The Maserati Levante 2020 model range will finally see the addition of the much-anticipated petrol V8 engine in Australia - but buyers will have to be well-heeled to afford one.
Maserati will offer two different grades of the Levante V8 - the entry-level (if you can call it that) GTS variant, at $265,000 before on-road costs, and the top-grade Trofeo, at a staggering $330,000 before on-roads.
That puts the Trofeo V8 version at almost twice the price of the diesel GranSport and GranLusso models at the entry point to the range, and also sees the Maserati SUV positioned considerably higher than the equivalent V8 versions of the BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne.
The Trofeo model justifies its exorbitant price tag with the most powerful engine ever fitted to a Maserati model - a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 producing 440kW of power (at 6250rpm) and 730Nm of torque (from 2500-5000rpm). Its 0-100km/h sprint time is claimed at just 3.9 seconds, and it has a top speed of 304km/h.
The top-grade Trofeo sits at a staggering $330,000 before on-roads.
The Levante GTS is equipped with the same engine, albeit detuned. It produces 404kW and 730Nm, with a sprint time of 4.2sec and a top speed of 292km/h.
Standard equipment for the V8 models includes air suspension, uprated dampers, 21-inch forged alloy wheels (22s for the Trofeo - which also gets a Corsa driving mode and distinct steering tune and suspension tune), along with six-piston Brembo brakes.
You can tell the V8 versions from the outside. There’s are different front and rear bumpers, new side skirts, red brake calipers, and quad exhaust tips. The Trofeo has carbon-fibre exterior trim and Matrix LED headlights.
Compared with existing Levante models, the V8 versions get a new gear selector, and the GTS has a 14-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, and extensive leather trim available in black, red, tan or beige. Trofeo models have higher-grade leather with contrast stitching, carbon-fibre interior trim and a 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins stereo. All models have an 8.4-inch touchscreen with sat nav and smartphone mirroring.