Maserati Australia has announced the first petrol-powered variant in its Levante line-up, the flagship S, will arrive in the second half of this year packing a Ferrari-sourced twin-turbo bent six under the bonnet.
With 316kW of power and 580Nm of torque on tap thanks to its Maranello-built 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine, the Levante S dispatches of the 0-100km/h sprint in 5.2 seconds while on the way to a terminal velocity of 264km/h.
However, full-fat torque is only achieved between 1750 and 5000rpm when the 'sport' driving mode is engaged. Alternatively, the range-topper's output is limited to 500Nm in the 'normal' profile.
A bi-modal exhaust system helps produce the characterful note expected of a Maserati when 'sport' mode is selected.
This powerplant is already employed in the current Maserati line-up by the SUV's Ghilbi and Quattroporte siblings, but power and torque figures in the Levante are up by 14kW and 30Nm respectively.
Power is put down to the tarmac via an eight-speed automatic transmission, which is paired with the Italian carmaker's 'Q4' all-wheel-drive set-up and a rear limited-slip differential (LSD).
Meanwhile, fuel consumption for the S was assessed at 10.9 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle test, while carbon dioxide emissions have been rated at 253 grams per km.
A bi-modal exhaust system helps produce the characterful note expected of a Maserati when 'sport' mode is selected, whereas 'normal' sees the valves shut to create a more subtle sound.
The top-spec model also adds standard 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in lower-profile rubber (265/50 front - 295/45 rear).
Furthermore, the front brakes are upgraded with Brembo six-piston callipers and 380mm drilled discs, while the rear ventilated rotors increase in size to 330mm.
Maserati's local distributor expects the petrol engine to account for eight to 10 per cent of Levante sales Down Under.
When it arrives, the Levante S will launch alongside the SUV's 2018 model year revision, which is set to include electrically assisted steering and a longer list of safety technologies, as well as a relabelling of its diesel-powered offerings to 'Turbo Diesel'.
Maserati's local distributor expects the petrol engine to account for eight to 10 per cent of Levante sales Down Under, with the Turbo Diesel set to remain the overwhelming customer preference.
Having persisted since the Levante's launch earlier this year with a single turbo-diesel engine – which produces 202kW/600Nm – the new model has single-handedly been responsible for the Italian brand’s near 50 per cent year-on-year sales increase, according to Maserati.
Full specifications and pricing for the S will be released closer its on-sale date later this year, but the company has already hinted that the flagship SUV will share trim and equipment levels with the Levante Turbo Diesel. The oil-burner is currently priced between $139,990 and $159,990, before on-road costs.
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