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2017 Maserati Levante revealed ahead of schedule by leaked patent images

Technical images mysteriously leaked out of a patent office have prematurely revealed the 2017 Maserati Levante.

The images confirm Maserati’s first-ever crossover borrows more than a few styling cues from the Ghibli and the range-topping Quattroporte. Up front, it features sharp headlights, a hexagonal grille with eight vertical slats, large air dams and a power dome hood. The fenders are fitted with three vents, a heritage-laced stylistic feature shared with the Quattroporte, the Ghibli and the GranTurismo.

The roofline peaks above the driver and gently slopes down towards the back. Pronounced haunches and a rakish D-pillar appear to give the Levante a sportier silhouette than the Porsche Cayenne and the Land Rover Range Rover Sport, two of its closest rivals, but it’s too early to tell for sure. Out back, the off-roader gains Quattroporte-inspired tail lamps, a roof-mounted spoiler, and four oval exhaust tips.

Technical details were not leaked but an earlier report claims the Levante will be offered with two V6 engines rated at 350 and 450 horsepower, respectively, and a 580-horsepower V8 tuned with input from Ferrari. In the United States, the three engines will send power to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Our friends across the pond will likely have access to at least one turbodiesel engine and to a six-speed manual transmission, but neither feature is currently being considered for North America.

Built in Turin, Italy, the no-longer-fully-shrouded Maserati Levante is expected to bow at the 2016 edition of the Detroit Motor Show that will open its doors next January. Pricing will start at approximately $100,000.

Maserati believes it can initially sell between 10,000 and 15,000 examples of the Levante annually. The off-roader’s main markets will be the United States and, of course, China, and it will go a long way in helping the automaker reach its ambitious goal of selling 75,000 cars a year by 2018.

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