If the 542bhp Jaguar F-Pace SVR didn’t quite quench your thirst for ballistic SUVs this week, we’ve some news you may find agreeable: Maserati has a new hot version of the Levante, and it’s even more powerful.
It’s called the Levante Trofeo, and it’s also powered by a V8. Only this one is a little smaller - 3.8 litres - has a pair of turbochargers, and kicks out a mighty 582bhp and 538lb ft of torque. Oh, and it’s also built by Ferrari - it’s related to the one in the Portofino, except it has a fruitier crossplane crankshaft.
Thanks to its near-600bhp output, the new Levante range-topper will do 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds. That’s a tenth slower than the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, but at the top end the Maserati has the bragging rights: it’ll top out at over 186mph.
Maserati has manage to maintain a 50:50 weight distribution for the Trofeo, and still has a double wishbone front/multi-link rear suspension setup. There’s a new, more aggressive ‘Corsa’ driving mode too, which sets the air suspension lower and drops the ESP and Traction Control interventions back further.
Speaking of electronic driver aids, the Levante is the first Maserati to be given the firm’s new ‘Integrated Vehicle Control’ (IVC) system, which apparently prevents instability without “correcting ‘driver mistakes’ as a traditional Electronic Stability Program (ESP) system does.” We think that means it’ll let you get away with a cheeky slide or two without spoiling the fun.
The exterior has been spruced up with a new front splitter, beefier front intakes, sportier side skirt inserts and a new ‘rear extractor’ made from high-closs carbonfibre. The whole shebang is finished off with 22-inch wheels - the biggest rims Maserati has ever fitted to a car.
So it’s more powerful, faster and more exotic than the other fast SUV to be revealed at the New York Auto Show this week, but it’s also set to be much more expensive. The outgoing top-of-the-range Levante is already £76,995, so don’t expect much change from £100,000 if you’re buying one of these.