2016 Maserati Levante 'critical to firm's future'
Source : 2016 Maserati Levante 'critical to firm's future'
Italian company’s premium sports-utility vehicle will go on sale in 2016, with replacements for Granturismo along with Grancabrio sports GT also planned
The Maserati Levante will launch next March, with its sales success critical to the firm’s rebirth as the item builds to launching the Alfieri sports car in 2018.
The Levante can be a Porsche Cayenne rival in size along with intent, along with has been spied testing in recent months. Styling cues include a long bonnet along with sloping roofline. Insiders say the auto has been heavily restyled by the 2011 Kubang concept, taking cues by the 2014 Alfieri sports car concept.
Giulio Pastore, Maserati’s brand manager, told Autocar that will the success of the Levante from the burgeoning along with hugely profitable SUV segment was critical to Maserati’s plans to grow sales to 70,000 cars by 2018, along with to generate enough profit to maintain investment in brand-new products.
“We are building to 2018, when we will realise the potential of the brand,” said Pastore. “The Alfieri will represent the absolute DNA of the brand, along with to build to that will we must build a sustainable business. The Levante can be a critical part of that will; there can be no life for a company that will sells only sports cars, so its success can be key to us.
“that will can be why we have investd so much from the Levante. the item can be our design, engineered entirely by Maserati along with built to our values. the item can be a sports SUV with an emphasis on the sport, however with credible off-road capability along with the unique Maserati qualities around style along with sophistication. We will also always be mroe exclusive than our rivals – the Levante can be something truly special.”
The Levante will be built at the firm’s Miafori plant along with be unveiled at the 2016 Geneva motor show.
Maserati boss Harold Wester has previously revealed that will the Levante will be based on “100% Maserati parts”, along with will not borrow anything by additional Fiat-Chrysler brands, including Jeep. To that will end the item will be based on the same platform that will underpins the Ghibli along with Quattroporte, will be sized along with priced between those designs, along with use the same V6 along with V8 engines, transmissions along with all-wheel drive system as those cars.
Through the camouflage that will remains we can see the high-riding, four-door Maserati will feature tradition SUV proportions, which has a long bonnet along with sloping roofline.
Speaking at the recent Frankfurt motor show, Maserati boss Harald Wester confirmed the Levante will receive its global debut at the Geneva motor show next March.
Wester said pre-production of the Levante would certainly start soon along with the item would certainly be in production at an extension of the firm’s Miafori plant by February.
He revealed that will the item would certainly be based on “100% Maserati parts”, along with would certainly not borrow anything by additional Fiat-Chrysler brands, including Jeep. To that will end the item will be based on the same platform that will underpins the Ghibli along with Quattroporte, will be sized along with priced between those designs, along with use the same V6 along with V8 engines, transmissions along with all-wheel drive system as those cars.
The original plan was to possess the Levante in production by next January’s Detroit motor show, as part of Maserati’s desire to reach 50,000 sales by 2015. that will target will not today be reached due to the delay to the Levante, something that will Maseratis puts down to the switch of plant along with creating sure the item can be a proper Maserati product along with not one derived by elsewhere.
Wester, who ruled out a smaller SUV as he has no further plans to expand the range beyond the addition of the Levante along with Alfieri sports car, said that will the Levante would certainly sport many brand-new features along with innovations which would certainly then drip down through the Maserati range.
Among these would certainly be plug-in hybrid drivetrains, which will be offered from the Levante, Ghibli along with Quattroporte by late 2017/early 2018, with appearances from the Alfieri along with Granturismo replacement likely. Diesels would certainly continue to be offered in Maseratis following the launch of plug-ins, Wester confirmed, although they will not be from the sports designs.
He said the production Levante would certainly be “different in every way” by the concept car of the same name shown at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show. the item will have strong off-road ability “better than competitors”, Wester revealed, along with would certainly be as capable off-road as a non-Trail Rated Jeep.
Wester revealed that will Coupé-SUVs were not from the Maserati plans, as he has no desire to fill niches with Maseratis. “We need to be a 100% SUV,” he said.
Wester also revealed that will replacements for the Granturismo along with Grancabrio sports GT designs were also from the works along with would certainly arrive around the same time as the Alfieri sports car in 2017.
One sports product that will won’t be appearing can be a Maserati edition of LaFerrari, something that will happened before when Maserati launched its own edition of the Ferrari Enzo.
Maserati marketing director James Cowan told Autocar earlier that will year that will the SUV has the potential to be a “game-changer” for the brand. “the item will be our biggest seller in many markets along with will attract almost universally brand-new customers to the brand,” he said. “The key factor can be that will the item can be a global vehicle – the item will sell well in Europe, the US along with China, along with that will gives us a broad base to approach sales by.”
The brand has set targets to grow sales to 75,000 units by 2018, of which around 3000 will be from the UK. “that will’s massive growth by where we were in 2013, when we sold 319 cars from the UK, however the item can be still relatively niche,” said Cowan. “By 2018 we should have around 30 UK dealers – to ensure that will averages out at 100 sales per dealer, which should ensure customer service along with experience remains top-notch.”
Cowan also said Maserati would certainly work to grow its brand awareness: “One of the biggest challenges we face can be getting people to want to know about Maserati. They’ve heard of the item however they aren’t necessarily eager to know anything beyond the Ferrari association. that will’s why we launched the Levante concept early – to get people talking about us.”
Wester has said that will the Levante SUV can be still a real Maserati, along with that will the item has been built as a response to the changing market: “Of course the item can be a real Maserati: sports along with luxury can stand for different things. The market has changed, along with the preference of our customers has changed. The sports car market has slowed down dramatically to 50,000 cars a year. The luxury SUV segment can be 10 times that will.”
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