As Levante sales ramp up, Maserati is considering a hot version based on the V8 used in the Quattroporte

The Maserati Levante line-up could get a hot version with more than 500bhp later in its lifecycle to rival models such as the BMW X6 M.

A souped-up version of the Levante might echo the Quattroporte range-topper, which uses a 3.8-litre V8 engine delivering 523bhp and 479lb ft. At a similar weight to the luxury saloon, the Levante could cover 0-62mph in around 4.5sec, more than 2.0sec faster than the current 3.0-litre V6 diesel.

Maserati global operations boss Alberto Cavaggioni said: “For sure, we have the engine on the Quattroporte so there is potential, but it has to be justified by volumes.” He went on to cite the modest sales of rival cars as reason for caution.

However, he added: ”If you mirror what we do with the Quattroporte, we could do the same on everything we do.”

Cavaggioni said there were “lots of improvements” to be made on the standard Levante and this would be Maserati’s focus but it “still has to have something in the pocket” for the future, hinting at a hotter version that would be likely to buoy sales later in the model’s lifecycle.

In the shorter term, the 3.0-litre V6 petrol-powered Levante could still make it to the UK, with a decision expected by the Geneva motor show next March. Although petrol sales of the model are most popular in the US and China, the brand is currently investigating the possibility of bringing it to the UK, with European general manager Giulio Pastore saying he is "in favour” of the idea.

Levante sales are ramping up for the brand, with the SUV expected to account for 50% of its UK volume next year.

Read Autocar's Maserati Levante review

Our Verdict

Maserati Levante

Maserati's first stab at an SUV sees the Italian brand building foundations to be a true luxury power in the shape of the Levante

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6 December 2016
'lots of improvements' to be made to the standard Levante. That's a good sales pitch !!

6 December 2016
Personally I'd love to see Maserati slot a Ferrari V12 under the bonnet of the Quattroporte – that would give owners bragging rights over any S65 AMGs they came across.
(I accept that it probably wouldn't fit, but it would be nice).

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