looking SUVs receiving a serious power and performance upgrade at this year's New York Auto Show. The Maserati Levante has gotten an even more impressive performance tune, sliding it right up into Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus super-SUV territory. The all-new Levante Trofeo packs 590 hp of twin-turbo V8 engine might, allowing for sprints and top speed runs that'll make some sports coupes jealous.
Not only is the Levante Trofeo the most powerful Levante out there, it's the first to be built around a V8 engine. The 3.8-liter Ferrari-built V8 breathes with help from twin turbochargers, giving it the ability to channel 590 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque through Maserati's Q4 intelligent all-wheel drive. Maserati makes clear that the engine is one of the most powerful to ever grace a trident-badged vehicle and the one with the highest output per liter (156 hp/L).
That sounds impressive enough on its own, and it only gets more impressive when translated into raw performance numbers. Maserati estimates 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) at a mere 3.7 seconds, 0-62 mph (100 km/h) at 3.9 seconds and top speed at over 186 mph (300 km/h) - not too bad for a 197-in (5,003-mm), ~4,650-lb (~2,109-kg) utility vehicle.
To help drivers reach those benchmarks, Maserati has added a Corsa driving mode with launch control. Among other things, the new driving mode improves engine response, opens exhaust valves during acceleration, quickens gear shifting, and lowers the air suspension. Maserati has also added its Integrated Vehicle Control system for the first time in a Levante, helping improve stability and driving dynamics.
The Levante's styling has been retouched to match its added performance, particularly down low where a more aggressive lower front fascia, new rear bumper design and 22-in "Orione" forged aluminum wheels create a sleek, sturdy base. The redesigned front-end includes a carbon fiber splitter and carbon fiber side bezel blades. Full Matrix LED headlights up above throw light onto the fast-approaching pavement ahead of the quick-moving SUV.
Other updates around the exterior include a new vented hood, carbon fiber side skirt inserts and Trofeo badges. Painted brake calipers highlight the Trofeo's ability to grind to a stop in 113 feet (34.5 m). Underneath that bodywork, Maserati has dropped in a specially badged carbon fiber engine cover and has tuned the chassis in line with the added engine power.
The interior is where all the magic happens, and Maserati ensures that driver and passengers remain keenly aware of the Trofeo's elevated nature. The sport seats are wrapped in supple premium "Pieno Fiore" leather and stitched with contrast color and Trofeo logos. Carbon fiber paddle shifters and trim, Trofeo floor mats and model-specific instrument graphics further enhance the high-performance atmosphere. Also included are a clock with unique dial and standard 1,280-watt, 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system.
Maserati will begin production of the Levante Trofeo in Turin, Italy this summer. The performance model will initially be built exclusively for export markets like the US and Canada, starting with a limited-production "launch edition" with special colors and options.