Sharing some of the 2019 Geneva Motor Show highlights was Maserati, once again presenting a heart-thumping alternative to the German sportscar and SUV scene. The stand was a cavalcade of new and old products but amid the mouth-watering metal was the new Levante Trofeo Launch Edition which reached the media for the first time. The Levante Trofeo Launch Edition will be available not only in the Blu Emozione Matte colour but also in the unique paints Giallo Modenese and Rosso Magma. We’ll take the blue, thanks. Unlike the regular Trofeo model, only 100 Trofeo Launch Edition models will leave the factory, tipping the demand in excess of supply.
Visually the Levante Trofeo Launch Edition signals the top shelf of the Levante range through the carbon fibre inserts on the bumpers, side skirts and redesigned bonnet. The Levante Trofeo is the first ever Maserati equipped with 22-inch forged aluminium wheels, but notwithstanding the sportier rubber and tyre combo, Trofeo Launch Edition models wield a punchier effect in a matte or glossy black finish. The brake calipers are available in silver, blue, yellow or red.
The Levante Trofeo is equipped with one of the most powerful engines ever fitted in a Maserati road car. Compared to myriad destinations for this engine, the one planted in the Trofeo features a new crankcase design, specific crankshaft assembly, new oil pump and auxiliary belt and a different wiring layout to churn out 436kW and 728Nm. It’s been calibrated to mate perfectly with the Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system.
Like all Maserati petrol engines, this V8 is assembled by Ferrari in Maranello. In terms of 0-100km/h acceleration, it stops the chronometer at 4.1 seconds, while the maximum speed is close to the 300km/h.
The Corsa driving mode with Launch Control functionality (in addition to the existing Normal, I.C.E., Sport and Off Road modes) has been adopted to enhance the sporty character of the ultimate Maserati SUV. Corsa driving mode further improves engine response and opens exhaust valves in acceleration, as well as providing faster gear shifting, lower air suspension height levels, sportier Skyhook damping and optimised Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive settings. It also interacts with the Traction Control and ESP systems to maximise driving pleasure.
The ideal 50:50 weight balance and the low centre of gravity – common to all Levante models, in combination with the finely tuned double-wishbone front / Multi Link rear suspension, as well as the wider 22-inch rear tyres on forged aluminium alloy wheels, provide the new Trofeo with perfectly balanced handling and lateral stability.
At the front, the Levante Trofeo has Full Matrix LED adaptive headlights, a front grille with double vertical bars in Black Piano finish, lower honeycomb mesh fascia, body colour door handles and to cap it off, the Saetta Trofeo logo adorns the iconic C-pillar of the coupé styled Levante.
Maserati whipped up related interest around their stand by displaying upcoming interior options for their range of models. Applying just some of that – like the Pieno Fiore leather, matt carbon fibre or unique instrument dials – to the Trofeo helps Maserati create its own personality in the tepid waters of brand affiliations and technology partnerships.
Maserati’s timeframe for Levante Trofeo and Trofeo Launch Edition is wildly distorted with the former arriving before the Launch Edition. Because Italians. Either way, we’re just hoping to see one of them in South Africa and add another stage above the Levante GTS.