Maserati Plans No Porsche Macan Rival Anytime Soon
Although the upcoming Levante SUV is no more than a jacked-up Ghibli sedan as of March 2015, some reports are already talking about Maserati’s plans to build a smaller crossover that would compete against the likes of the Porsche Macan and Audi Q5. And while such a scenario might put a smile on some faces, Maserati is not yet willing to expand in the luxury crossover market. At least that’s what Maserati boss Harald Wester had to say.
"We are an extremely complex multi-brand group and to have everyone doing a little bit of everything is not the right way. We have nameplates that cover that ground, or that plan to cover that ground," Wester told AutoCar. With the Levante still a year away from its official reveal, it makes sense for Wester to rule out a new product, but that’s likely to change once Maserati gets a taste of the impact an SUV can have on its global sales.
"In this business, you should never say ’no’ in a dogmatic way, but my personal opinion is that Maserati wouldn’t want to go below the Levante in size," he added, hinting that the Italians might change their strategy over the next few years.
Continue reading to learn more about Maserati’s future crossovers.
Why it matters
Maserati is one of the many automakers to have jumped on the crossover/SUV bandwagon for the sake of profits. The Levante will be crucial in helping the brand to reach its sales target of 75,000 units a year by 2018, and I honestly believe Maserati won’t stop there. Much like Porsche launched the Macan as a smaller alternative to the Cayenne after the large SUV poured massive profits into its coffers, Maserati will likely add a smaller crossover to its lineup by the end of the decade. It has the means, the drivetrains, and the FCA platform to do it and the prospect of moving close to 100,000 units a year should prompt a green light for the Levante’s unborn little brother.
Although it’s still being tested as a perched Ghibli with flared fenders and a modified roof, the Levante will closely resemble the Kubang Concept once it hits the production line. Expect an exterior to match the company’s current design language and an interior that’s as luxurious as the Quattroporte’s. Under the hood, the SUV will get the Ghibli’s 3.0-liter V-6 with up to 400 horsepower, as well as a twin-turbo V-8 rated at more than 500 horses. The Levante could also receive the 3.0-liter diesel that debuted in the Ghibli, which would help it compete with the Cayenne in the diesel luxury SUV niche.