Maserati, a brand well known for grand tourers and luxury sedans, will be taking on a market segment totally new to them. In an effort to expand their product lineup, the Italian marque is set to debut their first crossover.
Called the Levante, the high-riding Maserati will be based on the modular Ghibli platform which also underpins the larger Quattroporte. The Levante's exterior will draw inspiration from the Kubang concept which was first unveiled in 2003. A second Kubang concept was shown in 2011.
Judging from the more recent concept, the Levante will get Maserati's trademark grill with the trident boldly displayed in the center. Its headlights follow the design of Maserati's current offerings from the Gran Turismo to the Ghibli. Other Maserati design cues are set to make an appearance with the Levante such as the fender vents and curved character lines to give it a 'coke-bottle' look.
Additional details regarding the Levante are unavailable at the time of writing but powertrain option include the Ferrari-based twin-turbo 3.0 liter V6, naturally aspirated V8 and a 3.0 liter turbodiesel from VM Motori.
With the new Levante, Maserati is hoping to increase their sales to 75,000 cars per year by 2018. With a strong market for luxury SUVs and crossovers, the company hopes to lure people away from the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE Class. Maserati executives hope to boost sales by 30% with the Levante. Once in full production, the Levante will sit between the Ghibli and the Quattroporte in terms of size and price.
Note: 2011 Maserati Kubang Concept pictured