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First Drive: 2017 Maserati Levante

Italian maker delivers its first SUV. Compatible combination or an automotive oxymoron?

by on May.03, 2016

The 2017 Maserati Levante starts out with the same underlying platform as the Ghibli sedan.

Say the name, Maserati, and you’re likely to picture a sleek sports car like the Ghibli, perhaps, screaming down the Autostrada. But bouncing along a rutted and rock strewn path that was old by the time the Romans packed it in?

That’s where we’ve found ourselves on a drizzly weekday morning, a couple hours outside of Milan, wandering our way through a course set up to train Italian mercenaries and special forces. Not the sort of place you’d traditionally expect to find a Maserati. Then again, the Levante isn’t your typical Maserati. The 2017 model is the maker’s first sport-utility vehicle. And we had come to Italy to find out if that was a compatible combination or an automotive oxymoron.

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Maserati has been toying around with the idea of adding an SUV to its line-up since 2003, when it showed off the original Kubang concept. The notion went nowhere until 2011, when a new prototype made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. After taking a few unexpected detours, the rechristened Maserati Levante is about to start rolling into showrooms around the world.


First Drive: 2011 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible

Kick-starting the brand.

by on Mar.23, 2011

Elegant and aggressive, the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible is the most popular offering the maker has ever brought to the U.S.

During the winter-that-never-ends it doesn’t take much to lure a sun-deprived Detroiter to Florida – especially if someone is waiting there with the keys to a new Maserati GranTurismo Convertible.

Few brands have so much drawing power – or deliver such visual stopping power.  And the new GT cabriolet is a worthy addition to Maserati’s long-running line-up.

The look is precisely what you’d expect out of Modena, sinfully curvaceous, with an oversized trident logo set in the 4-seater’s toothy grille.  There’s a trend, these days, towards overstyling, with designers apparently being paid for every line and crease they can find room for.  Not so the GranTurismo Convertible.  It is the automotive equivalent of a Mozart aria, where the loss of a single note – or line – would be deeply missed.

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Appearances can be misleading, however.  An initial glance is likely to under-estimate the bulk of this beauty.  The GT is actually the largest vehicle in its class, even bigger than such competitors as the BMW 6-Series and the Bentley Continental GT.