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Maserati hopeful for Levante GTS

Great eight: If the Maserati Levante was to get a V8 variant, it would likely come from the same 3.8-litre engine that powers the Quattroporte S luxury sedan.

V8-powered Maserati Levante GTS would ‘absolutely’ come to Australia if available

11 Dec 2017

MASERATI Australia says it would be one of the first companies to put its hand up for a range-topping Levante GTS variant were it to become available, according to the company’s chief operating officer Glen Sealey.

Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the Levante S last week, Mr Sealey said the Italian car-maker’s local arm would “absolutely” take the Levante if it were made in a V8-powered GTS flavour.

“If the Levante GTS with the 530hp V8 became available today, and they said, ‘Glen, you can have that in right-hand drive, would you like it?’ I would say ‘absolutely’,” he said.

“There’s always room for more sound, more horsepower and more performance in Maserati.”

Mr Sealey explained that the main difficulty in getting a Levante GTS to Australia would be the small number of vehicles that would be produced in right-hand drive, which would make the business case harder to justify.

“If it were available today we would be one of the first companies to put our hand up. One of the challenges though, is that as we are right-hand drive, we are a very small part of the global production, and so it’s quite difficult to swallow the investment to do the right-hand-drive line for what is fundamentally a small volume in a global sense.”

Currently, the large SUV is offered with two 3.0-litre V6 powertrains – a 202kW/600Nm turbo-diesel in in the Levante, and a 316kW/580Nm twin-turbo petrol unit in the just-released Levante S.

If it were to receive V8 power, it would come in the form of the twin-turbo 3.8-litre unit borrowed from the Quattroporte GTS, which under the bonnet of the luxury sedan produces 390kW/650Nm.

Its output would pit it squarely against other V8-powered sports SUVs such as the $237,500 Porsche Cayenne Turbo (382kW/750Nm) and the $168,811 Range Rover Sport HSE Dynamic (375kW/625Nm).

Currently, the most expensive Levante is the Levante S GranSport and GranLusso pair, which retail from $179,990 plus on-roads.

Mr Sealey said he did not yet know whether Australia, or any market, would be receiving a V8-powered Levante, but recent spy photos suggest a range-topper is on the way.

British publication Autocar reported last month that a GTS mule had been spotted testing, and that it would get its own styling tweaks including aggressive front and rear bumpers, and bespoke chassis settings for greater performance.

Autocar also reported that once the GTS is completed, Maserati would concentrate on creating a hybrid version of the Levante, but Mr Sealey said there was no timeline on the horizon for an electrified Maserati Down Under, and it would depend primarily on customer demand.

“When consumer demand says that’s what we should do, then we’ll do it,” he said. “It’s not there today.”

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