Before it makes its debut at the upcoming Geneva auto show, here are the first official photos of the 2017 Maserati Levante SUV. As the Italian luxury brand’s first-ever foray into this rapidly growing segment, the Levante represents a push to grow Maserati’s sales worldwide and compete with luxury SUVs like the Porsche Cayenne and Jaguar F-Pace.
We saw hints of the Levante’s swoopy design in recent spy shots, and the final product looks a lot like a lifted version of the Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte luxury sedans. Its overall shape is nicely proportioned, with a sharply tapered rear hatch, a relatively long hood, and classic Maserati touches like the trident badge and the three fender air vents to connect with the brand’s heritage. Maserati hasn’t yet provided photos of the Levante’s interior, though we know that it will have two rows of seats and is sure to feature the requisite wood and leather trim to merit its price point.
Expect that price to easily eclipse the six-figure mark, as the Quattroporte sedan already starts at $101,700. All versions of the 2017 Maserati Levante will come standard with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission, along with an air suspension and adjustable dampers. We don’t yet know details about the Levante’s powertrain options, but it will be offered with both gasoline and diesel engines in Europe; the U.S. is most likely to get a 3.0-liter twin-turbo gas V-6 producing either 350 hp or 425 hp, depending on tune.
Maserati is hoping that the addition of this new model will help increase its global sales footprint. In the U.S., Maserati has already achieved a huge amount of growth thanks to the Ghibli and Quattroporte; after selling just 4,768 cars in the States in 2013, the brand jumped to 12,943 units sold in 2014 and 11,697 units sold in 2015. Look for those numbers to continue to go up as the 2017 Maserati Levante goes on sale later in 2016.