If Maserati’s plot to sell 50,000 cars annually by 2016 is to succeed, the Trident’s super-SUV needs to fly out of showrooms fast enough to give salesmen whiplash.
Ambitious? Yes, but Maserati’s up-sleeve trick is getting the platform from sister brand Jeep and its much-improved Grand Cherokee. Sitting in the nose are twin-turbo petrol and diesel V6s (plus a range-topping 523bhp V8), the same Ferrari-honed powerplants from the Quattroporte.
The all-wheel drive system is Maserati’s own, sorted for dynamics rather than Jeep-alike mud-plugging. Purists might raise hell, but you can bet the Range Rover is already looking nervously over its shoulder.
>> For CAR’s original scoop of the Maserati SUV, click here
Pictured, right, is the 2011 Kubang concept, first trevealed at the 2011 Shanghai motor show. The production Levante is likely to ape the look of this show car, adding some of the sharper creases and angular headlights of the new Quattroporte and Ghibli saloons.
>> Is Maserati to be applauded for taking on the upcoming super-SUVs from Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce? Click ‘Add your comment’ below to have your say