The new Maserati of SUVs is here. It’s called Levante.

“If you want a four door Ferrari, have a Maserati”
—Amedo Felisa, Ferrari CEO

  • Other high-end automakers have already created SUVs. Is Maserati on time or too late?
  • Should Maserati concerned that building a large, bulky vehicle would not fit in with its fleet of sleek, speedy cars?

“In my opinion . . .”

The SUV obviously seems to be an automotive trend that has staying power. Though Maserati’s beginnings started as builder of race cars, sports cars and grand tourers (along with its four-door Quattroporte), the company is simply following the 21st Century’s market’s wants and needs as so many other famous marques have before it. There’s a lot of profit in a stylish, high end SUV and marques such as Porsche, Bentley, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini* have jumped in to the game for financial reward.

It’s hard to know if a company as small as Aston Martin would consider building a SUV, though they do build the four-door Rapide. That said, Aston Martin’s CEO recently said most of their owners already have a “Range Rover in the garage” and their “DNA doesn’t allow” SUVs . . . SUVs are boxes, and “boxes aren’t beautiful. With that in mind, I must say, the new Levante has “just average” styling. There’s not a lot of Italian flare to be seen and from the side view, looks like any other offering on the road.

But it makes sense for Maserati to build the Levante (meaning the land in the eastern Mediterranean) since it has been building four door cars for years, e.g., the Quattroporte has been around since 1963 and recently reintroduced its Ghibli as a four-door.

The outlier in this SUV topic is Maserati’s cousin, Ferrari. You see, a few years back, the CEO of Ferrari, Amedeo Felisa was quoted as saying: “As Enzo Ferrari [the founder] would say, ‘we will never do four doors’ . . . and we will keep this tradition.” Felisa also said: “If you want a four door Ferrari have a Maserati.” So there you go, lackluster styling and all.

*Note: way back in 1986 Lamborghini built a very limited edition SUV called the LM002. I drove one once and it doesn’t really count as being an SUV by today’s standards. It was more like a first-generation Hummer with a Countach 12-cylinder engine—a beast.

 

Image credit: maserati.com

 

 

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