The Maserati Levante GTS: Behind The Wheel of a Racy Italian SUV

A 550-horsepower, Ferrari-based V8 and comfy seats make for an especially grand tourer.
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Maserati Levante GTS  (1)

Maserati. A trident inspired by Neptune in Piazza Maggiore, in the city of red and blue, Bologna. From humble beginnings in 1914 manufacturing cars for others to eye-wateringly beautiful 1950s racecars to exotica today. And this—a royal blue Levante GTS with red leather interior delivered into my manicured paws with a view to obtaining a view. Leading to a thunderous trip tracing the arteries of the U.S. road system, from the concrete jungle of Manhattan to the woods and lakes of Maine.

Maserate Levante GTS

There is no denying Maserati is in the premier league of aspirations, seeking to return to the glory days when they rubbed shoulders with the finest marques in the world. But speak to anyone with prejudices formed of 1980s mistakes and a gnawing doubt remains. As this is the rarefied atmosphere where perception matters as much, if not more, than performance.

Maserati Levante GTS  (6)

Was my tete-a-tete chasing a Jaguar F-Type R over the lumps and bumps of the freeways to Boston and beyond the measure of the marque? Or was there more? My co-pilot for the weekend was certainly impressed. Not by the throaty roar of the 550-horsepower, Ferrari-based V8 roaring up front powering the all-wheel drive traction, nor by the enormous thrust from the lightest application of the lead right foot, but moreover by the comfy seats.

Maserati Levante GTS  (3)

Lets not forget that not all of us crave stripped back, visceral interfaces fusing man and machine into perfect harmony. Some of us like fluffy pillows, crisp sheets, and Krug Champagne for breakfast. And dislike wiggly Italian Strade Statali that can test the limits of engineering. Apparently even some men just like to know that their golf clubs will fit in the back.

Maserati Levante GTS  (2)

The Levante GTS was quick—very quick. Do not pass go and go to jail quick. And handled the lumps and bumps of the east coast freeways with aplomb. For a long distance, mile-eating GT car it can be highly recommended. 

In fact there was nothing I really didn’t like about it (aside from not liking SUVs as a genre.) But, in the end there was also nothing I really loved. Making it a fantastic weekend affair, but not the love of my life…who knows…maybe she’ll be yours. Just have $122,090 or more at the ready.

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