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Maserati Levante goes V8 in Oz

V8 Maserati Levante GTS and Trofeo flagship thunder into Australia, from $265K + ORC

22 Jul 2019

MASERATI has simultaneously launched the V8-powered GTS and Trofeo variants of its Levante SUV into the Australian market, respectively priced at $265,000 and $330,000 plus on-road costs – well above the most expensive six-cylinder variants.


Both have a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 under the bonnet – assembled by Ferrari – producing peak torque of 730Nm from 2500-5000 rpm, with the GTS developing 405kW at 6250rpm and the flagship Trofeo wick wound up to 441kW, also at 6250rpm.


Zero to 100km/h takes 4.2 seconds in the GTS and 3.9s in the Trofeo, which have top speeds of 292km/h and 304km/h respectively. Both have ZF eight-speed automatic transmissions and drive all four wheels.


In performance and price terms, the two Levante V8s offer something of a bridge between the 404kW/770Nm Porsche Cayenne Turbo ($249,400 plus on-roads, 0-100km/h in 4.1s) and the 478kW/850Nm Lamborghini Urus ($390,000 plus on-roads, 0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds).


That is, until the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid arrives with an expected 500kW and 850Nm from a plug-in hybrid powertrain as debuted in the top-spec Panamera that costs around half a million dollars once on-road costs are accounted for.


Still, the Levante Trofeo represents a new high-water mark in series production car terms for the 104-year-old Italian marque. In fact, the only Maserati to produce more power was the hen’s teeth MC-12 Stradale supercar that launched in 2004 with a version of the Ferrari Enzo’s 6.0-litre V12 generating 465kW and 652Nm.


Befitting their status as range flagships, the GTS and Trofeo both come with substantial standard equipment levels including such niceties as height-adjustable air suspension with ‘skyhook’ damping, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, extended premium leather upholstery, sports front seats with 12-way electric adjustment plus position memory and heating, velour carpeting, a panoramic sunroof, illuminated door sill plates and glazing that is both thermal- and noise-insulated.


The Trofeo goes further with full-grain, naturally tanned Pieno Fiore leather, front seat ventilation, Alcantara ceiling and pillar coverings and lashings of carbon-fibre interior trim – including the gearshift paddles – with the race-bred material also appearing on the Trofeo-specific bodykit.


Under the Trofeo-specific vented bonnet, the more highly tuned engine is highlighted by a carbon-fibre cover beneath which are red-painted rocker covers and intake manifold. Trofeo owners also exclusively have access to a launch control function.


Other details marking out the Levante flagship include Trofeo logos embroidered on the headrests and floor mats, as well as chrome badges on the C-pillars. The front grille and quad exhaust tips are black, rather than the chrome of the GTS.


The Trofeo marks the first time Maserati has used 22-inch forged aluminium wheels (the GTS rides on 21-inch alloys) for which it specified specially developed Continental SportContact 6 tyres. Behind the new rims are blue-painted brake callipers, although both GTS and Trofeo share the same set-up of six-piston monobloc front units with 380mm discs.


GTS buyers can option the Trofeo’s Pieno Fiore leather, 22-inch forged wheels and full matrix LED headlights that are claimed to up visibility by 20 per cent and last twice as long compared with regular Bi-Xenon units.


Although Australian sales of all Maserati models are down for the second consecutive year, the Levante remains the brand’s most popular model by far with 169 units to the end of June.


For perspective, in the Levante’s first full year on sale in Australia it picked up 429 buyers – almost as many as the entire Maserati line-up of sedans and sports cars achieved the year prior.


2019 Maserati Levante pricing*

Levante (a) $125,000
Levante GranSport (a) $144,990
Levante GranLusso (a) $144,990
Diesel (a) $129,990
Diesel GranSport (a) $144,990
Diesel GranLusso (a) $144,990
S (a) $164,990
S GranSport (a) $179,990
S GranLusso (a) $179,990
GTS (a) $265,000
Trofeo (a) $330,000

*Excludes on-road costs

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