How does one define luxury? It is a bespoke experience that defies the ordinary, breaks new ground and raises the bar of exclusivity much higher! Maserati is all that and so much more! It stands for opulence, elegance and speed. The Levante, one of their newest, is an SUV built for those who seek a little more practicality with all the other qualities of what makes a Maserati.
A Levante customer, specifically, looks for luxurious elements blended with grand touring capabilities. But then there are those who always want a little more. So two years after the official launch of the Levante SUV, Maserati presents its new top of the range version – the Levante Trofeo. Here are some of the most interesting and lesser-known facts about the “Trofeo” of the Maserati SUV:
The ‘Trofeo’ lineage
The Trofeo name on a Maserati has a clear racing heritage and, as part of Maserati sports car ethos, it was reserved only for the most extreme versions of their production cars. The Trofeo Maserati was a one-make racing series which started in 2003 with the first Maserati racing car called the Trofeo. It was actually a racing version of the Maserati 4200. The Trofeo Maserati racing series focused on offering customers racing opportunities with Maserati-built race cars.
The story of the “Mule” prototype
The development of a V8 Levante started as a skunkworks project by the Maserati technical centre in Modena, well before the official launch of the SUV model in 2016. Without informing the headquarters in Viale Ciro Menotti 322, the engineers built a V8 prototype intended to test the performance limits of the Levante platform. That unbranded V8 “mule” prototype was an inspiration for the top management to proceed with the development of a super Levante built around a Twin Turbo V8 engine.
Maserati engineers and testers were sent around the world to test the first V8 “mule” prototypes in diverse road and extreme weather conditions, ranging from the proving grounds of Balocco, Nardò and Barcelona to the twisty, desert or icy roads of Sierra Nevada, South Africa, Arizona and Lapland. The long-term testing activities covered extreme environments and climates ranging from -35°C to well over 40°C.
What Trofeo’s soul is made of
The Levante Trofeo is equipped with one of the most powerful engines ever fitted in a Maserati. In the 104-year history of the Trident, only the race-bred, limited series MC12 boasted a higher output engine, an aspirated 630hp V12. Bear in mind, Maserati did not have an SUV at all before the Levante. Maserati built its empire developing sports cars and luxury limousines.