Everywhere you look, there are these performance SUVs popping up from a Porsche Cayenne to the Lamborghini Urus.
It seems these days everybody wants to put more of the sport in sport utility vehicle.
And the Maserati Levante here is as close as we've gotten a Ferrari FUV.
At least, for now.
So grab shotgun with me and let's hit the road and see what all the fuss is about.
Now I say this is the closest we've gotten to a Ferrari SUV because the Levante here is powered by Ferrari's F160.
That's a twin turbocharged three liter VX engine though, you only ever find it under the hood of the Levante, the Quattroporte and the Ghibli all mother it vehicle so maybe it's more accurate to call it a Muslim right EV sex but I'll make these rules.
Now in the base model it makes 345 horsepower but this year S model makes 424 horsepower and 428 pound feet of torque Which is more than just a pretty good amount of power for this vehicle, it's downright excellent.
The only transmission available for the Levante is an eight speed automatic, and that's gonna send torque to the Q4 all-wheel drive system.
And because this is a sporty SUV, it has a rear It only sends power on demand to the front axle when you need it for cornering or launching or something like that.
Also on the rear axle is a limited slip differential standard equipment again and that's going to make putting down power in the corners feel a little bit more dynamic.
When you're in the corner you'll also be able to take advantage of the standard dynamic Damage suspension with Air Ride Control.
And that's going to give you five different levels of right height adjustment.
The standard setting is pretty sporty.
When you put it into the sport setting, it drops a little bit for better aerodynamics and there is an access height that makes it easy to get in and out of the car.
Above that, there are two off road heights that are going to raise the suspension, now that you're going to be doing a lot of trail riding On these optional 21 inch wheels that we've got today.
Now the handling is pretty good.
This thing feels pretty nimble for an SUV.
But of course the best part of this is how good that powertrain sounds when you're doing 0 to 60.
Man, I love the way that thing snaps off shifts and the little extra bark that it gets at the end when you hit the paddle shifters.
These things also sound pretty good I like the click that they make.
Zero to 60 in this case happens in around five seconds, but if you up to one of the more powerful V8s you can get that to under four.
Now on the outside, the Levante is a handsome vehicle for an SUV.
Up-front, you've got the big trident grill, a front end that looks a lot like Maserati's Ghibli.
Then we've got the three ports on the fender, and very muscular shoulders out back.
This vehicle wears Maserati's design language well.
And even though it had to make a lot of space for people and cargo on the end side, it still manages to look Very slick going down the road.
On the inside, we've got a really high-quality interior, though maybe this black-on-black color scheme doesn't do the best job of showing that off.
There are a couple more wild color schemes that you probably wanna look at, if you're interested in this vehicle, that show off the leather a little bit better.
And this vehicle does a much better job than, maybe, the [UNKNOWN] At hiding some of its Fiat-Chrysler Group parts and materials.
For example, this Maserati Touch Control Plus Infotainment System in the dashboard is clearly Uconnect 8.4.
But that's fine because Uconnect 8.4 is a really good infotainment system.
It's simple, it's easy to use, and it's got all of the Feature that you might need to get down the road and watch standard Android Auto and have a car play.
You can add the app that it doesn't have along just by plugging into the USB port.
We talk more about this system in a separate video but some other FDA parts that I've sort of noticed around are the steering wheel.
It's a bit big and a little bit thin in my hand and you can tell that it's from the parts bend because you've got the volume controls and.
Skip on the back that you toggle with your fingers.
However, these metal paddle shifters feel anything but part spin.
They're mounted to the steering column like the proper exotic should.
And they make just a really good sound when you're shifting.
And they give a really high quality feel to the touch points of this vehicle.
Also we've got the full suite of driver aid Features available to the [UNKNOWN] Chrysler group with things like adaptive cruise control that works in stop and go traffic, and lane centering steering assist.
Sometimes pulling from a parts van isn't a bad thing when those parts you're pulling are high quality and they actually work, which is more than I can say for some exotic vehicles.
This vehicle's gotta compete with the likes of BMW's X6, Porsche's Cayenne, and other performance luxury SUVs.
And while the technology in the dashboard isn't maybe as gee-whiz as those vehicles, the performance definitely has a really good drama to it.
Missouri engineers have done a good job of making sure that when you put this thing into sport mode and grab that pedal shifter, it feels like a special occasion.
I really like this one.
The 2019 Missouri it Labonte starts at $77,000 for the base model, but RS here adds an extra 11 grand to the bottom line and gives you an extra 80 horsepower for your trouble.
We're looking at around $104000 as tested here because we've got a bunch of options in destination charges to deal with.
Fully loaded thought you're looking at a starting price of around 170000 bucks, that's a lot of money but compared to something likely Lamborghini Urus.
Maybe it's not that big of a deal.
Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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