Tuner Novitec adds visual, mechanical muscle to Maserati’s Levante SUV

Novitec Maserati Levante

While car enthusiasts may still be digesting the idea of a Maserati SUV, tuners seem to love the Levante. Even though the Levante has only been on sale for about a year, Novitec already has a series of upgrades for it, including a wide body kit and some performance tweaks.

The body kit includes fender flares that add 3.9 inches of width at the front, and 4.7 inches at the back. They give the Levante a more aggressive, hunkered-down stance and emphasize how much the curvaceous body really resembles a car more than a traditional SUV. We could do without the strip of glossy carbon fiber on the hood, which seems tacked on and unnecessarily gaudy.

A retuned air suspension system allows the Levante to ride one inch lower to the ground. It erases all pretensions of off-roading, but that was probably never a priority for Maserati itself, or any potential owners. Novitec equipped the Levante with 22-inch wheels, which fill out the wheel wells nicely.

On the performance side, Novitec claims to be able to get 487 horsepower and 487 pound-feet of torque out of the Levante’s 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6. This engine normally makes 345 hp and 369 lb-ft in the base U.S.-market Levante, and 424 hp and 428 lb-ft in the Levante S. Novitec claims a 0 to 62 mph time of 4.8 seconds, an improvement of 0.2 of a second over the Levante S. The company also offers tuning options for the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 Levante, which isn’t sold in the U.S.

Maserati isn’t letting the tuners have all of the fun, though. It’s reportedly planning its own hotter version of the Levante, which may borrow the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 from the Quattroporte sedan. The automaker might also build a Levante plug-in hybrid, a type of vehicle that also has at least some performance potential, as Volvo has shown with its Polestar-tuned XC90 T8.