The V-8-powered Levante you’ve been asking for!

Introduced in 2017, the Levante is Maserati’s first-ever SUV and the company’s big bet on becoming a much more profitable brand within FCA. Stylish yet sporty, the Levante successfully blends the aggressive lines of the iconic GranTurismo and the elegant cues of the Quattroporte sedan, all with a modern twist. Available with both gasoline and diesel V-6 engines, the Levante was a big success in its first year on the market. But, something was missing from the lineup from the very beginning: a beefed-up version that would compete against high-performance SUVs from BMW M, Mercedes-AMG, and Porsche. Fortunately, Maserati had it covered all along and launched the Levante Trofeo, a V-8 model with more than 500 horsepower.

Powered by the same Ferrari-built engine that motivates the Quattroporte GTS, but with revised internals and significantly more oomph, the Trofeo is Italy’s answer to the BMW X5 M, Porsche Cayenne Turbo, and the Mercedes-AMG GLE63. The Lamborghini Urus doesn’t count here since it’s awfully expensive by comparison. The new engine is backed by a more aggressive exterior with unique features, as well as a bespoke interior with added luxury and carbon-fiber trim. The Levante Trofeo is indeed ready to hit the track, as its name suggests, and it seems that the Germans have yet another reason to worry about.

Continue reading to learn more about the Maserati Levante Trofeo.

2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo Exterior

  • Bigger bumper intakes
  • Blacked-out front grille
  • Honeycomb mesh
  • Vented engine hood
  • Carbon-fiber splitter
  • 22-inch wheels
  • Carbon-fiber diffuser
  • Black window trim
2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo Exterior
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The Trofeo package isn’t as aggressive as the race-inspired name might suggest, but it does change the way the Levante looks

The Trofeo package isn’t as aggressive as the race-inspired name might suggest, but it does change the way the Levante looks in ways you cannot ignore. The most visible changes have been operated up front, where the bumper boasts a more aggressive intake design with three separate outlets. While the standard model has a slim opening under the grille that extends into slightly larger vents toward the sides, the Trofeo employs a much bigger, trapezoidal vent in the center apron. On the sides, there are significantly larger vents for improved cooling to the brakes. Speaking of that, two extra vents on the engine hood enhance cylinder head cooling.

Maserati also added a carbon-fiber splitter, carbon-fiber bezels to the side vents, and carbon-fiber wings on each side of these outlets. The standard chrome bars in the front grille have been replaced by double vertical slats in Piano Black, while the lower grilles have a race-inspired honeycomb mesh. Finally, the Trofeo is fitted with full Matrix LED headlamps as standard.

2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo Exterior
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The profile of the SUV also benefits from design elements that give it a sportier stance

The profile of the SUV also benefits from design elements that give it a sportier stance, starting with the blacked-out window trim and the body-colored door handles. The Trofeo also rides on new five-spoke, two-tone, forged aluminum wheels that measure 22-inch. It’s the first time that a Maserati uses wheels this big. Available in polished or matte finishes, the wheels cover performance brake calipers that can be had in red, blue, black, silver, or yellow. The side view is rounded off by specific "Saetta" Trofeo logos on the C-pillars.

Changes aren’t as dramatic around back, but the Trofeo sports a carbon-fiber diffuser-like element with a body-colored lower extractor for a distinct look. The exhaust pipes also have a dark chrome finish to match the overall look of the car. Surprisingly enough, the tailgate spoiler is identical to the standard Levante. I was expecting a bigger element on the Trofeo, but it’s safe to assume that Maserati considered there’s no need for a bigger wing.

2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo Interior

  • Pieno Fiore natural leather
  • Contrast stitching
  • "Trofeo" logos
  • Carbon-fiber trim
  • Carbon paddle shifters
  • Bowers & Wilkins audio system
  • Custom instrument cluster graphics
2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo Interior
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Maserati made sure that the Trofeo stands out when compared to other Levante models

The interior remains the same as far as design and important features go, but Maserati made sure that the Trofeo stands out when compared to other Levante models. The SUV now has a more luxurious feel thanks to the standard full-grain Pieno Fiore natural leather, which can be had in either black, red, or tan. All three get contrast stitching and "Trofeo" logos stitched on the seat headrests.

Much like any track-focused model, the Trofeo boasts carbon-fiber trim. The lightweight composite is visible on the passenger-side dashboard, atop the center stack, and on the the center console. The paddle shifters behind the steering wheel are also made from carbon-fiber.

2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo Interior
- image 775821
To round off the luxurious look of the cabin, Maserati added a bespoke watch on the dashboard

To round off the luxurious look of the cabin, Maserati added a bespoke watch on the dashboard. Updates continue with custom graphics for the instrument cluster, metal "Trofeo" badges on the floor mats, and a 1,280-watt, 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system.

Everything else remains as on the regular Levante, so customers will get the 8.4-inch infotainment display, dual-zone climate control, electrically adjustable seats, and a 40/60 rear split bench. Cargo room carries over unchanged at 20.5 cubic feet, so the Trofeo retains the Levante’s utilitarian features.

2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo Drivetrain

  • 3.8-liter V-8 engine
  • 582 horsepower
  • 538 pound-feet of torque
  • 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds
  • Top speed at 187 mph
  • Modified chassis
  • New Corsa driving mode
2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo Exterior
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Built at the Ferrari plant in Maranello, the V-8 engine is shared with the Quattroporte GTS

Open the hood and you’ll notice that this isn’t a regular Levante as soon as you see the carbon-fiber cover with the "V8" inscription and the red cylinder heads and intake manifolds. Instead of the 3.0-liter V-6 that motivates the regular model, Maserati dropped a 3.8-liter V-8 under the hood of the Trofeo. Built at the Ferrari plant in Maranello, the V-8 is shared with the Quattroporte GTS, the most powerful sedan in the lineup. But while the four-door boasts 523 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, the Levante Trofeo comes with 582 horses and 538 pound-feet of twist. That’s a whopping 158 horsepower and 110 pound-feet over the Levante S. The Trofeo also gets 32 extra horses over the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, although it’s down 39 pound-feet.

2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo Interior
- image 775822
This V-8 engine boasts the highest output per liter of any Maserati powerplant ever produced

All this extra oomph comes from revised internals. The turbochargers have increase flow, while the cylinder heads, camshafts, and valves have been redesigned. The engine also benefits from new pistons and connecting rods to handle the enhanced output.

It’s also worth noting that the V-8 engine boasts the highest output per liter of of any Maserati powerplant ever produced at 153 horses per liter.

Charging from 0 to 60 mph takes 3.8 seconds, which puts it on par with the BMW X5 M and makes it a tenth second quicker than the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Top speed is rated at 187 mph, a big leap over the Levante S’ 164-mph capability. The Caynne Turbo can only get up to 177 mph.

2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo Interior
- image 775825
A new Corsa driving mode with Launch Control was also added to the existing Normal, I.C.E., Sport, and Off-Road modes

The chassis of the Levante Trofeo has been modified as well in order to handle the higher power output. Maserati claims that while it provides "an exhilarating driving experience," it doesn’t compromise the SUV in terms of comfort. The Trofeo is the first Levante to use the Maserati Integrated Vehicle Control (IVC) system, which delivers better driving dynamics and better performance by helping to prevent vehicle instability.

A new Corsa driving mode with Launch Control was also added to the existing Normal, I.C.E., Sport, and Off Road modes. This setup further improves engine response and opens exhaust valves during acceleration, as well as provides faster gear shifting, lower air suspension height levels, sportier Skyhook damping, and optimized Q4 all-wheel-drive settings. The traction control and ESP systems are also altered when using the Corsa mode.

All told, there’s a good chance that the Levante Trofeo is more dynamic and quicker at the track than the GranTurismo MC coupe.

2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo Prices

2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo Exterior
- image 775830

Pricing information is not yet available, but expect the Trofeo model to cost significantly more than the standard SUV. With the base Levante priced from $74,790 and the Levante S offered from $86,100, the Levante Trofeo will cost more than $100,000. Chances are it will actually fetch more than $120,000 before options, which will make it significantly more expensive than the competition.

U.S. sales of the Trofeo will begin with a special Launch Edition model. This SUV will probably cost a tad more than the regular Trofeo version, but not by much.

2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo Competition

Mercedes-AMG GLE63

2016 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 623871

Launched in 2011 as the M-Class, the third-generation GLE received its current moniker with the mid-cycle facelift in 2015. Already seven years old as of 2018, the GLE is the oldest vehicle in this comparison and a bit long in the tooth. However, the current GLE63 is quite the performer, as the 5.5-liter V-8 is good for 550 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque in standard guise. Go for the S model and output jumps to 577 horses and 561 pound-feet of twist. Sprinting from 0 to 60 mph takes 4.1 seconds in the latter and 4.2 clicks in the former, so it’s not exactly slow either. Sure, it’s not as quick as the X5 M, but the next-gen model should be able to achieve the benchmark in four seconds or less. The upcoming GLE63 will get a new engine in the form of a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 rated at 563 and 603 horsepower, respectively. Pricing for the current model starts from $102,550, but the sticker increase a bit with the redesign.

Read our review of the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GLE63.

BMW X5 M

2015 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR High Resolution Exterior
- image 564023

Just like the GLE63, the X5 M is waiting to get a redesign. But the Bimmer is two years younger than the Merc and sports a more modern design inside and out. The X5 M is also a bit more powerful too, with the old 4.4-liter V-8 generating 567 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. The redesign should bring a fresh exterior design and the company’s latest technologies inside the cabin. The 4.4-liter V-8 is likely to continue under the hood, but with many updates and at least 600 horsepower. The current X5 M is already capable of hitting the 60 mph benchmark in four seconds, so the new-generation SUV should be able to get there in an amazing 3.8 clicks. Expect to pay at least $100,000 for this model.

Read our full story on the 2016 BMW X5 M.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo

The 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo: An SUV with Attitude and Sports Car Performance Exterior High Resolution
- image 731157

Redesigned for the 2019 model year, the Cayenne is the newest proposition in this niche and it’s pretty impressive in all department. It boasts more 911-inspired features than ever, while the cabin comes with all the cool technology you’d expect in a premium vehicle nowadays. The Turbo model is powered by a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 that generates 550 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque. The mill enables the SUV to reach 60 mph in a scant 3.7 seconds with the Performance Start option. Already competitive against the best, the Turbo will be followed by a more powerful, Turbo S model in 2018. The current SUV benefits from 570 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, so the new model could get close to 600 horses and more than 600 pound-feet of twist. Needless to say, the Turbo S will be the quickest option available. The only downside here is that the Cayenne Turbo is significantly more expensive than the competition, retailing from $118,100. The Turbo S is set to go on sale from $161,600.

Read our full review on the 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo.

Conclusion

2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo Exterior
- image 775840

Maserati really hit the nail on the head with the Levante Trofeo. It’s exactly what the SUV lineup needed: a rival for the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and the BMW X5 M. Maserati also made a good decision by choosing the Trofeo nameplate, used in the past for a coupe and still used for the company’s racing series, for this beefed-up SUV. Hopefully it will evolve in a new lineup of high-performance models place above the GTS and MC versions of the Quattroporte and GranTurismo, respectively. For the time being, the high-performance, mid-size SUV war just got a lot more interesting and it seems that the German brands need to step up with much better products in order to stay on top.

  • Leave it
    • * Likely a bit more expensive than the competition
    • * Tough niche

References

2018 Maserati Levante GTS Exterior Exclusive Renderings
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Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Maserati Levante GTS.

2016 Maserati Levante High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Maserati Levante.

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Read more New York Auto Show news.

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Read more Maserati news.

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