According to Amaury La Fonta, General Manager of Maserati South- East Asia Pacific, the decision for a carmaker to venture into the SUV segment is pretty much a no brainer. “It’s very simple – if you look at the luxury car market, the SUV segment represents 50 per cent of the market; so, by introducing an SUV, you double your market potential.” The challenge for Maserati, however, was to figure out a way to create this SUV while still keeping all the Italian design, performance, craftsmanship and heritage intact – which was how the Levante S was born.
Visually, there is no mistaking the Levante S for anything else but a Maserati. The iconic grill is recognisable enough; but, combine that with the fierce headlights along with the lines and curves of the rest of the car, it looks like Maserati did a pretty good job in transferring its design elements to a larger vehicle. The luxurious interior is brimming with Italian flair and, in the case of the GranLusso variant, you get a choice between Ermenegildo Zegna silk or full premium Italian upholstery.
Powering this whole package is a massive 3.0l V6 twin-turbo engine that gives the driver enough torque to get the adrenaline flowing – we’re talking 0 to 100 km/h in just about five seconds – while keeping fuel consumption low. A new electric steering feature is added to a host of modern driving comforts, including the Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (a collection of functions that make driving the Levante S safer).
It comes as no surprise that Maserati is able to combine a luxurious driving experience with raw power under the hood so well, as the Italian marque has been doing so for more than 50 years. “Maserati has been making luxury sedans since 1963, with the first Quattroporte, and has already found the right formula for combining a race engine with a luxury sedan body,” La Fonta continues. With the Levante S, it was only a matter of scaling it accordingly.
The Maserati Levante S is available in two variants, GranLusso and GranSport, starting from MYR788,800 (inclusive of local taxes and duties) from Naza Italia.