A development mule for the 2016 Maserati Levante has been spied undergoing testing in Italy.

A development mule for the 2016 Maserati Levante has been spied undergoing testing in Italy.

While the prototype bears no resemblance to the production model, we can see the crossover will be based on the Ghibli and feature a number of modifications including an increased ride height, a wider track and possibly a more focused all-wheel drive system. The prototype also features weights on the roof to simulate the additional mass of the crossover.

Under the hood, we can expect a variety of engines which were previously announced as part of Maserati's five year plan. Petrol choices will include a V6 with outputs of 350 PS (257 kW) and 425 PS (312 kW) as well as a V8 that develops more than 560 PS (412 kW). The model will also be offered with a diesel engine that has outputs of 250 PS (184 kW), 275 PS (202 kW) and 340 PS (250 kW).

The Levante will be introduced sometime next year and be built at the Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy.

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2016 Maserati Levante mule spied for the first time