Slotting below the Levante, the new Maserati on stilts could feature a bespoke engine.

While some folks are patiently waiting for a new GranTurismo and a production version of the gorgeous Alfieri, Maserati is prioritizing an entirely different model. Parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles knows SUVs continue to be all the rage these days and it comes as no surprise that head honcho Sergio Marchionne has announced a new SUV carrying the trident logo will be out by 2020.

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Positioned below the Ghibli-based Levante, the yet unnamed model will ride on the same Giorgio platform that has underpinned the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, but with a twist. Rather than getting the same engines, FCA’s CEO says the new Maserati SUV could receive a unique powertrain, without going into any details. Considering the company has made the promise to electrify all of its models beginning with 2019, it means the new arrival will be offered with a hybrid setup.

Going up against the Porsche Macan, the new high-riding Maserati is expected to help the Italian premium brand reach up to 80,000 annual sales and also help the company earn €1 billion (about $1.18B) in a year.

These statements were made by Marchionne this week during a call with financial analysis about the firm’s third-quarter earnings. Thanks to the introduction of its first-ever SUV, the Levante, Maserati managed to move 36,000 units in the first three quarters of 2017 – a significant increase over the same period of last year when the company sold 23,900 vehicles.

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows at Maserati HQ as the man in charge at FCA admitted production of the Levante has been reduced to match the weaker customer demand. Spy shots have shown a hot V8-powered Levante GTS is in the works and that could lure in more buyers eager to get their hands on a fast SUV that doesn’t carry the “Made in Germany” label. In addition, a partially electrified version with the hybrid setup from the Chrysler Pacifica minivan is on the agenda as well.

Elsewhere in the range, a fully electric model could be launched around the end of the decade and there is a good chance it will be based on the aforementioned Alfieri. Also in 2020, the next GranTurismo is scheduled to (finally) hit the streets.

Source: Automotive News

Gallery: 2017 Maserati Levante: First Drive

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