Shortly after Maserati unveiled the Kubang concept at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, rumors began circulating that a production version would be offered. Shortly after, Maserati confirmed that a production version will indeed be offered, but the production version will drop the Kubang name in favor of Levante.
The SUV takes its name from the Via Emilia Levante in Bologna, where the Maserati brothers, almost a century ago, dreamed up the company that today still bears their name.
The Levante will be offered with three engines: a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine delivering 410 horsepower, a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8 engine with 530 horsepower and a turbo-diesel engine only offered in Europe. All the three engines will be mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and will send their power to all four wheels via Maserati’s new all-wheel-drive system.
Maserati’s first SUV will combine exterior and interior elements from Quattroporte and Ghibli with some electronic architecture from Chrysler and Jeep.
Until recently, it was rumored that the Levante would be built at Chrysler’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit alongside the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but due to the huge demand for the Jeep SUV, this isn’t a possibility. Instead, it will be produced in Italy.
The Levante will be unveiled in 2014 - just in time to celebrate Maserati’s centennial.
Image Note: The above image is a TopSpeed rendering and not an official image of the Levante
Update 5/21/2013: A report by Edmunds has revealed more information on the Levante’s production home and drivetrain. Full story
Maserati has kept itself busy during the 2012 Paris Motor Show: Not only did they unveil the new GranCabrio MC, but they also announced the names of three much-awaited future Maserati products. The new vehicles will join the company’s line-up in an attempt to hit a sales target of 50,000 units per year by 2015.
The first model to arrive on the market will be the new generation Quattroporte - a sports luxury sedan that will continue the 50-year success story that began in 1963. If rumors are to be trusted, we will see this model in March 2013 at the Geneva Motor Show.
Next, there will be the long rumored baby Quattroporte - a new high-end E segment four-door sedan. The new model will be called Ghibli – a name used on a Gran Turismo car produced between 1966–73 and then from 1992–97. It will arrive on the market a few months after the new generation Quattroporte.
Finally, the production version of the Kubang Concept will be called the Levante. The SUV takes its name from the Via Emilia Levante in Bologna, where the Maserati brothers, almost a century ago, dreamt of the company that today still bears their name. The Levante will be unveiled in 2014 - just in time to celebrate Maserati’s centennial.