V8 Maseratis are nothing new, not even in the modern age of the brand. The Quattroporte and GranTurismo both featured soulful Ferrari-derived 8-cylinder mills, but when the Levante was unveiled in 2016, it didn’t immediately come with a V8 engine option. It was expected as an inevitability, but nonetheless, we waited.
Maserati’s deep, dark secret was outed at the 2018 New York International Auto Show.
The Levante Trofeo was unveiled as the first Maserati SUV to house a V8 engine, and the twin-turbo unit pushes almost 600 horsepower. It registers as the highest horsepower-per-liter engine in the brand’s history, and coupled with Maserati’s Q4 all-wheel drive system, the full-size Trofeo SUV reaches 60 miles per hour in just under 4 seconds, right on the heels of any purpose-built supercar. But in true Maserati fashion, despite its underlying enhancements, there is no compromise made to the luxury essence of the Levante.
Connoisseurs will pick out the redesigned front fascia, ventilated hood and carbon fiber trim, all for the sake of accommodating the increased potency over the standard Levante. Visual character is enhanced in distinct Maserati fashion, but underneath it all is where the fastest Levante shines. Its chassis is retuned to handle the increased output, and the car maintains a 50/50 weight distribution for remarkably balanced handling. The sporty character is further flaunted through a new “Corsa” driving mode, which amplifies the exhaust, invigorates engine response, quickens the shifts and even offers launch control.
The limited edition Levante will commence production this summer and is intended for export to North America.