Not much can be said at this point but at least we know it's already under development.

Maserati knows SUVs are the hot thing on the market right now and that’s why the Italian company updated its roadmap with an earlier launch of its second crossover. It is slated to arrive at some point in 2021, at least a year earlier than initially planned. We are probably six to nine months away from seeing the model in its final production form but today we can share the first spy photos with it.

Well, you are probably going to be disappointed as Maserati is still using Alfa Romeo Stelvio mules as testbeds for its upcoming SUV. As these shots, first published by Walter Vayr on Facebook, show the model is testing with a Stelvio body. And while it may seem like a regular Stelvio, there are a few signs that tell us a different story.

Gallery: Maserati small SUV first spy photos

Some of the shots show the front end of the car covered in camouflage and this is the key to this not being an Alfa prototype. The Italian manufacturer already revealed a facelifted version of the SUV and there’s no point in putting a disguise on an unveiled model.

Second, there are a number of other Maserati prototypes next to this crossover which makes us believe this is a test base of the automaker. Last but not least, the chassis of the trial car appears to be slightly wider than that of the Stelvio, which could hint at a modified version of Alfa Romeo’s Giorgio platform.

The first pre-production models are scheduled to roll off the assembly lines later this year, which probably means we are a few months away from seeing test prototypes wearing the actual production body and bits of the model. 

From what we know so far, the yet-unnamed model will slot below the Levante. We believe it’ll be slightly larger than Alfa’s upcoming Tonale crossover and will be powered by more powerful engines.