Maserati Levante Trofeo: Torque Tank

(Syed Fasiuddin/ Muscat Daily)

The Levante Trofeo has a 3.8lt V8 beating heart of a Prancing Horse with all the 590hp it generates going to its Q4 four-wheel drive transmission. Twin scroll turbochargers cleverly produce low-end torque - 730Nm from 2,500rpm to 5,000rpm. Most of the time, this powers the rear wheels and only goes to the front wheels when there is loss of traction. Power, however, is available to the wheels in 50/50 torque split. The Levante Trofeo is also unique in having a mechanical limited slip differential for the rear axle.

These aspects combine with a range of the car’s parameters to enhance driving dynamics and equip this super fast SUV to handle any driving condition in a supremely agile manner.

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A big Trident on the grille adds to the Levante Trofeo’s character

The Levante Trofeo looks different from other SUVs; it has an extra dose of menacing intention. Its aero enhancements are highlighted by a smattering of carbon fibre goodness in the front lower splitter, lower edges of the front bumper and side skirts. Twenty-one inch rims add a touch of elegance and sportiness, while the rear diffuser is functional – it enhances stability and incorporates the exhaust tips. The bonnet has a pair of small heat vents to help dissipate the heat from the engine bay. Full Matrix LED headlights and a big Trident emblem on the grille add to the Levante Trofeo’s character.

The interior is plush with gorgeous red leather perfectly stitched together for a classy and comfortable feel. The marque’s Trofeo logos are stitched on the headrests, while Tridents are tastefully placed around the cabin. The use of naked weave carbon fibre is an exquisite touch in the cabin.

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The MTC+ 8.3 inch touch screen is easy to use and navigate around the functions it offers

The Levante Trofeo’s MTC+ 8.3 inch touch screen is easy to use and navigate around all the functions; it also displays a comprehensive navigation system. It’s equipped with a Bowers & Wilkins sound system that will blow your socks off. The rear passenger seats are comfortable and offer decent headroom and good legroom; the front seats - while already comfortable - offer a wide range of adjustments to be in the perfect seating position. Visibility is good, even though the rear window is small compared to other SUVs. But fear not, as there is a fully functioning 360° camera system displaying the car’s exact position in real time making manoeuvring out of tight spots an easy task.

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This Maserati drives effortlessly with peak torque achieved at a very low rpm - 2,500 - and still more on tap. So there is simply no need to be too harsh on the accelerator; small and gentle inputs are more than enough to get this two tonne plus SUV to move. Its air suspensions are capable of lowering the car for better handling in Sports mode or lifting it up for Off road mode. We, however, used the ICE mode - effectively ECO mode  - more often than not.

The Levante Trofeo is a smart car and employs numerous clever electronics to offer the best ride or the most efficient way to distribute power to the wheels. In everyday highway driving and just popping over to the shopping mall, fuel consumption can be reasonable. But just the opposite is also true for a heavy right foot. Remember, fuel is being fed to a Ferrari engine more than willing to showcase its performance in all glory. Being a twin turbo charged variety means there’s endless fun in every drive.

The Sports mode has an exquisite exhaust note, when suspensions are also firmer, and throttle response more instant. Its renowned eight-speed ZF gearbox delivers smooth and quick shifts and leaves you in the required gear longer to utilise its peak rpm. The car feels sharp even at the loss of rear grip when the power transfers more to the front. In an instant, you’re catapulted into the desired steering trajectory. Steering, though super quick and precise, does feel a bit disconnected in the Sports mode. Put it back to Comfort or ECO mode and its perfectly weighted.

This is a heavy and big SUV with super powers beyond initial understanding. So it’s helpful knowing that there are superb brakes to stop all this mass. Its highly advanced ESP will discreetly brake individual wheels to take the car into corners more effortlessly and shave off any understeer in corners which can be unbelievably entertaining in a big SUV. But pushing the car too much will only introduce you to the laws of physics and you start feeling its mass floating and rolling around. Always keep in mind that this is a big SUV.

The Levante Trofeo has generous amounts of torque to play around in, rewarding the experience with lots of grip and ample power to fire you out of any exit smoothly.

Maserati had managed to combine much into the Levante, but has taken the fun to another level in the Trofeo. It has an amazing ability to cover long distances effortlessly, thanks to instant access to a mad amount of power. It handles like a giant go kart and sings like a soprano. It has so much character that it’s hard not to fall in love with it.

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