The Italian automaker plans to introduce a semi-automated driving system in the near future for the Levante SUV and probably for its sendans as well, Maserati CEO said.
Fiat-Chrysler’s high-end brand is counting on its newly launched luxury SUV to revive the sales, which did not reach the automaker’s 50,000 desired global target last year. As the deliveries have flattened in the past two years at around 32,000 , Maserati expects from Levante to almost double the sale figures this year. And to keep the pace with the technological trend, the Italian automaker is currently developing a semi-automated driving system for the SUV, Chief Executive Harald Wester said in an interview this week. The “highway pilot” feature will probably be fitted in other future Maseratis as well, he revealed. The Levante, which just went into production in Italy in late February, recently announced that sales would be kicking off in the US in April with a 2017 model year, with retail prices starting from 72,000 dollars.
The model also will offer a complement of advanced driver assistance systems, including adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning, Wester said, adding that future cars may benefit from alternative powertrains, such as a plug-in hybrid one that could share components with the new Chrysler Pacifica. The new Maserati SUV rides on an evolved version of the Quattroporte and Ghibli architecture and is fitted with a 3 litre V6 Twin-Turbo petrol engine with either 350hp or 430hp, and a 275hp 3 litre V6 turbo diesel – the latter not being available in US. All engines are combined with the “Q4” intelligent all-wheel drive system and an 8-speed automatic gearbox.