Maserati debuted one of the most powerful and fastest production vehicles it has ever produced — and surprise surprise, it’s an SUV. The Levante Trofeo made its grand entrance in launch edition guise at the 2018 New York International Auto Show.
The Levante Trofeo adds aesthetic and functional elements over the standard Levante, and is the latest luxury and performance SUV added to the ranks of offerings from Lamborghini, Bentley, Porsche, and Rolls-Royce, among others. It mates a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 to Maserati’s Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system, delivering 590 hp and 730 pound-feet of torque. It will go from 0-62 mph in 3.9 seconds and hit a top speed of more than 186 mph.
The engine boasts the highest output-per-liter (156 hp/liter) of any Maserati powerplant ever produced and, like all Maserati gasoline engines, is assembled by Ferrari in Maranello, Italy.
“It’s proof that when you play with the elements you end up in a storm,” Maserati CEO Tim Kuniskis said. “In the case of Trofeo, the engineers and designers in Modena knew that the driveline parameters were more than able to cope with additional power and they also knew that Maserati had access to the finest engines on earth. So, they were up to the challenge of making the finest luxury SUV also one of the fastest.”
The Trofeo adds a “Corsa” driving mode with launch control functionality to the existing Normal, I.C.E., Sport, and Off-Road modes. Corsa mode improves engine response while opening exhaust valves for more noise. It also makes the gears shift faster and lowers the air suspension ride height. Maserati included its Integrated Vehicle Control (IVC) for the first time in a Levante.
As with all Levante models, the Trofeo has a 50:50 weight balance and the low center of gravity, in combination with a finely tuned double-wishbone front/multi-link rear suspension.
The Trofeo sports 22-inch forged aluminum “Orione” wheels — the biggest ever fitted on a Maserati. Carbon fiber side bezel blades and a carbon fiber splitter accent the front end. LED headlights surround a front grille with piano black bars and a lower honeycomb mesh fascia. Out back, a carbon fiber horizontal element adds width to the look, and oval quad exhaust tips poke out from the lower fascia.
A new hood features functional vents to aid in cooling. Underneath, the carbon fiber engine cover depicts the Trident logo, and the cylinder heads and intake manifolds are painted red.
Inside the Trofeo launch edition interior, sports seats are wrapped in full-grain natural leather, and you can have them in black, red, or tan, with contrast stitching. Maserati says the “Pieno Fiore” leather is “like no other leather used in the automotive industry,” citing its natural, soft feel and “unique character.” Painted brake calipers can be had in red, blue, black, silver, or yellow. Specific “Saetta” Trofeo logos adorn the c-pillars.
A serialized launch edition badge is integrated into the center console and features the customer’s name.
The interior is embellished with Trofeo badging, along with matte carbon fiber trim and paddle shifters and a Maserati clock. A 17-speaker Bowers and Wilkins surround sound system puts out 1,280 watts.
The Levante Trofeo launch edition will be available in eight unique exterior colors. The show car is in the special matte Grigio Lava paint, with matte finished 22-inch wheels and red brake calipers.
The Levante Trofeo will start production this summer at the Maserati plant in Mirafiori, Italy. Pricing will be announced at a later date.
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