Everybody’s buying SUVs these days — even people shopping expensive luxury brands like Maserati, whose Levante enters its third model year for 2019. We had a chance to drive the all-new V-8 version, which comes in two separate guises, at Road America racetrack in Elkhart Lake, Wis., at the Midwest Automotive Media Association’s 2019 Spring Rally in May.
It’s a great car, as you’d expect, with an Italian, Ferrari-assembled V-8 twin-turbo engine under the hood. It has lots of power and performance — but that’s not the only reason to Love-ante this thing.
The Levante came out for the 2017 model year with a pair of turbocharged V-6 engines. Those carried over for 2018. For 2019, they’re joined by two more engines: the all-new turbocharged V-8 engines in the Levante GTS and the Levante Trofeo, the top dog.
Those engines are actually the same engines, Maserati says, as in the Quattroporte — Maserati’s flagship sedan — and are adapted here for an all-wheel-drive system. All-wheel drive is standard across all versions of the Levante, as is an eight-speed automatic transmission.
So, how are those extra two cylinders? Well, they’re really a sublime experience — you get a lot of power going all the way up to redline and the vehicle never seems to run out of steam. It’s definitely a different character than you get from some of these larger-displacement V-8 engines in a lot of other SUVs. With only 3.8 liters and two turbochargers, you have to get to the higher echelons of the tachometer to experience the real joy of this engine, although there’s still plenty of torque down low.
Watch the video below for our full experience with the 2019 Maserati Levante.
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