Maserati’s first crossover signals the winds of change blowing through Modena
The 2017 Maserati Levante might be the most important Italian automobile in decades. Maybe ever.
Hyperbole? Not really, if you slash to the core of the global car business. The Levante isn’t important precisely because it’s Maserati’s first SUV, or the first luxury-grade Italian SUV since the Lamborghini LM002 disappeared in 1993. It’s important because it’s the Italian auto industry’s last, best shot at relevance beyond the niche of hypercars from Ferrari, Lambo and sundry Paganis, Covinis or Fornasaris (a sexy, potentially profitable niche, but a niche nonetheless). The Levante is Italy’s last, best shot in a mainstream luxury business populated by Audis, Lexi and, soon, Hyundai’s Genesis brand.
In case you missed it, SUVs now account for nearly 50 percent — half — of global luxury auto sales. Maserati has big plans, starting with the goal of increasing … Read More