Maserati Levante Trofeo test: a V8 that forgives everything! – Automotive Blog

It’s already 3 years since I got into a Maserati. My test drive of the Ghibli in 2017 was the first dream car I took in hand. A Ferrari engine, a legendary history and a wonderful symphony: the brand haunted my thoughts ever since. It was last July that I was finally able to relish the pleasures that only Italians can create. The lucky one is none other than a Levante Trofeo, a pachyderm of course, but what a machine!

A pachyderm, I said in the introduction. Yes, with a weight of 2.2 tonnes, 5 m long and above all 1.7 m high, we are far from the very small measurements of a pretty MC20. But with a 580hp V8 and impressive settings, we come close to a top-level ballerina as our boss Gonzague would say. Its very sporty character, with power mainly sent to the rear wheels, really gives us sensations. On the one hand, it never runs out of steam and its truck torque (730 Nm) allows us to tear off the bitumen on all occasions. Thanks to its bewitching melody, screaming at up to 7000 rpm, all you need to do is chain the curves to slam gears. The steering, not the most communicative, and its stoutness, do not always allow us to be precise in our trajectories, the understeer being sometimes involved. However, the fairly impressive traction still allows you to go very hard. This Levante is in fact expressive, not the most rigorous it is true, but it is a real pleasure to take it along at a good pace.

In the light of a sunset, even without being a fan of SUVs, one cannot help but succumb to its charm. With the Stelvio, this Levante proves that it is possible to remain stylish despite the size of this segment. If the design of the Levante can only betray its sporting origins by showing off imposing air intakes, two twin exhausts or enormous 22-inch rims, the Trofeo had to stand out even more. This is done with the appearance of two air extractors on the hood – impressive once at the controls – and the many carbon touches that dress the machine. Finally, Trofeo logos are affixed to the C pillar to be sure not to make a mistake. My configuration, sporting a beautiful Rosso Magma, gives it as a bonus a presence on the road that passers-by do not seem to miss.

Yet turning around, only one thing itches us: to start again. In this classic, but pretty, interior filled with full-grain leather, carbon and Alcantara, we are quick to find the Start button located to the left of the steering wheel. Corsa mode engaged, Launch Control engaged, and boom, we kick the accelerator pedal. You don't even have time to read this sentence that the 100 km / h mark is crossed (barely 4 seconds), and could go up to 300 km / h like that. He sticks us to the seat, very comfortable by the way, and begins to push the song to flatter our ears. We then grip the wheel again to take advantage of its punchy and demonstrative temperament. Braking, although effective, I think would require a little more rigor to fully exploit it. Obviously, you don't have to be overly optimistic in order to best enter the turn; however, looking at the speedometer, the speed of passage can only amaze us. Then, the significant responsiveness in the right pedal does not give us time to think, that we are already in the next turn. No time to breathe…

Otherwise, when you don't want to get close to 40 liters per 100 km on every ride, this Levante drives just as easily as a city car. Its ZF8 automatic gearbox is as skilled in everyday life as it is when it comes to swarming. The Skyhook piloted damping, while still a bit firm, filters out irregularities in the road well, and you're not worried about driving through France with it. Especially since with a trunk volume of 580 liters, the largest in the history of the brand, you can load a lot of luggage for the holidays. Besides, it's still fun to be able to go wandering off the beaten track in a Maserati, isn't it? With its offroad mode and 24 cm of ground clearance it will really be able to overcome some big obstacles, and I like it. 😀

The V8 comes at a price, and the Levante Trofeo hits hard. It will cost you € 70,000 more than opting for the 350 hp V6, ie a base price of € 158,000 excluding options. My test model here, a Launch Edition limited to 100 copies, sold for € 180,718. Not to mention the traditional penalty of € 20,000 due to its 313 g / km of CO² (€ 40,000 in 2021, € 50,000 in 2022).

The Maserati Levante Trofeo is perhaps not at the cutting edge of technology, it is not full of ultra-modern screens, will not set the best time, but nevertheless, its excellent engine, its general approval and especially its sound. will only push the informed amateur to sign the order form. To satisfy the whole family, the compromise between practicality, sportiness and passion is right there before our eyes.

Photo credit: Thomas D. (Fast Auto)

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