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2017 Maserati Levante is a big first for the Italian brand (pictures)

Maserati's new Levante is its first SUV in the Triton brand's storied 100-year history.

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Chris Paukert
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1 of 30 Chris Paukert/Roadshow

Maserati faithful will find plenty of familiar design cues on the Levante, but the SUV form factor, on show here at the , is all new for this Italian marque.

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It's not a modern Maserati without fender vents, right?

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There's a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 under the hood, brandishing up to 430 horsepower.

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The Levante's steeply raked rear backlight is like that of a BMW X6, albeit much more fluidly integrated.

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The tail lamps haves strange fender contours coming off of them. They're unique, but controversial.

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The dead-on rear view is the Levante's least distinct aspect.

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"Levante" means "rising" in Italian, appropriate for a lifted SUV and a brand still finding its comeback footing.

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The Maserati's hatchback-like roofline helps give the design directional thrust.

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The Levante's grille proudly displays one of the best emblems in all of motoring, Maserati's trident.

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Headlamps are small and scowling.

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The Levante will likely become Maserati's best-selling model in short order, such is today's demand for luxury SUVs.

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