The year 2018 has been a good one for SUVs. We have seen a fresh new SUV called the Urus from the house of Lamborghini, new generation SUVs from BMW, Audi and even Maserati. It seems every automobile brand is in a competitive race to overshadow their rivals. Which is why Maserati came up with not one but two versions of their Levante SUV. The 2019 Maserati Levante GTS and the 2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo. What is the defining factor between the two variants? We will come to that later but first, let’s take a look at the SUV’s exterior.
Maserati’s design team has not made many changes to the Levante’s exterior design.
The slight changes that have been made are only visible to the keen eye. Have a look at the front fascia and you will find that almost everything is same except for the front bumper and the grille.
The bumper in both the Trofeo and GTS has a wider opening to allow more air to pass through. While the GTS’s bumper is of the same color as the rest of the body, the Trofeo has carbon fiber highlights on it.
This, in the words of FCA’s design chief Klaus Busse, is because “We are living in a world not only of fake news, but a world of fake air intakes, fake outlets, and even fake exhausts,”.
Staying true to that claim, Klaus has given both the vehicles a real quad exhaust system.
You can tell the Trofeo apart from the GTS thanks to its hood vents, a Trofeo badge on the D-pillar, red-colored intake manifolds and red valve covers.
The biggest change for the 2019 Levante is under its hood. The Levante now runs on a Ferrari inspired 3.8-liter V-8 engine which is built by Ferrari but is slightly different in design than the stock Ferrari V-8. This V-8 is similar to the one used in the Quattroporte GTS but has slight changes in the form of brand-new camshafts, valves, pistons, and connecting rods. This engine inside the Levante is twinned with twin turbos.
However, the GTS and the Trofeo have different power outputs. The GTS pushes out 542 horsepower and 729 Nm of torque whereas the more performance-ready Trofeo purges out 582 horsepower and 729 Nm of torque. Both the SUVs are teamed up with a ZF 8HP eight-speed automatic gearbox that takes power to the rear wheels however power can be transferred to all the four wheels when needed.
The Trofeo gets an added advantage over the GTS thanks to different tuning which lets it absorb more boost in the higher rev range. The change to the V8 engine is a big one for the Maserati Levante. The 2019 V-8 Levante GTS is capable of doing 0-100 kmh in 4 seconds while the Levante Trofeo does the same slightly better in 3.7 seconds. Top speed for both SUVs is in excess of 290 kmh.
The 2019 Maserati Levante wouldn’t be complete without driving enhancements. Thankfully, Maserati didn’t shy away from improving a few weak points from their 2018 model. The air suspension and dampers are the same from last year which is supported by the Normal and Sports modes. The Sports mode lowers the SUV by 0.4 inches but to take things to the next level, Maserati has added a Corsa mode to the higher-end Trofeo. The Corsa mode lowers the Levante Trofeo an additional 1-inch and to top it off gives you the liberty to use the launch control function.
The lowered Levante Trofeo grips the road well, however, the GTS with its Normal mode gives way to some sway on high-speeds. Switch to Sports mode and the huge 21- inch tires (22-inch also available in Levante Trofeo) tell a different story. All in all, you can expect a good road grip with an excellent and highly responsive steering wheel that would give you the control you need.
The interior has a similar appearance again with only slight changes from last year. The Trofeo variant gets a sweet package though with the extra badging and styling to make it look sportier and more appealing. There is even a special clock on the dashboard which pops up thanks to the Pieno Fiore leather that surrounds it and most of the SUV’s interior along with a Harman Kardon audio system. Other than that, the GTS and the Trofeo share largely the same interior. The GTS has an all-black finish which is not really exciting to the eye.
Price and Conclusion
The starting price for the Levante GTS is QAR 505,000 and for the Levante Trofeo is QAR 628,000. The Trofeo comes with a handful of extra features and it is a limited version vehicle which means not everyone will be able to get their hands on it.
It seems Maserati has tried to win two battles with one vehicle. The GTS variant comes more on par with the likes of Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Mercedes G-Class and Range Rover. The Maserati Levante Trofeo is an attempt to challenge top-tier SUVs like the Bentley Bentayga SUV and the Lamborghini Urus, both of which are considerably expensive than the Levante Trofeo. Therefore, for those looking in terms of these SUVs the Trofeo is a good choice since it is cheaper, it offers an exceptional weight to power ratio and it holds the famous Ferrari V-8.
It might not make the signature Ferrari V-8 roar but you can expect something exceptional given that the quad exhausts are working and real.
In essence, there are a few better options available in the SUV sector that can be considered over the 2019 Maserati Levante SUV but none can give you the exquisite Maserati flagship experience.