This is the Maserati Levante sport utility vehicle image

Maserati has officially introduced its latest model – the crucial Levante crossover that will make its first public appearance in front of the worldwide audience during the Geneva Motor Show.

The Levante comes with a “distinctive Italian character” in terms of styling but also ups the ante with an aggressive front end that depicts a chrome grille flanked by sweptback headlights and round fog lights. The front bumper houses big air intakes and further back the SUV also has a rakish windscreen, porthole vents, and a sporty –sloping – roofline. The crossovers will be upping the ante on elegance thanks to the frameless windows and a “Saetta” badge on the C-pillar. We’re also getting a muscular rear end with taillights that look a little underwhelming compared to the metal surface. Maserati was coy on technical specifications but did announce the Levante’s “chassis is designed to combine the outstanding on-road performance typical of every Maserati with unrivalled handling even on very low-grip surfaces and an excellent off-road performance and ride.”

That would be achieved thanks to the intelligent all-wheel drive system and a special suspension featuring air springs and electronically controlled dampers. Power will come courtesy of an array of gasoline and diesel engines that have been mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission specifically tailored for the crossover. We know from the rumor mill the petrol choice includes a 3.0-liter V6 with either 350 horsepower or 430 hp. The base model reaches 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.3 seconds and the more powerful brethren will handle the task in 5.2 seconds on its way to the maximum speed of 164 mph. The diesel side has a .0-liter V6 engine churning out 275 hp – enough for the sprint to take place in 6.9 seconds on its way to the top speed of 143 mph. By the way, Maserati says it has already started production of the model and first sales have been slated for the spring.