The Levante’s success has Maserati pondering another SUV

Say what you will about the sudden rush among automakers to enter the SUV market, but the numbers don’t lie. SUVs are arguably the most popular segment in the industry today and everyone wants a piece of it. Take Maserati for example. The Italian automaker best known for its line of performance and luxury machines launched the Levante SUV back in 2016 and it’s already posting strong sales numbers, according to company boss Reid Bigland. The success of the Levante has now opened the possibility for Maserati to double down on the market with a new SUV.

To be clear, Bigland stopped short of actually confirming the company’s plans to build another SUV, opting only to say that if “customer preference continues to evolve,” Maserati will take that into strong consideration should it decide that the Levante would need a running-mate to compete against a field of strong competitors. There’s already a precedent for Maserati to think in this terms, specifically the way Porsche has managed to parlay the Cayenne’s popularity to create a family of models that now includes the Macan. As it stands, the Levante is already on pace to sell 25,000 units this year after posting 14,000 sold units of the model in 2016. It certainly wouldn’t be shocking to see the Italian automaker to move in the direction of adding another SUV to its lineup. The question now is how and when it’s going to do it.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Don’t be surprised if Maserati builds another SUV

2016 Maserati Levante High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Companies like Maserati, Lamborghini, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce have launched, or are about to launch their own SUVs

Anytime the subject of SUVs is broached, it’s usually tied into sales volume. That’s how popular the segment has become among customers. And without any preconceived prejudices about the segment, it’s not hard to see why. SUVs, by and large, are the most versatile cars on the market, capable of being family cars, performance cars, and off-roaders all in one. It’s a big reason why it’s popularity has surged to such an extent that companies like Maserati, Lamborghini, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce have launched, or are about to launch their own SUVs. The market is as healthy as it’s ever been and there’s no reason why a company can’t take advantage of it.

It’s especially true for a company like Maserati. It has the storied history and the marquee name, but it’s never been considered as a mainstream automaker that routinely posts five-digit sales numbers. But the arrival of the Levante not only ignited interest in the brand, it’s also responsible for a significant percentage of the company’s overall sales volume. It’s funny that Reig Bigland told Auto Motor und Sport that aiming for sales records is not the company’s priority. While that may be true in some respects, don’t think for one second that there aren’t any fist bumps happening in Modena because of the surging popularity of the Levante.

Maserati Opens The Door For a Second SUV High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Levante is proving that it’s more than up to the task of being that moneymaker for Maserati.

Bigland can skirt around it all he wants, but if this new SUV does come to fruition, it’s not going to be because Maserati wants to maintain its “exclusive” status. It’s going to be because it knows how popular the SUV segment is today and the opportunity to make a mark is right there for the taking. At the end of the day, the auto industry is a business and the point of being successful in business is making money. The Levante is proving that it’s more than up to the task of being that moneymaker for Maserati. What’s stopping the company, then, from taking advantage of that and adding another SUV to complement the Levante?

The short answer is “nothing,” so if the company really intends to maximize its potential in this segment, the Levante has shown that there’s enough room for another Maserati SUV to join in on the fun.

Maserate Levante Drivetrain Specifications

Levante 350 hp Levante S 430 hp Levante Diesel 275 hp
Engine Layout Petrol 600 V6, twin-turbo - direct injection (GDI) Petrol 600 V6, twin-turbo - direct injection (GDI) Turbodiesel 600 V6 common rail
Displacement (cc) 2,979 2,979 2,987
Max. Power 350 HP @ 5,750 RPM 430 HP @ 5,750 RPM 275 HP @ 4,000 RPM
Max. Torque 368 LB-FT @ 4,500-5,000 RPM 427 LB-FT @ 4,500-5,000 RPM 442 LB-FT @ 2,000-2,600 RPM
0-100 km/h (sec) 6.0 5.2 6.9
Top speed (km/h) 251 (156 mph) 264 (164 mph) 230 (143 mph)
Gearbox 8-speed automatic ZF AT8 - HP70 8-speed automatic ZF AT8 - HP70 8-speed automatic ZF AT8 - HP70

Read our full review on the Maserati Levante here.

Source: Auto Motor und Sport

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