Maserati Levante crossover not Jeep based after all?Thu, 20 Feb 2014 15:43:00 EST
Maserati has been teasing its crossover project since 2011, which is when it first showed off the Kubang concept (pictured above). Still, the production version, rumored to be called the Levante, remains a complete mystery. The CUV was first rumored to borrow the platform from the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but new rumors indicate that the Italian, luxury crossover might actually take the underpinnings from the Quattroporte and Ghibli.
In a brief interview, Maserati CEO Harald Wester told CNN Money that the Levante wouldn't use Jeep's platform. Motor Trend spoke with an unnamed Maserati engineer who confirmed the rumor. Officially, the company says that no decision has been made.
We can add this to another long list of rumors about the Italian CUV. It was originally supposed to be built at Chrysler's Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit. Then, plans were changed to build it in Italy.
The Levante may still work well on the brand's own platform. Maserati developed an all-wheel-drive system for the latest-generation Quattroporte, which will likely also appear on the CUV. The shared platform will also make it easier to use its new twin-turbocharged V6 and V8 engines. Regardless of platform, Maserati hopes to sell 50,000 vehicles a year by 2015, and a luxury CUV would probably provide a nice boost.
By Chris Bruce
See also: Maserati's Super Bowl spot may have cost more than $700 per car [w/video], Consumer Reports digs Mazda3, disses Jeep Cherokee, Fiat 500X poised for Paris catwalk.