Maserati Levante mule caught on the streets image

The Maserati Levante SUV has been finally caught on the streets – cleverly disguised under the body of the Ghibli sedan. That means the design is still a matter of speculation, even as all the mechanical parts of the prototype are present.

The Italian luxury brand pits the new Levante SUV more towards the Porsche Cayenne, rather than the upcoming Bentley SUV. On the other hand, even as the model is expected to give aid to the 50,000 units sales goal of the brand, the Levante will be targeted towards affluent buyers. The Cayenne’s main sales base come from the entry-level versions, for example. On the other hand, the statement sheds no light on the actual model – it will be a higher specked or more expensive model then the Cayenne?

Getting back to the mechanical underpinnings, the rumors go two ways – some contend the Levante will ride on a stretched Quattroporte platform, while others say the Italians will borrow from 4×4 experts, using Jeep’s Grand Cherokee structure.

Next up, reports say that under the hood of the SUV will be at least three engines: a twin-turbo V8 with 560 hp, as well as a twin-turbo V6 that could levy 350 or 425 hp –for the gasoline variants. Diesel offerings are equally impressive – using a V6 three levels of power can be delivered: 250, 275 and 340 hp.