The petrol-engined Maserati Levante S will account for around 10% of the Levante SUV's UK sales, according to North Europe boss Peter Denton, despite the car maker originally saying it wouldn't sell a petrol version here.
A Maserati spokesman said that originally the petrol vehicle was not intended to be built in right-hand-drive (RHD) because “demand for volume would not justify the investment to re-engineer the model to support a different powerplant”.
However, while demand is still expected to be low, he said that the project had been approved by the brand’s previous CEO, Harald Wester, following early feedback from journalists that it should be built for RHD markets.
Denton said: “The segment size for higher capacity petrol engine SUVs is relatively small, and we therefore anticipate that Levante S sales will represent something close to 8 to 10% of the total volume of Levante sales in the UK.
"We are also aware that our prospective customers probably think about Maserati with petrol engines, so we’re prepared to consider a different mix.”
Denton expects to sell 1500 Levantes in Britain during 2017, with strong sales of the model prompting Maserati sales to climb 78% over the first four months of the year.
This is despite having “seen a reduction in the demand for Maserati Ghibli, which we attribute to conversion to Levante due to it being the latest model, priced similarly and of course in a highly fashionable segment, in which Levante has been priced extremely competitively,” he said.
The twin-turbo 424bhp 3.0 V6 Levante S will cost from £70,755, and is available from September.