2019 Maserati Levante Vulcano
We’re not getting our hands on this special edition Levante here in the U.S., but that shouldn’t stop us from admiring it from afarby Kirby, on
Maserati is dropping some spice back into the Levante SUV with the release of the Levante Vulcano. The special edition model is an aesthetic showcase featuring exclusive touches in the exterior and interior. The SE is also available in two states of tune, though those don’t include the range-topping, 590-horsepower Levante Trofeo or the 542-horsepower GTS. Unfortunately, only 150 units of the Maserati Levante Vulcano will be available. Worse, all 150 units are headed to the European and Asian markets. Details on pricing have yet to be announced by Maserati, though expect it to cost somewhere in the vicinity of $120,000.
2019 Maserati Levante Vulcano
What makes the Maserati Levante Vulcano special?
If there’s one SUV that probably needed a special edition model to inject some interest in its name, it has to be the Maserati Levante. Unlike other premium SUVs that have struggled to keep up with demand, the Levante has struggled the opposite way: nobody’s buying it. Maserati has been forced to stop production in the past because of the limited demand for the model. It’s even shortened work hours among its employees for the same reason. The numbers paint a pretty ugly picture, too.
Sales of the Levante have dropped in Europe from 5,733 units in 2017 to just 4,170 units in 2018, excluding sales from December 2018.
Sales in China have dropped, too, though that’s not necessarily the Levante’s fault as it is the decline of overall car sales in the country. So what’s Maserati going to do to inject some life back to an SUV that it initially planned for a 100,000 annual sales volume by 2022?
Enter the Maserati Levante Vulcano.
Ok, so the Maserati Levante Vulcano isn’t going to wipe out everything that ails within Maserati. But it’s a good start, especially in Europe and China, two of the Italian automaker’s most important markets. For what it’s worth, the Levante Vulcano is appealing the same way most special editions are appealing. It boasts exclusive touches in the exterior, including a Grigio Lava matte dark grey paint finish that gives the SUV an added, if not unspectacular, shine. The automaker’s Nerrissimo pack is a solid complement to the SE SUV’s color.
Tinted headlights, black window surrounds, body-color door handles, and dark chrome trim are all part of the pack.
They’re not going to blow anyone’s minds away by themselves, but put them all together and you can see how it adds a new layer of aesthetic consistency to the Levante’s overall look. Laminated privacy glass also comes with the pack, though this detail doesn’t excite as much as the other items in the pack do. Still, it’s a nice touch, proving that, at least in this case, the sum of the parts are better than the whole. A new set of 21-inch matte wheels and red, six-piston Brembo brake calipers are the final exterior touches on the Levante Vulcan. The latter, in particular, adds a nice pop of color to what is otherwise a monotonous black and grey exterior.
Step inside the Maserati Levante Vulcano and you’ll be treated to a cabin awash in full-grain leather.
The seats are covered in the good stuff. Likewise, they carry Maserati’s unmistakable trident logo, which is embroidered on the headrest.
You can also opt to choose black upholstery with red stitching or vice versa if you happen to think that red upholstery with black stitching suits your tastebuds more. Good news, too. There’s enough glossy carbon fiber trim throughout the cabin to give it another layer of premium material goodness. The steering wheel, center console, and gearshift paddles are dressed up nice and tidy with the glossy carbon fiber trim. Last but certainly not least is a chrome Vulcano badge, which is the number one identifier of the Levante Vulcano’s stature as a certified special edition Maserati. The badge comes with a specific numbering denoting the exact production number of each of the Levante Vulcano models.
Are all of these touches enough to whet your appetite? I suppose it’s still up to your taste and preference, but Maserati did a solid account of itself with the special edition Levante. It’s not spectacular by any means, but it does exude that special edition vibe that all numbered limited edition models should strive for.
If it’s good enough for your taste, you can proceed to buy one of the 150 units that Maserati is creating.
Buying one also comes with the opportunity to choose the state of tune of the SUV’s 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine. You can opt for the less powerful version, which produces 345 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque, or you can go for the screamer of the two that produces an impressive 424 horsepower and 427 pound-feet of torque. Sadly, that’s as powerful as the Levante Vulcano goes. Maserati might have been tempted to go all out on the special edition model, but it resisted offering it with the range-topping, 590-horsepower Levante Trofeo or even the 542-horsepower Levante GTS. That could be a missed opportunity for Maserati depending on how successful the Levante Vulcano ends up becoming.
Regardless, there’s a lot to like about the Levante Vulcano, engine options notwithstanding. I’ve always been a fan of the SUV by the way it looks and the powertrain options it carries. The Levante Vulcano adds another layer to that. It’s not much, but it’s effective in giving the SUV a proper special edition billing. Whether it succeeds in injecting new life to the struggling Levante nameplate is another story. I’d like to think that it could, but this isn’t the first time Maserati dipped its toes into the special edition pool.
There have been a number of Levante models that have been given special edition billings in the past, and none of them have helped reverse the declining demand for the SUV.
Hopefully, the Levante Vulcano and the Levante Edizione Nobile Pack that Maserati released late last year for the U.S. and Canada markets can help change that narrative soon than later.
If neither of these two special editions do it, then we might as well say goodbye to Maserati’s goal of producing 100,000 Levantes per year by 2022.
Maserati Levante specifications
|Maserati Levante||Maserati Levante S|
|Displacement||3.0 L||3.0 L|
|Max power||345 HP||424 HP|
|Max torque||369 LB-FT @ 5,000-4,500 rpm||3 428 LB-FT @ 5,000-4,500 rpm|
|Max speed||156 mph||164 mph|
|Acceleration||5.8 sec||5.0 sec|
Read our full review on the 2019 Maserati Levante GTS.
Read our full review on the 2018 Maserati Levante Trofeo.
Read our full review on the 2016 Maserati Levante.