With highly regarded supercars that offer amazing power, performance, exclusivity and fantastic luxury the Maserati models have always given a grand change from the norm and offered an amazing amount of style and elegance on any road. In an effort to increase the sales Maserati has noticed the desire of many shoppers to turn toward SUVs for their choice of vehicle to drive. With this in mind, Maserati will unveil their new SUV offering next year at the Geneva auto show as the new Levante, which will be a sizeable crossover SUV rather than one that is a compact model.
This is not the first time Maserati has brought an SUV to the auto shows as a concept vehicle for us to see. The first time was in 2003 and the second in 2011, both were Kubang SUV concepts and will be what the new Levante will be based on. The actual overall architecture that will be used for the new Levante is the one that underpins the Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans. Under the hood, we will see the same twin-turbocharged V6 and V8 engines that are in the current lineup from Maserati.
What is the result for this expected to be? With a goal of 75,000 sales per year by the 2018 model year, this new SUV should be the perfect addition to the lineup. What Maserati has seen so far is the fact that the sports car market is limited to about 50,000 cars per year while the call for a luxury SUV is much greater at nearly ten times that amount across the board. This new SUV will give Maserati the entry they need in the global automobile market to offer the right variety to reach the sales goal the company has set for itself.
Because Maserati is part of FCA it’s a wonder why they didn’t build a small compact SUV which could have been built quickly and cheaply. The reason given was one that certainly makes you feel Maserati is a continued brand that will attract you easily. Maserati wants to continue to be an exclusive brand that offers high-end luxury models that are driven by those who can afford them. In this way, even though they are looking to increase volume, they are not trying to increase it to a point of losing their exclusivity in the marketplace.
The new Levante is not the only change we will see from Maserati over the next few years. There will be a production version of the Alfieri coupe concept and a replacement for the Gran Turismo coupe and convertible, which are both currently under development. With these changes/additions to the lineup, Maserati should have no problem reaching the volume number they want, the real challenge might be how far over the goal they are willing to go to keep their exclusivity in the marketplace versus become more of a volume seller. That decision is one we will get to learn more about as we come closer to the actual production date of the Levante.