While most of us are sitting around waiting around for Ferrari to build its first-ever SUV – as previewed in the rendering pictured here – Maserati has been out testing a hotter version of its Levante. The long-rumored Levante GTS was spotted testing for the second time on public roads just outside of Maserati HQ – and it looks promising.
Though most of the final design cues are covered up in camouflage, there are a few defining features to take note of. Compared to the Levante S, the GTS model will benefit from a revised front fascia with vertical intakes located just in front of the wheels. Two rectangular sections of tape on the hood suggest some added cooling, and the rear bumper previews an all-new diffuser with an updated exhaust.
New wheels and tires can also be seen in the images, as well as bigger brakes. Other performance add-ons like an updated suspension, and some sporty elements to the interior are also expected when the production version make its debut. A liberal use of carbon fiber and GTS badging is likely for the cabin.
Though unconfirmed, reports suggest that the Levante GTS will use a version of the Ferrari-derived 3.8-liter V8 from the Quattroporte GTS sedan. In that application it produces 523 horsepower (390 kilowatts) and 524 pound-feet (710 Newton-meters) of torque. Estimates for the Levante GTS put its horsepower figure closer to 570 (425 kW), giving it the ability to sprint to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in under five seconds.
The new Levante GTS is expected to make its debut sometime in early 2018 before going on sale later in the year. The go-fast version of the luxury SUV should help ailing sales – the company was forced to halt production of the Levante for nine days due to low demand.