The Maserati Levante SUV has been spied with lighter camouflage, which reveals some front-end styling details.
Camouflage cladding still covers much of the car's bodywork in these latest spies, but the skin-tight nature of the cladding means the overall shape of the car can be seen more clearly, with a tapering roofline and rakish tailgate. The dramatically sculpted bonnet can also be seen in more detail, and the camouflage no longer shrouds the large front air intakes, which are deeper and give a more aggressive appearance than those of other Maseratis.
Although the camouflage is still fairly comprehensive, the Levante adopts a similar front-end styling treatment to other Maseratis, and previous spy shots show that the tail-light clusters closely follow the design of those of the Maserati Ghibli, Maserati Quattroporte and GranTurismo. The Levante also adopts the quad tailpipes featured on its stablemates.
Maserati's upcoming Porsche Cayenne rival was also spied winter testing and road testing ahead of its launch in 2017. Its sales success is crucial to the firm’s rebirth as it builds towards launching the Alfieri sports car in 2018.
The Levante, which will rival the Porsche Cayenne in both size and intent, has been spied testing several times in recent months. Styling cues include a long bonnet and sloping roofline. Insiders say the car has been heavily restyled from the 2011 Kubang concept, with it subsequently taking design cues from the 2014 Alfieri sports car concept.
Giulio Pastore, Maserati’s European general manager, told Autocar that the success of the Levante in the burgeoning and hugely profitable SUV segment was crucial to Maserati’s plans to grow sales to 70,000 cars by 2018, and to generate enough profit to maintain investment in new products.
“We are building to 2018, when we will realise the potential of the brand,” said Pastore. “The Alfieri will represent the absolute DNA of the brand, and to build to that we must build a sustainable business. The Levante is a critical part of that; there is no life for a company that sells only sports cars, so its success is key to us.
"That is why we have invested so much in the Levante. It is our design, engineered entirely by Maserati and built to our values. It is a sports SUV with an emphasis on the sport, but with credible off-road capability and the unique Maserati qualities around style and sophistication. We will also always be more exclusive than our rivals - the Levante is something truly special."
The Levante will be built at the firm’s Mirafiori plant and be unveiled at the 2016 Geneva motor show.
Maserati boss Harold Wester has previously revealed that the Levante will be based on “100% Maserati parts” and will not borrow anything from other Fiat-Chrysler brands, including Jeep. To that end it will be based on the same platform that underpins the Ghibli and Quattroporte, will be sized and priced between those models and use the same V6 and V8 engines, transmissions and all-wheel drive system as those cars.