Maserati’s sports SUV won’t be Jeep-based, but will instead ride on the Ghibli platform

The Maserati SUV, the Levante, has been in the works for some time now, and details of the luxury SUV are finally becoming clearer.

The Italian luxury brand had once said that its first-ever SUV would be based upon the Jeep Grand Cherokee platform, which, in turn, is based on the last-gen Mercedes-Benz ML-Class. Although a bit confusing to follow, this chassis choice made much sense, as both Maserati and Chrysler are owned by Fiat.

According to MotorTrend, though, the fine folks over at Maserati have instead decided that the Levante will join the Quattroporte/Ghibli platform. While this will make the Maserati SUV far less capable off-road, it also makes it much more sporty. Interesting side note: this ‘Italian’ platform is actually a variant of the old Mercedes-Benz E-Class chassis. So there’s that.

So if not Jeep’s trail-rated capabilities, what will the Italian SUV offer? We suspect that the Levante will include a version of the Q4 all-wheel drive system and Skyhook suspension system shared by both the Quattroporte and the Ghibli. It would also make sense for the SUV to share engine options with the Quattroporte, which is exciting indeed but also a bit complicating.

You see, presently, Maserati only offers all-wheel drive on its V6 models, while the V8s receive rear-wheel drive only. Maserati has stated the option is not offered because of the lack of demand, but that could be different in the SUV market.

While we might have wished for a Maserati capable of rock-crawling, we’re very excited by fact that the Levante will effectively be a sports sedan with extra interior space. And there’s nothing wrong with that.