All posts in “Maserati”

2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo Review

When Maserati introduced their Levante SUV a few years ago, I was immediately smitten. Not only was it a great looking SUV but the interior felt so exceptional – full of rich wonderful-smelling leathers, aluminum, carbon fiber, and artfully design – that I immediately began trying to arrange a loan so that we could review it. At the time, the Levante only came with a V6, which promised decent power along with it’s Q4 AWD. It didn’t seem particularly exciting, but it had a sportiness and refinement that appealed to me.

It turns out that while Maserati was offering the V6 Levante to the general public, it’s engineers were secretly working on a top secret skunk works-style after-hours project: building a V8 Levante. Why? Because some people are never satisfied with basic. Because the potential to be the best SUV was there. At some point they let management in on it. The execs must have been impressed because it received their blessing, was introduced in 2018, and went on sale in 2019.

In February of this year, in the middle of a particularly bad and prolonged ice storm, Maserati delivered a Levante GTS to us for a review. The GTS had a Ferrari-engineered and -built 3.8L bi-turbo V8 under the hood and a trick electronically-adjustable suspension that adapted to all possible conditions but also raised and lowered the vehicle to give more ground clearance or to provide better aerodynamics. After spending a week with it through an ice storm, through heavy snow, through heavy rain, and even a day of warm dry weather, we came away extremely impressed with the Levante GTS. In fact, we thought the Levante GTS was the ultimate SUV. It is an exceptional vehicle.

Recently Maserati offered us a few days with their new Levante Trofeo – their ultimate iteration of the Levante. Boasting an even more powerful Ferrari-engineered and -built bi-turbo V8 and a new “Corsa” suspension setting, the Trofeo is built track-capable and is just as wonderfully luxurious and technologically loaded as the GTS.

We accepted the invitation so fast we swear we heard a sonic boom. So on a hot, sticky summer day the Levante Trofeo was delivered for us to explore for a few days. It was still as gorgeous looking as we remembered it.

Visually, the Trofeo initially appears identical to the GTS. Only a sharp eye will discern the new 21” wheels, the carbon fiber accents on the rockers, the carbon fiber front splitter and fascia ducts for the brake cooling, and the chrome Trident Trofeo badges on the C-pillars. Even with these flashy accents, the purity of the Levante design shines through.

Maserati Levante Trofeo For Sale

The inside is identical to the GTS too – rich dark gray leather and glossy carbon fiber brightened by aluminum trim bits. The controls are laid out in a logical and intuitive arrangement. None of the controls require any head scratching to figure out. Everything is obvious and simple, as it should be. The front seats are well bolstered but easy to get into and out of. They’re both heated and ventilated for extra comfort. The rear seats are less bolstered but have plenty of legroom for adults, are heated, and fold flat for extra cargo capacity. The steering wheel is carbon fiber with leather inlays where you most often grab it. The molded carbon fiber paddles behind the steering wheel are simply a work of art that hint at what Maserati is capable of with carbon fiber.

Pop the hood and one of the most beautiful engines ever greets you. Underneath a narrow carbon fiber engine cover, emblazoned with a chrome Maserati Trident, sits a surprisingly narrow V8 with breathtakingly gorgeous blood-red crinkle-finish valve covers and an identical air plenum. GORGEOUS. It elicits low whistles and heavy breathing from everyone who sees it. The sounds it makes will literally make you weak in the knees. Ferrari’s influence is clear and perfectly suitable for this Maserati.

Maserati Levante Trofeo Ferrari Engine

This engine has 40 more horsepower than the Levante GTS – a total of 590 hp – making it the most powerful Maserati ever buiilt with the exception of the legendary MC12 Corsa. How’s THAT for impressive? In fact, it has the highest specific output of any Maserati (156hp/L). And 730Nm of torque. All that power is channeled through Maserati’s 8-speed transmission to the Q4 AWD system. Most of the power goes to the rear wheels, but up to 30% is sent to the front wheels when accelerating or rear wheel slippage is detected. The 8-speed transmission is remarkably smooth and shifts are split-second fast. Unlike a lot of paddle shift systems on the market today, the paddle actuated shifts are immediate; there’s zero hesitation between the click of the paddle and the transmission’s shift.

The Brembo brakes are some of the largest we’ve seen on an SUV. Thick ventilated 380mm disks fill out the 21” wheels and are straddled by enormous 6-piston Maserati blue calipers. They stop the Levante like a brick wall stops a scooter. Demonstrating them will literally hang your passengers up in their seatbelts. That you can stop such a large and heavy vehicle with as little drama as these do is amazing.

Maserati Levante Trofeo Side View

The suspension consists of classic unequal length wishbones up front and an advanced multilink system in back. Combined with magnetoheleogical shocks that firm up at the push of a button and height-adjustable airbags, it might be the most sophisticated suspension available. The basic ride is plush but confidence inspiring. Pushing the button on the center console with the shock absorber icon firms up the suspension and makes it more sensitive to changing road conditions.

Pressing the Sport button lowers the vehicle about an inch and makes the engine, transmission, and suspension more responsive. The ride firms up but is still comfortable. Holding the Sport button longer engages Corsa mode, which lowers the ride height about another inch and firms up the suspension even more and makes everything even more responsive. The I.C.E. (Increased Control & Efficiency) button retards the engine and makes the drive system more sensitive in lousy weather conditions. Off-Road raises the suspension nearly two inches for improved ground clearance and gives a near 50/50 front/rear power distribution. With so many options, the Levante Trofeo is nearly unstoppable and certainly exceedingly capable in all conditions and environments.

If that all sounds technologically impressive, it’s even more impressive to drive. Pressing the start button fires that glorious engine which rumbles quietly but authoritatively under the hood. Moving the shifter into R, the backup camera image shows you both what’s behind you and also what’s around you. Back out carefully, straighten the wheel, shift into D, and we’re off.

Maserati Levante Trofeo Interior

The engine note grows in intensity but remains muted unless you wind it out above 4000 rpms, at which point the exhaust valves open and the sound level rises with a roar. Acceleration is brutally fast – if you want it to be. Maserati gives it’s 0-60 time as 3.9 seconds and that’s about exactly what it feels like. Cornering is surprisingly sharp and body roll is controlled no matter your speed. As you progress from standard drive mode to Sport mode to Corsa mode, your performance levels, suspension firmness, and engine noise levels all increase.

I suspect it’d give even the gorgeous GranTurismo a run for it’s money. The Trofeo is also a great grand tourer. With the windows up and the a/c on, traveling down the freeway at 85 mph, the Trofeo is as quiet as a soundbooth inside. There’s minimal wind noise, minimal engine noise, and minimal suspension bumps coming through the chassis. This is the kind of vehicle you’d absolutely love on a cross-continent trip, then be tempted to take to the track and give a few Porsches a run for their money. It’s so capable you can easily forget it’s essentially an SUV though “SUV” doesn’t really do it justice. It’s more of a multipurpose machine – off-road adventurer, sports car, and executive luxury car – in the shape of an SUV.

But one of the most fun things about driving a Maserati is that everyone wants to experience it. “I’ve never been in a Maserati! Can I sit in it?” Most certainly. “I’ve never ridden in a Maserati before. Can I get a ride?” Absolutely! Let me demonstrate the Launch Control! And in reference to the Joe Walsh song “Life’s Been Good To Me (So Far)”, “Can it really do 185?” It can. Or so Maserati tells me. We didn’t try but having experienced how quickly it can rocket up into triple-digit speeds, we don’t doubt them. When you drive a Maserati, crazy things start to happen. People stop you and ask about it. Take it to an event and you find yourself taking four other guests on a quick demo drive. Enemies become friends. Police start following you. You find your wife sitting in it in the garage, reading through the owners manual.

Maserati Levante Trofeo Review

Frankly there’s everything to love and very little to dislike. In fact, the only complaint I had was that my right knee could have used some padding to protect it from the hard plastic on the center console. Small price to pay though when that engine is growling like a mad animal from under the hood and the scenery is stretching out and blending together like you’re making the jump to hyperspace.

I suppose I could also complain about the gas mileage but let’s be honest…I wan’t driving the Trofeo for fuel efficiency. More for effect. And there was plenty of effect.

The Trofeo – quite possibly the very pinnacle of the Maserati line – is priced at $173,000. That’s a lot of money, but given the amazing capability of the car and the amazing engine, we don’t really think it’s unreasonable. It certainly won’t be for Maserati’s well-heeled clients. We actually think it’s reasonable. And we want one in our garage.

GTSPIRIT NEWSLETTER

1957 Maserati 300S

Between 1955 and 1958, Maserati produced a racing car called the Maserati 200S. It competed in the FIA’s World Sportscar Championship, boasting a 3.0-liter engine that output a 245 bhp. Decades later, it’s here and you can chuck it in your garage. If you have $6.5 million, that is.

Fewer than 30 units of the 1957 Maserati 300S were made, ever. British Formula One racing legend Sir Stirling Moss drove 300S models in eight international races during the late 1950s. He called the car one of his favorite racing beasts ever. It’s no wonder why that is — this is one of Maserati’s most significant masterstrokes. A legend among legends.

Moss liked this particular model so much that he signed the dashboard, which probably explains why it’s so darn expensive. But don’t get us wrong — the price seems right. In 2013, a 1955 Maserati 300S went for $6.1 million in Bonham’s auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. This one includes a De Dion rear axle and a transverse four-speed gearbox. You’ll also find two chain driven camshafts. This was a star in its heyday, and it kind of still is now.

This specific model, with chassis number 3070, comes courtesy of Redline Automotive Restorations. They’re a high-end classic and vintage restoration shop based in Connecticut. The 1957 Maserati 300S is part of their Elite Inventory. A fitting name, needless to say. If you have millions to burn, this is sure expenditure.

SHOP HERE

Photos courtesy of Redline Automotive Restorations

Ferrari to Stop Providing Maserati Engines

A Big Hit for Maserati

One of the big pluses for the Maserati brand was the Ferrari-sourced engines in the cars. Now that seems it will end. According to The Motley Fool, on a recent earnings call, Ferrari stated that it would stop producing engines for its former sister brand. 

Ferrari was spun off from FCA as part of an IPO in 2015. This set it apart from the other FCA brands, and now the company wants to stop producing engines for Maserati. 

“Eventually, we will no longer supply engines to Maserati, which actually from our perspective is actually a good thing, both from a margin perspective, but also the fact that we can transfer a lot of the labor that’s been focused on the engines to the car side of the business,” Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri said during the earnings call. 

The engines will stop coming to Maserati in either 2021 or 2022. While this isn’t a huge deal for Ferrari, it’s a rather big one for Maserati. The car company used Ferrari-sourced engines in the Ghibli, Quattroporte, Levante, GranTurismo, and GranCabrio. 

It’s unclear what Maserati will do. The company could design and build its own engines, but it could also source an engine from another one of FCA’s brands. Carscoops points to Dodge, almost joking at the prospect. However, a raucous HEMI V8 in a Maserati would get the job done. Still, it’s not very on-brand for Maserati. Time will tell what the company decides to do. 

Why Exotic Super SUV’s Are The Way Of The Future

Less than a decade ago, the distinction between SUV’s and other vehicle types was clear. The introduction of SUV cross-overs brought about a new breed of SUV. An off-shoot of these cross-over SUVs came to being once sports car manufacturers entered the SUV market, creating the “Super SUV.”

The idea was to provide everything in one vehicle – a powerful engine, elegant design, luxury interior, and unparalleled performance with a 4×4 option. Lamborghini came up with the term Super SUV in 2017, when they released the concept of the Lamborghini Urus.

Following in their footsteps, other major sports car manufacturers also joined in.

The S-SUV Future

Range Rover Super SUV
[Image via Autocar]

Sports cars have traditionally featured two-seats, with some exceptions offering four passenger options as well. However, that’s not enough for some people. Super SUV’s are 5-7 seater vehicles, boasting powerful engines that make light work of the added weight.

Super SUVs deliver a faster, more comfortable off-road experience. Imagine sitting in the luxury of a Bentley while crossing the Himalayan plains, or cruising through the desert with a Ferrari roaring under you. As these super crossovers make their way into the mainstream, maintaining these vehicles also doesn’t demand much effort.

For instance, in Arizona, you can explore the Apache Trail in your S-SUV, or cruise the historic Route 66.

There’s no worry if you damage your windshield because SunTec’s Scottsdale windshield replacement crew will have you sorted in no time! SunTec Auto Glass specializes in repairing and replacing windshields and auto glass on exotics, supercars, and of course Super-SUV’s.

The future is all about convenience and this is precisely why Super SUVs are set to take over the automobile industry. An all-in-one option is an automotive enthusiast’s dream come true — spacious cabins, higher seats, and more driving options.

Eventually, it is estimated that future S-SUV’s will be more affordable, providing a luxurious and powerful alternative to sports cars and SUV’s alike.

The Lamborghini Urus

Lamborghini Urus Super SUV
[Image via Lamborghini]

Lamborghini’s first attempt at an SUV caused ripples across the automobile industry. A combination of Lamborghini’s classic style coupled with outstanding performance, the Urus starts out at $200,000.

Its twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 delivers a whopping 641 horsepower on an all-wheel configuration alongside an eight-speed automatic transmission. This powerful engine boasts a 0-60mph time of 3.2 seconds!

The interior has a classic Lamborghini jetfighter-style design that has all the hallmarks of a luxury SUV and sports car. From leather seats to adjustable gauges, go from luxury to raw power in seconds, literally.

The Bentley Bentayga

Bentley Bentayga Super SUV
[Image via Bentley]

Bentley was looking to rock the SUV world and their introduction of the Bentley Bentayga blew everyone away with a top speed of 187 mph! With a price tag of $197,725, the Bentayga is a supercar in an SUV’s body – the very definition of a Super SUV.

A twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 engine under the hood delivers a robust 600 horsepower. Along with the eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, the Bentayga goes 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds.

The entirely leather interior comfortably seats 5 people. The full-option Bentayga also offers 22-inch alloy rims as well as an absolutely ridiculous 1,950-watt, 20 speaker audio system and back-seat entertainment tablets.

The Maserati Levante

Maserati Levante Super SUV
[Image via Motor Trend]

Following the trend of Super SUV’s, Maserati came up with the relatively cheaper Levante starting at $77,475. Positioned as the reinvention of Italian luxury, the Levante is available in four varieties with individual engine capacities and features.

The base version has a twin-turbocharged V-6 capable of 345 horsepower. Maserati’s Trofeo version put out an unimaginable 550 horsepower but also costs an eye-watering $171,475. The all-wheel base version goes 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds, rivaling mid-tier sports cars.

With a specific focus on the leather-intensive interior, Maserati has also splashed out on a fully automatic, state-of-the-art, all-inclusive infotainment system. While the Levante cuts corners on trunk space, it offers a world-class luxury experience.

1973 Maserati Bora 4.9

The Maserati Bora is an iconic model from the Italian sportscar manufacturer. A landmark car, it earned Maserati several of its firsts — first mid-engine layout, first fully-independent suspension chassis, and so on.

There were rumors in 1968 that Ferrari was going o unleash a mid-engine vehicle called Dino. Not wanting to be potentially outdone, Maserati got to work quickly. It began designing its own mid-engine car, but with an entirely different direction. Whereas Ferrari’s Dino didn’t carry the brand name and had only a wee V6 engine, the Bora was a larger GT with a V8. Its design harkened back to the ‘50s, with tapered edges, boxxy curves, and that droopy hood.

Still, Maserati stopped with the nostalgia there. And we’re glad it did. Though ‘50s-heavy, this ride still represents the zenith of 70s Italian design. Its long, low look crafted by legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro is enough of an indication. But just in case it doesn’t suffice, turn to the car’s hydraulic system, which powers everything from the pedals to the headlights.

The model above is a 1973 Bora Maserati 4.9, which comes with a 4.9-liter V8 engine. It’s coated in the original campagne colorway, too, looking like rust if you watch it at certain angles. With completely matching numbers, too. Comprehensively restored in 1989, the only thing this bad boy needs right this second is a driver. One who’s worthy enough to hightail this uncompromising supercar to great distances. Oh, and $280,000, please. Head to PrinsClassics and get on a quote.

BUY IT HERE

Photos courtesy of PrinsClassics

1956 Maserati A6G/2000 Berlinetta Zagato

Coinciding with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and filled with plenty of unique pieces of automotive history of their own, the RM Sotheby’s Monterery auction is always a sight to to behold—even if you can’t…

Official: 2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo

After a performance SUV? It would seem that you aren’t alone! Performance SUV’s are in high demand at the moment. Mercedes-AMG, BMW and Audi all produce high performance versions of their SUV’s. Lamborghini, Bentley and even Rolls-Royce have realised the potential too. Maserati? The Maserati Levante Trofeo fills that gap in their model range.

The Levante has been around for a little while now. The Maserati Levante Trofeo is the natural extension of the platform. Introduced at the New York Auto Show 2018 last week, it features a Ferrari-developed V8 engine. It is one of the fastest SUV’s currently on the market, if not the fastest!

The example in the press photos is a limited series model, aimed at the U.S. and Canada market, although we expect that the Maserati Levante Trofeo will soon be available worldwide. It comes fitted with a 3.8-litre Twin Turbo V8 engine delivering a staggering 590 hp and 730 Nm of torque. 0 to 100km/h is possible in just 3.9 seconds with a top speed in excess of 300 km/h.

Underpinning the Levante is a unique calibration for the Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system. From the cabin, the driver is able to choose the new “Corsa” mode together with the Normal, I.C.E., Sport and Off Road modes. The Maserati Integrated Vehicle Control (IVC) system replaces the traditional Electronic Stability Program (ESP) system.

Stylistically, the Levante gets new carbon fibre exterior pieces. The side air intakes sit lower, with two aerodynamic wings. New bezel blades and a carbon fibre splitter finish the front. A new rear diffuser and a set of quad exhaust pipes finish the rear. The headlights are new Full Matrix LED units and the detailing is piano black.The c-pillars get “Seatta” Trofeo logos.

At the business end of things are a set of 22-inch forged aluminium wheels – the largest ever fitted to a Maserati. Calipers come in red, blue, black, silver or yellow.

Inside, the sport seats feature full-grain “Pieno Fiore” natural leather in black, red and tan each with contrasting stitching. Inlays are matte carbon fibre with a specific instrument cluster graphic and Trofeo floor mats. An exclusive option is the Bowers & Wilkins, 1,280-watt, 17-speaker sound system.

The launch edition model will get eight unique exterior colours and most of the spec list ticked. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Maserati Levante Trofeo

There’s a new contender for the title of the fastest super-SUV on the market and this one is gonna be hard to beat (unless you’re driving a Lamborghini Urus, that is). Powered by a Ferrari-built 3.8-litre bi-turbo V8, the mighty Maserati Levante Trofeo cranks out 582bhp and 538lb ft, reaching 60mph in 3.7 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 187mph (300km/h).

Now, we could stop right there, but since you asked for more details, here they are: The weight distribution on this bad boy is a perfect 50:50 across the axles, all-wheel drive is on tap of course, along with a new ‘Corsa’ driving mode, and adjustable air suspension.

We also hear the ultra-limited (what did you expect?) Trofeo will ride on forged aluminum wheels wrapped in 22″ tires and will boast a carbon fiber aero kit, twin bonnet vents, carbon fiber engine cover, and luxurious leather inside available in black, red or tan.

Learn More From Maserati