Having spent most of the year teasing us about it, the hardcore, V8-powered Trofeo and GTS versions of the lithe and luxurious Maserati Levante have been confirmed for the UK.
The Levante Trofeo tops the range with a 3.8-litre, twin-turbo V8 engine designed and built by Ferrari – seen previously in the Quattroporte GTS. Here it produces 580hp and 539lb/ft of torque, putting the Trofeo in the same bracket as the Jaguar F-Pace SVR, Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S and Porsche Cayenne Turbo.
The power goes through an eight-speed automatic gearbox to Q4 four-wheel-drive. The 0-62mph dash is dispatched in just 4.1secs and it ploughs on to 186mph.
The Trofeo rides on 21in wheels and comes with air suspension and adaptive dampers as standard, which should go some way to containing the immense forces involved when driving it fast. The chassis dynamics control system gets a Corsa (race) mode and launch control.
A vented bonnet, Trofeo badging and various carbonfibre bits – front splitter, side skirts, grille blades – mark the Trofeo out from lesser Levantes. Inside, the changes amount to a new clock and gear selector.
50 Launch Edition cars will be built with model-specific colours, plusher Pieno Fiore leather upholstery and carbonfibre interior trim.
The Levante GTS uses a 530hp version of the Trofeo’s engine and does without the more hardcore chassis hardware. The styling has been tweaked with an emphasis on elegance, as well.
None of these cars are cheap – the GTS costs £104,900, the Trofeo is £124,900 and the Trofeo Launch Edition is a whopping £159,900. They are quite a lot more expensive than the competition, too. Maserati will be hoping its air of exoticism justifies the extra.
All three V8 Levantes are on sale now.
By Graham King