Maserati Levante S GranSport 2018 UK review

Maserati Levante Gransport 2018 UK first drive review hero front

Minor updates make a big impact on high-riding Levante’s refinement, even if outright performance still falls shy of rivals

When Maserati unveiled its product strategy for the next five years, much was made of the fact that all of its engines will be built by Ferrari, with the belief that the twin heritage of the two Italian brands could win over customers from both Porsche and Tesla.And if the prospect of a Maserati Levante SUV powered by a retuned version of the Ferrari-built 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 currently used in the Quattroporte GTS excites you, we have good news. Sort of.The good news is that the revamped 2019 model year Levante line-up includes new GTS and Trofeo versions featuring that Ferrari unit, tuned to produce 542bhp and 582bhp respectively. The catch is that neither is confirmed for the UK — at least not yet.British buyers will be given the option of a new Ferrari petrol engine for the Levante: a 346bhp 3.0-litre V6 that sits beneath the 424bhp version introduced last year for the Levante S.The new lower-powered V6 isn’t due until September, so for now we can only assess the 2019-spec Levante in 424bhp Levante S petrol form and the 271bhp V6 diesel, both of which we’ve previously driven.That leaves us to look at the finer detail changes made to the Levante, which include more distinctive styling differences between the GranSport and GranLusso trims, full LED matrix headlights, a slightly revamped interior including a new gearshift lever and drive mode switches, as well as new infotainment graphics.More substantially, in terms of driving dynamics, Maserati’s Integrated Vehicle Control (IVC) has been introduced into its stability systems for the first time. It predicts driving situations and can adjust the engine speed and braking as required — although Maserati’s engineers note that, if it’s doing its job properly, drivers shouldn’t even notice that system kicking in.

Source: Autocar Online

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