The new Levante GTS is essentially a sibling of the Levante Trofeo, billed as the ultimate Maserati of SUVs.
To get an idea of what the Levante GTS offers, let us look at the Levante Trofeo which had its world premiere earlier in March at the 2018 New York International Auto Show.
The Levante Trofeo is simply a slightly faster and more aggressive-looking sibling of the Levante GTS.
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Both the Levante Trofeo and GTS have an exciting Ferrari-built 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox.
Like all Maserati petrol engines, this V8 is assembled by Ferrari in Maranello and in the top-of-the-line Levante Trofeo, it delivers an incredible 590hp at 6,250rpm and 730Nm of peak torque at 2,250 – 5,000rpm.
In the Levante GTS, the same V8 engine is tuned to deliver 40hp less (with 550hp), with peak torque reached at a slightly higher 2,500rpm.
What this means is that the Levante GTS is just marginally slower than the Trofeo version.
The Levante GTS completes the 0-100kph sprint in 4.2 seconds, onwards to a top speed of over 292kph (compared with the Levante Trofeo which can do the 0-100kph sprint in only 3.9 seconds, onwards to a top speed of over 300kph).
Meanwhile, to underline its king-of-the-hill status, the Trofeo version gets an exclusive Sport Corsa driving mode (Levante GTS only gets a Sport mode) with Launch Control functionality in addition to the existing Normal, I.C.E., Sport and Off Road modes.
The Corsa driving mode further improves engine response and opens exhaust valves in acceleration, as well as provides faster gear shifting, lower air suspension height levels, sportier Skyhook damping and optimised Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive settings and interacts with Traction Control and ESP systems to maximise driving pleasure.
Also, in terms of looks, the Levante Trofeo has a muscular street fighter bearing with ultralight, high-gloss carbon fibre material for the lower splitter, side skirt inserts and the rear extractor - giving it a polished racing look.
The Trofeo also stands out for its sportier engine bonnet, featuring two heat extractors for better cylinder head cooling.
The 22-inch Orione forged aluminium wheel – the largest ever created by Maserati – is exclusively available for the new Levante GTS and Trofeo.
And if you aren't bored with reading just how fast and powerful Maserati has made the flagship versions of its only SUV, try and accept the fact that the bigger, heavier Levante GTS has a better weight-to-power ratio than a two-door Porsche 911 Carrera sports car.
A 3.0-litre 6-cylinder, twin-turbo engined Porsche 911 Carrera weighs 1,525kg and outputs 370hp; thus giving it a weight-to-power ratio of 4.1kg per hp.
Whereas the Levante GTS has a kerb weight of 2,170kg and outputs 550hp; thus giving it a weight-to-power ratio of 3.94kg per hp.
Maserati isn't exaggerating when it says the Levante GTS is a supercar disguised in a high-end SUV body.
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