Maserati Levante Trofeo: Not Your “Normal” SUV. Not Even Close.

Although they are prime commodities and hot sellers, it’s sometimes easy to dismiss SUVs and crossovers as boring and mundane. Maserati is hoping – if you hold this view – you will reconsider upon meeting the new Levante Trofeo.

“It’s proof that when you play with the elements you end up in a storm,” explained Tim Kuniskis, Chief Executive Officer, Maserati. “In the case of the Trofeo, the engineers and designers in Modena knew the driveline parameters were more than able to cope with additional power, and they also knew that Maserati had access to the finest engines on earth.”

Granted, it’s highly subjective (and infinitely debatable) at which automaker actually has the finest engines, but I understand where the passion is coming from. In fact, the Ghibli is one of my favorite cars. I absolutely adore it. I actually love all Italian cars, Maserati no exception. When I see a Maserati I get excited and the Levante Trofeo gets me excited – not Ghibli excited, but excited. Does Maserati have the finest engines on the planet? I don’t know. Maybe. But they do have, in the Levante Trofeo, one of the most powerful engines in the Italian manufacturer’s history.

Power & Performance

What we are discussing is the Levante Trofeo’s 3.8-liter Twin Turbo plant, developed in tandem with the Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive System. The new engine brings with it new hardware: crankcase, crankshaft assembly, oil pump, auxiliary belt, and wiring layout – all new and enhanced in the interest of performance. The turbo flow was increased, the cylinder heads redesigned, and the pistons and connecting rods strengthened to help achieve maximum power. Even the hood is new with special vents to increase cooling.

Add it all up and the Levante Trofeo hits 62 mph in 3.9 seconds, with a top speed of 186. Between 2,250 and 5,000 rpm, a healthy 538 lb-ft. of torque is available with a max horsepower of 590. And like all Maserati gasoline engines, this latest creation is assembled by Ferrari in Maranello, Italy.

Photo: Maserati S.p.A.

Essential Foundations

The Levante Trofeo’s 50:50 weight balance, low center of gravity, and overall chassis design help handle the high power levels. The double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension went through extensive tuning in the interest of keeping the vehicle balanced further. Maserati’s Integrated Vehicle Control system is included for the first time in a Levante to increase stability and performance.

Walk Around

It’s easy to see how the Trofeo sits at the top-of-the-line for the Levante. The font is fashioned with Full Matrix LED headlights, a unique grille with double vertical bars, and a lower honeycomb fascia. Moving to the side, the painted brake calipers (they come in multiple colors) and 22-inch wheels really stand out, and the “Saetta” Trofeo logos are a nice touch. The wheels, by the way, come in both polished and matte finishes. Your choice.

Maserati makes note of the side air intakes defined by “two aerodynamic wings” for a sense of “further stability.” In a similar fashion, the Trofeo is fitted with carbon fiber side bezel blades and a carbon fiber splitter.

The seats have a full-grain “Pieno Fiore” natural leather, available in black, red, and tan, all with contrast stitching and a “Trofeo” logo on the headrests. Pieno Fiore is renowned for its natural feel and soft character – it’s ideally suited for a vehicle of this class. Music lovers will appreciate the standard 1,280-watt, 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system. I would recommend smooth jazz, but it’s your Levante, so it’s your pick on the music.

Photo: Maserati S.p.A.

Availability & In Person

Production begins this summer at Maserati’s plant in Mirafiori (Turin), Italy. The Levante Trofeo is initially intended for overseas export markets, including the United States and Canada. In the meantime, the Levante Trofeo Launch Edition can be seen at the New York International Auto Show, now through April 8th at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.

Photos & Source: Maserati S.p.A.

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