Maserati plans to introduce its first SUV, the Levante, in 2014.
Maserati announced production plans for the Levante, which is based on its Kubang concept vehicle, at the 2012 Paris Motor Show on Sept. 26, according to a report from Automotive News. Maserati didn’t respond to Consumers Digest’s requests for confirmation or additional information about the Levante.
The Levante will be manufactured in the United States by Chrysler Group and share underpinnings with Chrysler’s Jeep Grand Cherokee, according to the article.
However, according to Chris Woodyard, who is an automotive writer for USA Today, aside from sharing some underpinnings, it’s unlikely that the Levante will have all that much in common with the Jeep SUV.
He believes that the Levante will have few, if any, off-roading qualities and that its driving characteristics and suspension will stay true to Maserati’s reputation for agility and speed.
“They are going to do this to it where when you are taking your kids to the grocery store, you’ll still feel like you have a little bit of that [Maserati] brand in there,” he says.
Maserati isn’t the only luxury sports car manufacturer that plans a foray into SUV territory. Bentley Motors and Lamborghini introduced concept SUVs in 2012, with Bentley planning to deliver its SUV by late 2014.
Consumers Digest first reported on Maserati’s SUV plans in February 2012 in “Innovation Around the Corner,” in its Complete 2012 Car Guide.
– K. Fanuko