The gladiatorial battle for the world’s luxurious sports SUVs is refusing to simmer down. Whilst we are still picking up our jaws off the floor after the spectacle of the Lamborghini Urus, Maserati drops a bombshell revealing what might be the most powerful contender to date: The Levante Trofeo

Unveiled at the New York International Auto Show, Maserati confidently claims that the new model is one of their fastest production vehicles ever to be made. This comes as no surprise when the monster SUV is packed with a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, built by their brothers at Ferrari. Add in a new crankcase design, crankshaft assembly, oil pump, auxiliary belt and wiring layout, the result; a juggernaut that smashes the 0-100 kph benchmark in an incredible 3.9 seconds, topping out at over 300kph with a blistering 590bhp and 730Nm of torque.

The aggressive new design of the Levante Trofeo is fitting of the power contained in this machine.

The new ‘Corsa’ drive mode improves engine response, opens up the exhaust valves under acceleration, quickens the gearshifting, lowers the ride’s height level and interacts with Traction Control and ESP systems, all for a sportier and more pleasurable driving experience. It further enhances the Maserati Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive — a system which uses a variety of sensors that measure power output, steering angle, traction and speed to optimise driving dynamic and fuel consumption. And what can sustain all this brawn? “Orione” 22-inch forged alloy wheels – the largest ever fitted to a Maserati.

Full grain ‘Pieno Fiore’ natural leather and a matte carbon fibre trim makes this cabin the peak of luxury.

‘It’s proof that when you play with the elements you end up in a storm,” says Maserati’s CEO Tim Kuniskis. “In the case of Trofeo, the engineers and designers in Modena knew that the driveline parameters were more than able to cope with additional power and they also knew that Maserati had access to the finest engines on earth. So, they were up to the challenge of making the finest luxury SUV also one of the fastest.’

Beauty of the Beast

The indomitable Trident set upon a new grille with double black vertical bars.

On the surface, the Trofeo is just as gorgeous as what is hiding under the hood. Spearheading the front are full Matrix LED headlights, a new grille adorned with black double vertical bars and a vented bonnet for better cylinder head cooling, all beautifully framed by carbon fibre blades.

Making our way to the back, the Trofeo has a carbon fibre diffuser with a body-coloured insert and dark oval quad exhausts, along with unique “Saetta” logos on the C-pillars. You’ll be given a choice of red, blue, black, silver and yellow brake callipers for your finishing touches.

Within the cabin, the sports seats are furnished in full-grain ‘Pieno Fiore’ natural leather in either black, red or tan, with contrast stitching and the Trofeo logo embroidered on the headrests. Matte carbon fibre trim and padle shifters, redesigned instrument cluster graphics, floor mats with metal Trofeo badges and a unique dial for the analogue can be also be found.

To top off the entire experience a 1,280-watt, 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium surround sound system comes as standard.  As the battle for the throne of luxury SUVs continues to rage on, one thing is certain, a game changer may have just entered the arena and the other contenders should not rest on their laurels. When it comes to speed, the Levante Trofeo blasts past the Alfa Stelvio and ruined the welcome party for the Jaguar F-Pace SVR. Only a Bentley Bentayga or Lamborghini Urus could hold their own against what’s cooking under this hood. This is the closest to a Ferrari SUV we have ever gotten.

www.maserati.com

Images by MediaBond PR

Tengku Muzhaffar Petra
Watches and Culture Editor