In updating the Levante, Maserati has made few mechanical changes to keep its car competitive with rivals.
As a 2.1-tonne SUV, the claim that the Levante is ‘built like a classic Maserati sports car’ might have rung a little hollow, though its aluminium-rich platform is shared with the Ghibli and Quattroporte saloons rather than anything from Jeep.
The suspension geometry itself is derived directly from that of the Ghibli (double wishbones at the front, with a five-link rear), albeit with greater travel for rougher trails, heightened spring rates and better control of camber and toe angles to respond to the six different ride heights permitted by the standard-fit air springs, says Maserati.
As before, Skyhook dampers sit at each corner, while most European models – our Levante S GranLusso test car included – benefit from six-piston Brembo brakes at the front axle. Meanwhile, for the revised V8 models that remain slightly further off for UK buyers, Maserati has added a strut brace to reinforce the front half of the chassis, while on all models the rear body structure is predominantly made of steel for greater strength. Those eight-cylinder cars duly tip the scales 60kg more heavily than the V6 versions, though Maserati claims all have perfect 50:50 weight distribution, and the drag coefficient remains among the lowest in the class.
Modern Maserati is keen to make the most of its relationship with Ferrari, and we are reminded that the 3.8-litre V8 engines on offer – respectively tuned to 542bhp and 582bhp in the GTS and Trofeo models – and the 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 sampled here come from the most famous name in the business.