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Maserati is readying three new production models for the market, one of which will bear the name “Levante”. The question is, which one?
The Italian luxury automaker has recently trademarked the “Levante” badge for use as a nameplate on one of its new vehicles. The Quattroporte will soon be getting a successor, the Kubang SUV concept is working its way into a production model, and the most likely of the three to use the Levante name is a new sports sedan being produced to compete with the likes of BMW’s M5 and Audi’s A7.
This new small sedan will be Maserati’s answer to an affordable luxury car, supposedly starting around the $75,000 mark.
Maserati hasn’t said which car will get the “Levante” title, but the company has given us some obvious clues. The rights to the name “Cinqueporte”, which literally translates to five doors, has also been trademarked by the company, and is the clear choice for the new SUV. The “Quattroporte”(shown above) badge is already a nameplate with some prestige attached to it, so changing it to something new and unknown is also unlikely. That leaves the new sports sedan, which we would bet will be named “Levante” when it debuts sometime in 2013.
Let’s hope this alliance will bear better fruit this time around, as Maserati is set to unveil their Kubang SUV concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.
The Kubang, which will be the first SUV to wear a Maserati badge, will be based on the chassis of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. While power will be provided by an Italian engine (Maserati uses Ferrari engines in their cars), the vehicle is expected to be produced in America at Chrysler’s Jefferson North facility.
The Kubang concept was last seen at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in September, and while we cannot confirm if the Detroit unveil will be of the same vehicle or something different, we do know that Maserati will unveil an SUV at the N.A.I.A.S.
Put the two together and its easy to figure out that possibly a more production ready version of the Kubang will bow in Detroit.
We will be covering the Detroit auto show and will bring you all the latest news from the show, as it happens.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
Maserati gave us our first look at its upcoming Kubang SUV at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It didn’t make out Top 10 list of show reveals. Not even close. While an excellent idea and vital for the survival of the brand, other than from straight-on, the luxury truck just doesn’t look right.
Perhaps the SUV’s biggest issue is that it’s hard to live up to designs as beautiful as the GranTurismo. Still, we expect more from an Italian automaker.
Based on the response there’s hope Maserati will re-jig the Kubang’s look. No official production details have been given, but with the car based on the same platform as the 2012 Mercedes ML (and Jeep Grand Cherokee), there’s little doubt it could hit dealers within a year.
To help keep interest alive, Maserati has released a video of the Kubang, some of which displays terrible CGI. But with added dimensions, is your opinion of the Kubang any different?
It probably isn’t surprising, considering that more and more luxury automakers are looking to add volume product to their portfolios; indeed Maserati has been toying with the idea of a SUV for some time.
Back in 2003, the automaker unveiled a concept called the Kubang at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Now, some 9 years later, thanks to synergies available in the Fiat/Chrysler group, that concept is now a reality; the production version having been unveiled at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
Based on the current Jeep Grand Cherokee, the production Kubang delivers its own unique flavor. The styling, penned at the Maserati Style Center, headed up by Lorenzo, Ramaciotti, is quite unlike the Jeep; being fluid instead of blocky and very much in tune with the company’s current design language, as seen on the Gran Cabrio, Gran Turismo coupe and Quattroporte, with a wide mouthed grille, expressive headlights and an almost coke bottle contour to the flanks.
Maserati says, that while the basic structures of the Kubang and Grand Cherokee might be common, the former will boast a Maserati engine, designed and developed in Modena; a specially calibrated eight-speed automatic transmission and Maserati engineered suspension and braking systems. A V8 version is definitely on the cards, though it will be interesting to see if a V6 version and possibly even a diesel becomes available, in attempt to further broaden market appeal.
Stay tuned for more details on the Kubang as they become available.