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Maserati Levante Hybrid first test: faster and greener

Photo gallery. This is the Maserati Levante Hybrid

“Tokyo is not allowed. Tokyo is a Maserati! And everyone wants a Maserati”. The phrase, which has become famous, belongs to the fourth season of the ‘The Money Heist’, the popular Spanish series that has been seen by millions of people around the world through Netflix. He pronounces it ‘Denver’, one of the protagonists of the series, who uses this curious automobile metaphor to explain to ‘Ro’, another of the main characters, the serious mistake he has made by abandoning his girlfriend ‘Tokyo’.

Maserati’s first hybrid SUV

We couldn’t help but remember this scene from the series after testing the Maserati Levante Hybrid, the first hybrid SUV of the Italian luxury sports car brand, owned by the group Stellantis. We have had the privilege of being one of the few European journalists (only two spanish) who have tested the hybrid version of the Levante, the second model of the Trident brand to be electrified after the Ghibli Hybrid. And we have done it on the roads of the Provence French after sleeping in Saint-Tropez, one of the most important tourist centers of the Blue Coast and an enclave as elegant and exclusive as the Levante Hybrid itself.

Maserati Levante Hybrid Price

Our conclusion after driving the Italian SUV for a 165 kilometer route that runs between typical towns of the region, lavender fields, mountains and postcard vineyards is that ‘Denver’ was right: everyone wants a Maserati and they will also want the Levante Hybrid. Although to enjoy the first hybrid SUV of the Trident it will take more than desire to drive it, since its price in Spain starts at 89,550 euros and can easily exceed 100,000 euros if any optional package, extra equipment and some accessories are added. Luxury is not a gift and of course the Levante Hybrid is a ‘jewel on wheels’ for very exclusive and demanding clients.

2 liter 4 cylinder engine, who would say?

The Levante Hybrid combines a 2-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine with a 48 volt electrical system that recovers energy during deceleration and braking to later support engine power delivery. Staying true to its DNA, Maserati has chosen a micro-hybrid or mild-hybrid solution that aims, above all, to maintain a good level of performance while saves fuel and reduces CO2 emissions.

Discarded the PHEV version

The first question we ask those responsible for Maserati is why settle for mild hybridization instead of producing a plug-in hybrid version (PHEV), much more efficient and ecological. The answer was as simple as it was reasonable: “We do not want to increase the weight, alter the mass distribution and sacrifice the dynamism of the car just to achieve an electric autonomy of little more than 50 kilometers “.

Furthermore, the objective of the Levante Hybrid is replace the diesel version and maintain the same brilliance and performance of the V6 gasoline engine, but with greater efficiency. That was only possible by combining a smaller engine with mild-hybrid technology. The result is the smoothness of a 6-cylinder engine with the low-torque response of a diesel, all this combined with a notable reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, which decrease by more than 20% compared to the gasoline version and 8% compared to diesel under the WLTP cycle.

Less weight and better mass distribution

In the Levante Hybrid everything is designed to achieve maximum performance. The hybrid version weighs 24 kg less than the equivalent with a 6-cylinder gasoline engine (2,070 kilos empty) and, in addition, it has better distribution of weightsas the engine is mounted at the front and the batteries are installed at the rear.

The internal components of the two-liter 4-cylinder engine, manufactured in Trmoli and already installed in the Ghibli Hybrid, have been developed from a deep engineering work carried out at the Maserati Innovation Lab in Mdena, with the aim of achieve higher torque and allow the turbocharger and eBooster to deliver even more power. The electronic engine management also changes completely with a new state-of-the-art control unit produced by Bosch. No one who gets behind the wheel of the Maserati Levante Hybrid without knowing the technical specifications will guess that under the hood there is an engine of only two liters and 4 cylinders.

Power and performance

The performance of the new Levante Hybrid, only available with four wheel drive, are impressive thanks to a power of 330 hp and a maximum pair of 450 Nm available from 2,250 rpm. In fact, Maserati boasts that 90% of the maximum torque (400 Nm) is available from just 1,750 rpm. This allows you to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in 6 seconds and reach a maximum speed of 245 km / h. In addition, it manages to reduce CO2 emissions up to 220-243 g / km in WLTP cycle, while achieving fuel savings of over 20% compared to the 350 hp V6 petrol engine.

Average consumption

In addition, the ‘sailing’ function of the Levante Hybrid allows the 8 speed automatic gearbox disconnect during the sailing phases. The option is available in the advanced Increased Control and Efficiency driving mode. Even so, after traveling 165 kilometers on very twisty mountain roads, the on-board computer showed a consumption of almost 12 l / 100 km (between 9.7 and 10.7 l / 10 km, according to data approved by the brand). But we have to recognize that we were not going for a walk contemplating the landscape. We have come to test the performance of the Levante Hybrid in Sport mode and that’s what we did for much of the tour.

The Levante Hybrid oozes strength and bravery from the moment we hit the starter button and even emits the unmistakable roar of all models of the Trident brand. Maserati says sound is achieved without resorting to amplifiersjust by adjusting the fluid dynamics of the exhausts. Anyone traveling aboard a Levante hybrid will continue to hear the distinctive roar of a Maserati engine. Heavenly music to the ears.

Body colors

On the outside it is presented in a new three-layer metallic blue color called Azzurro Astro, in addition to a nice cobalt blue (already used in the Ghibli Hybrid), a gray called Grigio Evoluzione, another matte gray (Maratea) and a daring bicolor Fuoriserie in blue and yellow, the colors of the flag of Modena. This color combination was what our test unit wore, one more reason to attract the glances of the rest of drivers and pedestrians.

GT finish

Another peculiarity of the Levante Hybrid is that it reaches the market with the new GT finish, which features GranLusso styling features on the exterior, and with the Sport Pack available as an option. It has chrome finishes on the front bumper and grille, already seen in the GranLusso versions, and the GT logo is located under the side air intakes. GT interiors are characterized by Standard Grain leather and Black Piano finish. The 19-inch Zefiro alloy wheels and cobalt blue brake calipers (optional) give the Levante Hybrid a sportier look.

As for the interior, the 8.4 “center screen with improved resolution and graphics and, above all, with the appearance of being a single curved screen in which the air vents have been embedded, allowing a vertical view of the whole. The instrumentation, which includes a rev counter and a large speedometer (still analog but with improved graphics) on both sides of the 7 “TFT screen, has a technologically advanced appearance. Play with the effects of combining glossy and matte blacks.

All-wheel drive Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive

We cannot fail to mention the all-wheel drive system Maserati Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive System, designed to provide the traditional dynamism of the rear wheel drive from Maserati. In normal driving situations the Q4 system delivers 100% of torque to the rear wheelswhile on slippery surfaces, or in the event of loss of traction at the rear axle, the system achieves a torque distribution of up to 50:50 between both axes in just 150 milliseconds. Added to this is the limited-slip differential on the rear axle, which ensures optimal traction in any driving situation. The goal, according to the brand, is to ensure great driving pleasure without sacrificing safety or performance.

Air suspension

Like the other versions of the Levante range, the hybrid is equipped as standard with a air suspension system that allows the height of the body to be lowered when the car is in motion and has six different drive levels (including Normal Y Park). The driver can vary the height of the vehicle using a rocker switch or through the driving modes that are selected on the center console. The variation in height from the lowest to the highest position is 75 mm; 85mm if Park mode is included, which facilitates the entry and exit to the vehicle of the occupants. Suspension returns to Normal mode when 24 km / h is reached.

Finally, the Levante Hybrid features a 8-speaker, 280-watt audio system as standard, although optional systems are available Harman Kardon Premium (14 speakers and a 900 W amplifier) ​​and Bowers & Wilkins Premium Surround Sound (17 speakers, a 1,280 W amplifier and Clari-Fi music function). It also includes the fair driving assistance systems (ADAS) to ensure safety without sacrificing the driving experience, such as the Active Driving Assist or the adaptive cruise control.

Datasheet

Maserati Levante Hybrid

MOTOR: Gasoline, 1,995cc, 4-cylinder in-line Mild Hybrid with eBooster and 48V BSG; Power: 330 hp; Maximum torque: 450 Nm; TRANSMISSION:Traction: Total with limited-slip rear mechanical self-locking differential; Gearbox: 8-speed ZF automatic; CHASSIS: Suspension: Double wishbone with stabilizer bar at the front and multi-link with stabilizer bar at the rear; DIMENSIONS:Length / Width / Height / Wheelbase: 5,005 / 1,981 / 1,693 / 3,004 mm; Fuel tank capacity: 80 liters; Trunk: 580 liters; Weight: 2,070 kg; Tires: 265/50 R19; PERFORMANCE AND CONSUMPTION: Maximum speed: 245 km / h; Acceleration 0-100 km / h: 6.0 s; Average consumption: 9.7-10.7 l / 100 km; CO2 emissions: 220-243 g / km; PRICE: From 89,550 euros.

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