October 20, 2018


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It’s no secret that Ferrari is looking to dip a toe into the crossover-SUV pool, but until that day comes, the 2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo is the closest you’ll be able to get to owning a crossover SUV from the prancing-horse brand. Marking the first Levante model with an eight-cylinder engine, the new Trofeo’s Ferrari-assembled twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8 provides the high-riding hatchback with a stable of 590 horses at a screaming 6250 rpm and a plentiful 538 lb-ft of torque from just 2250 revs.

Lest you think Maserati simply plugged the V-8 engine from its Quattroporte GTS luxury sedan into the Levante Trofeo, we are told that the engine has been thoroughly modified for its new home. Along with an additional 67 horsepower and 14 lb-ft of torque relative to the rear-wheel-drive Quattroporte GTS, the all-wheel-drive Levante Trofeo’s engine has a new crankcase design, oil pump, auxiliary belt, turbochargers, cylinder heads, and more. A Trofeo-specific Corsa driving mode adds a launch-control function and adjusts the throttle, adaptive suspension dampers, air springs, all-wheel-drive system, and the shift programming of the eight-speed automatic transmission for performance-oriented driving purposes.

Maserati claims the Trofeo should dash to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and top out at more than 187 mph, putting it in the same league as vehicles such as the BMW X5 M, the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S, and its more powerful FCA sibling the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Raw performance notwithstanding, the Jeep and Maserati travel in different social circles, and the luxurious Italian offers premium features such as chunky carbon-fiber paddle shifters, a 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system, and black, red, or tan leather seating with contrast stitching. Other goodies include Trofeo-specific graphics for the instrument cluster, carbon-fiber interior trim, and a new shift-lever design.

Outside, the Trofeo brings LED headlights, an aggressive front fascia and grille design, 22-inch forged aluminum wheels, carbon-fiber side skirts, a revised rear end with the requisite carbon-fiber trimmings, and a pair of functional hood vents. Popping the hood reveals a carbon-fiber engine cover as well as a red-painted intake manifold and cylinder heads.

A special Levante Trofeo Launch Edition, offered only in the United States and Canada, includes additional black exterior details, a serialized Launch Edition badge on the center console, and available black leather seats with Launch Edition­–exclusive blue or yellow stitching. Production of the Levante Trofeo begins this summer with sales expected to start shortly thereafter. Pricing has yet to be announced, but plan on spending north of six figures for the first eight-cylinder Italian SUV.


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