Maserati was winning the major races back in the day well before brands like Ferrari and Porsche existed. It’s a brand chosen by only purists and connoisseurs. With times changing, even the mighty Maserati has to embrace new technology in the pursuit of efficiency. Hence the 2021 Maserati Levante Hybrid. A hybrid variant of a Maserati SUV. How times change.
On the outside
The top of the range Levante is a ‘Ferrari-engined’ beast of an SUV, with performance close to that of the Urus. The Levante Hybrid, which sits on the other end, looks just as beautiful and butch at the same time.
You still get gorgeous 19 inch rims with 265 section tyres all around. The brake callipers are painted in blue, a Maserati signature. The triple side vents are lined with blue trim for the Hybrid variant. You still get quad tail pipes.
Of course, it would’t be a Maserati without the Trident logo. It graces the rear C pillar, wheel hubs and of course, the massive front grille.
In the cabin
The Levante has seen a periodical update with its interior. You get a full leather dashboard, leather seats, and a leather wrapped steering wheel. There’s blue stitching on all of them, with the Tridents embossed on every headrest.
The biggest update for the Levante Hybrid is the 8.4 inch frameless infotainment system. This Android OS powered system features Maserati Connect. This will keep you updated on your Levante’s status, and even remind you of your service appointments. You can even stay connected via Google Assist and Alexa.
Under the Hood
Maserati’s no stranger to 2.0 liter engines, only this time its a 4 cylinder unit with a turbocharger. Mated with a 48 Volt E Booster, the system provides a total output of 330bhp and 450Nm. That’s about the same output you get from a supercharged 3.0 Range Rover Velar.
This propels the 2 tonne SUV to 100kph in 6 seconds, 0.2 seconds slower than the 2019 BMW 330i M Sport. Power is sent to all 4 wheels via an 8 speed ZF gearbox, with a limited slip diff in the back.
Under the Skin
The Levante Hybrid sits on double wishbones up front and multi link suspension setup in the rear. This should give the Levante a very agile handling characteristics. Aiding the handling is the placement of the battery pack, which is moved to the rear.
The brakes are 2 pistons up front and single piston at the rear, clamping on 345mm discs in the front and 330mm discs in the rear. The brakes are capable of stopping this luxury SUV from 100kph in 36 meters.
The Levante Hybrid is very much a Maserati rather than an eco friendly hybrid. Be it in the exterior, interior or even performance. On paper at least.
What’s more interesting is that this packaging seems tailor made for the Malaysian market. We have yet to receive any word on when it will arrive on our shores. With the current range starting from RM800k, could we see a sub-RM700k Levante on sale here? We will have to wait to find out.