NYIAS 2018 – 2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo Brings Massive Power to Trident SUV
Levante Finally Gets a V-8 to Battle Cayenne
The 2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo was revealed recently, giving attendees of the 2018 New York Auto Show a look at the company’s first V-8–powered SUV.
Until now, all Maserati Levantes were powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0L V-6 in two different states of tune: the 345hp version in the base SUV and a 424hp version slated for the Levante S. For 2019, however, the top engine offering will be the Trofeo and its twin-turbocharged 3.8L V-8 that delivers 590 hp and 528 lb-ft—making it the most powerful Maserati in production today and one of the most powerful trident-badged cars in history.
Other enhancements made to the Levante Trofeo include significant revisions to the company’s Q4 all-wheel-drive system. A new crankcase design, specific crankshaft assembly, revised lubrication system, and updated electrics help the system keep all that torque at bay. And the updated V-8, which originates from the company’s Quattroporte GTS flagship, gets new turbochargers, redesigned cylinder heads with specific camshafts and valves, different pistons and connecting rods, and updated engine programming to boost its power over the sedan’s 523 hp and 524 lb-ft.
Maserati says the Levante Trofeo boasts a low center of gravity and 50:50 weight distribution between the front and rear for balanced, neutral handling. Assisting the body geometry in its mission is a double-wishbone front/multilink rear suspension, wider tires, and 22-inch wheels, the largest rollers ever offered on a Masi. Given how nicely the Levante and Levante S drive already, we can only imagine how enjoyable a Trofeo will be on a twisty road.
Maserati quotes the Trofeo’s top speed at 186 mph, hitting 100 mk/h (62 mph) in 3.9 seconds. Enhancing the fast SUV’s fun factor is Maserati Integrated Vehicle Control (IVC), a system that the company says will prevent vehicle instability while preserving “a genuine Maserati driving experience.” IVC contrasts itself from other stability controls by not correcting driver mistakes, stepping in—presumably later in the game—only to prevent loss of control. The Trofeo also gets a set of driving modes that includes Normal, I.C.E., Sport, Off Road, and Corsa with Launch Control.
Stylistically, the Trofeo sets itself apart from lesser Levantes thanks to a reshaped front fascia with massive side air intakes, aerodynamic wings on either side of the nose, and a carbon fiber splitter. Around back, there’s a carbon fiber air diffuser bookended by quad exhaust outlets, and those aforementioned 22-inch wheels keep everything looking appropriately sporty from the side. A new hood with two vents helps provide better cooling to the cylinder head.
Carbon fiber adorns not just the front splitter and rear diffuser, but also the front air intakes and side skirt inserts. The fastest Levante will also get trim-specific trident logos with the “Trofeo” designation on the C-pillars, as well as black chrome badging, black window trim, and black foglight rings. Inside, available Pieno Fiore leather comes in black, tan, or red, and there’s matte carbon fiber on the shift paddles for a rich set of driver touchpoints. Furthermore, the Maserati-signature clock gets a new face, and popping the hood reveals a sea of carbon fiber and bright-red engine paint.
The 2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo gets a lot of good stuff, and keen to recognize its possible domination in the performance SUV market, the company will sell the Trofeo in the U.S. and Canada, with production taking place in the refurbished Maserati plant in Mirafiori, Italy. Pricing is unconfirmed as yet, but given the Quattroporte GTS demands $25,000 more than the next-rung-down Quattroporte S, don’t plan on the Levante coming cheap. We’d expect it to start at around $110,000, a few grand less than the Porsche Cayenne Turbo with which it will do battle. That’s a lot of coin, but considering some Italian supercars cost more than double the price, it could be seen as a total bargain.