Maserati Levante Trofeo – The “chips are down” for Trident’s Ferrari-powered bet
A few months ago the Lamborghini Urus set the pace in a new arena of automotive competition; the super-SUV category. With supercar performance, unmistakeable motorsport pedigree, stunning looks and a budget to send the asset manager to the madhouse, Maserati follows suit, with the Levante Trofeo. The “chips are down”.
Maserati revealed the first Levante built around a V8 engine at the 2018 New York International Auto Show. The Levante Trofeo, the ultimate Maserati of SUVs, can accelerate to 100 km/h from standstill in 3.9 seconds and will eventually reach a top speed of over 300 km/h, thus making it easily into the demanding category.
The reason for this, is one of the most powerful engines ever fitted in a Maserati. It comes with the compliments of the Ferrari assembly-line in Maranello, for their “pointy” stablemate. The 3.8-litre Twin Turbo V8 engine has been engineered to perfectly mate with the Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive System. It delivers an impressive 590hp at 6,250 rpm and 730Nm of peak torque at 2,250 – 5,000 rpm. With 156 hp/litre, this is THE most powerful unit ever to be found under a Maserati bonnet.
The chassis has been tuned to handle the overwhelming power output and provides an exhilarating driving experience with no compromise in terms of comfort. This tuning ensures the Levante Trofeo continues to embody the essence of the Maserati GranTurismo philosophy with supercar performance.
“It’s proof that when you play with the elements you end up in a storm”, says Maserati CEO Tim Kuniskis. “In the case of Trofeo, the engineers and designers in Modena knew that the driveline parameters were more than able to cope with additional power and they also knew that Maserati had access to the finest engines on earth. So, they were up to the challenge of making the finest luxury SUV also one of the fastest”.
The unmistakable Levante design has reached new levels of sportiness in this top of the line Trofeo. The elegant restyling was mainly focused on the lower front fascia and the rear bumper and is underlined by the 22-inch forged aluminium “Orione” wheels – the largest ever fitted on a Maserati – available in both polished and matte finishes.
The side air intakes in the lower fascia feature a new, more aggressive design, defined by two aerodynamic wings that give a sense of further stability, visually “pushing” the weight of the car’s nose towards the massive front wheels. In order to help improve the airflow distribution, the Trofeo is outfitted with carbon fibre side bezel blades and a CF splitter.
The rear end also looks wider and more muscular, with a sharper carbon fibre horizontal element and body-color lower extractor embracing the oval quad exhaust tips.
In front, the Maserati Levante Trofeo has Full Matrix LED headlights, a front grille with double vertical bars in a piano black finish and lower honeycomb mesh fascia, as well as body color door handles, oval exhaust tips in a dark finish and performance painted brake calipers in red, blue, black, silver or yellow. And to cap it off, specific “Saetta” (pron. Saeetaa for “arrow”) Trofeo logos adorn the iconic c-pillars of the coupé styled SUV.
Specific details, like the lower splitter, the blade side bezels in the front air intakes, the side skirt inserts and the rear extractor are made of ultralight, high-gloss carbon fibre, giving the Levante Trofeo a polished racing look.
Even the hood is new, featuring two aggressive vents for more efficient cylinder head cooling. Under the bonnet, the engine cover is also made of high-gloss carbon fibre featuring a V8 inscription and the iconic Trident logo, while cylinder heads and intake manifolds are all painted red.
Interior designers have come up with elegant ways to create a distinctive environment within the Maserati Levante Trofeo cabin.
The sculpted sport seats feature a premium full-grain “Pieno Fiore” natural leather available in black, red and tan, all with contrast stitching and “Trofeo” logo stitched on the headrests. “Pieno Fiore” is like no other leather used in the automotive industry for its natural, soft feel and for the unique character it develops throughout the years.
A new matte carbon fibre trim and paddle shifters, specific instrument cluster graphics, floor mats with metal Trofeo badges and a Maserati clock with a unique dial, elegantly underline the exclusive sporty character of this extraordinary Levante, which is outfitted with a standard 1,280-watt, 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium surround sound audio system, for exceptional listening enjoyment…engine aside!
The production of the Levante Trofeo starts this summer at the refurbished Maserati plant in Mirafiori (Turin), Italy. The fastest Levante in Maserati history is initially intended for overseas export markets, including the U.S. and Canada.
Maserati engineers developed the mighty 3.8-litre Twin Turbo V8 engine to accommodate the Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system, providing it with a new crankcase design, specific crankshaft assembly, new oil pump and auxiliary belt and a different wiring layout.
New turbochargers feature increased flow, while redesigned cylinder heads with specific camshafts and valves, different pistons and new connecting rods allow the ability to reach the maximum power targets in combination with specific engine calibration mapping.
The Levante Trofeo is definitely one of the fastest SUVs ever built, with a top speed of over 300 km/h. Thanks to its remarkable weight/power ratio of 3.6 kg/hp (277hp per ton), the Trofeo needs only 3.9 seconds to reach 100 km/h and only 34.5 metres of braking distance to get back to a complete stop.
The ideal 50:50 weight distribution and the low center of gravity – common to all Levante models – in combination with the finely tuned double-wishbone front / Multi Link rear suspension and the larger tyres fitted to the 22-inch forged aluminium wheels, endow the new Trofeo with remarkably balanced handling and lateral stability.
The new “Corsa” Driving mode with Launch Control functionality in addition to the existing Normal, I.C.E., Sport and Off Road modes has been adopted to enhance the athletic character of the ultimate Maserati SUV. “Corsa” driving mode further improves engine response and opens exhaust valves in acceleration, as well as provides faster gear shifting, lower air suspension height levels, sportier Skyhook damping and optimized Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive settings and interacts with Traction Control and ESP systems to maximize driving pleasure.
The Maserati Integrated Vehicle Control (IVC) system has been incorporated for the first time in a Levante, for impressive driving dynamics, better performance and a genuine Maserati driving experience, by helping to prevent vehicle instability, instead of correcting “driver mistakes” as a traditional Electronic Stability Program (ESP) system does.
As an introduction to its upcoming new model, Maserati is showcasing a limited Levante Trofeo launch edition at the Javits Center in New York. The show car is in the special matte Grigio Lava paint with matte finished 22-inch wheels and red brake calipers. This limited series Trofeo is exclusively intended for a small number of Maserati customers in the U.S. and Canada.
The Maserati Levante Trofeo launch edition will be available in eight unique exterior colors, including the following exclusive exterior features: 22-inch forged aluminium wheels with three-season performance tyres or new 21-inch wheels with all-season tyres, in a gloss finish and dark details, like black daylight openings (DLO) and fog light rings, as well as Black Chrome Maserati badges, Trofeo “Saetta” logos, side air vents and trunk accent.
The Trofeo launch edition interior is even more individual, featuring natural “Pieno Fiore” leather sport seats available in black, tan or red with contrast stitching.
Black leather with blue or yellow stitching is exclusive to the launch edition and all feature the new matte carbon fibre wave interior trim. A serialized launch edition badge integrated on the center console featuring the customer’s name, has also been added to underline the unique character of the Trofeo launch edition.
In this nerve-wrecking game of “automotive poker”, Lamborghini “opened the pot” of the super-SUV category with the Urus. Maserati “calls” with the Levante Trofeo and all eyes are now on the other “players”. Only time will show who “raises the bet”, challenging others for dominance and who “folds”, deterministically accepting inferior status. In any case, with the exclusive category growing rapidly and the SUV becoming a vehicle of choice in the upper echelons of automotive clientele, this pot seems to be full of honey and the industries are bound to have one “crazy session”.