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Early Maserati Levante SUV Prototype Spotted

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 8/27/2014 Jason Udy

An early Maserati Levante SUV prototype has been spotted, and from the looks of the test mule it confirms earlier rumors that the new crossover would be based on the Italian automaker’s Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans rather than the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

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From these spy photos, the Maserati Ghibli sedan body roots can be made out through the prototype’s camouflage, with some noticeable differences to the production sedan. The Maserati Levante SUV prototype features a taller ride height as well as large wheel flares suggesting a wider track. Although the SUV prototype keeps the same roofline as the Ghibli sedan, a roof extension has been added, which is likely for testing the SUV’s different weight distribution rather than for styling. Maserati Levante SUV Prototype© Provided by MotorTrend Maserati Levante SUV Prototype

Sharing chassis of the Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans with the Maserati Levante, rather than basing the SUV off the Jeep Grand Cherokee, will not only help the Italian automaker keep its upmarket image, but also allow the automaker to better share powertrains and its Q4 all-wheel drive system. Though the automaker’s all-wheel drive system is currently only available with the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6, we wouldn’t be surprised if the automaker adapted it to work with the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 for the SUV. That would be good news for the Quattroporte V-8 model.

The Maserati Levante SUV is expected to compete with the Audi Q5, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz ML, and Porsche Cayenne.

Photo Source: KGP Photography

Maserati Levante SUV Prototype© Provided by MotorTrend Maserati Levante SUV Prototype
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