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Report: Sub-Levante Maserati SUV Not in the Works

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/17/2015 Conner Golden

A new report from Autocar outlines the future of Maserati’s SUV lineup -- or rather, the lack thereof. Maserati boss Harald Wester dispensed with any ideas that Maserati would launch a smaller SUV to compete with the Porsche Macan, and told Autocar the Levante would be the only SUV to emerge from the storied Italian brand. Instead, other models from the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group would serve those segments.

“We [FCA] are an extremely complex multi-brand group and to have everyone doing a little bit of everything is not the right way,” Wester told Autocar. “We have nameplates that cover that ground, or that plan to cover that ground.”

Alfa Romeo is also planning its own crossover SUV, which should fit the sub-Levante slot nicely. It will most likely be based on a current Jeep product. When Wester revealed Maserati's five-year plan in early 2014, the charts showed two "utility vehicles" debuting the 2016-2018 timeframe.

maserati-kubang-concept-front-three-quarter-2© Provided by MotorTrend maserati-kubang-concept-front-three-quarter-2

In addition to the potential overlap with other FCA vehicles, Maserati may not want to make a smaller SUV because it would be too affordable for the brand's image. At the 2015 Detroit auto show, Wester told our colleagues at AUTOMOBILE that, "Maserati is between $70,000 and over $145,000."

Autocar also reports that the Jeep Grand Cherokee-based Maserati Levante will make its official debut at the 2016 Detroit auto show, before going on sale later in the year. Powertrains will likely be similar to the existing Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte, with twin-turbo V-6 and V-8 options available. The Levante is a large step in the right direction aimed at breaching Maserati’s own sales goals of 75,000 units sold a year by 2018. At the Detroit show, Wester said of Levante sales, "We expect it to be at least as big as Ghibli [sedan], if not bigger."

Look for more details on Maserati's first foray into the SUV market later this year.

Source: Autocar


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