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William Maley

Geneva Motor Show: Maserati Levante: Comments

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Maserati was hoping to keep the Levante - their first SUV - under wraps before its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. But Dutch publication Autoweek published leaked images of the Levante earlier today. That caused the Italian automaker to reveal the Levante's exterior and spill some information on it.

 

As we have reported previously, the Levante would not be using any of the design found the on Kubang concept. Instead, the Levante looks like a Ghibli or Quattroporte hatchback or wagon. Up front is the distinctive grille that Maserati has been using on their current lineup, along with narrow headlights and sculpted hood. The back end is very reminiscent of the Porsche Cayenne.

 

Maserati describes the Levante's chassis as combining "the outstanding on-road performance typical of every Maserati with unrivalled handling even on very low-grip surfaces and an excellent off-road performance and ride." We're doubting most owners of the Levante are planning to go off-road.

 

Maserati has also revealed that the Levante will have an eight-speed automatic and Q4 all-wheel-drive system.

 

We'll have more details on the Levante next month.

 

Source: Maserati, Autoweek.nl

 

 

Press Release is on Page 2


 

Maserati Levante

  • Maserati's first SUV receives its eagerly-awaited world unveiling at the upcoming Geneva International Motor Show


Maserati reveals the exterior form of the Levante, the first SUV in the brand's more than one hundred year history: the new model completes the existing range of saloon and sports cars, extending the offering together with the Quattroporte, Ghibli, GranTurismo and GranCabrio models.
The design of the Levante features clear associations with the Maserati brand and its distinctive Italian character: the aggressive front introduces new, tapered headlights separated into two elements, with the upper headlight unit connected to the radiator grille. Maserati's design signature is clearly visible on the sides: the three iconic air vents on the front wings, the trapezoidal C-pillar with the “Saetta” logo and the large, frameless door windows. The rear is dominated by the very tapered back window and streamlined shape, both typical of a high-performance sports car.
At a technical level, the Levante's chassis is designed to combine the outstanding on-road performance typical of every Maserati with unrivalled handling even on very low-grip surfaces and an excellent off-road performance and ride. The new SUV boasts a high level of content as standard, with all versions featuring: sophisticated electronic suspension with controlled damping and air springs, which can be set on several levels, “Q4” intelligent all-wheel drive and 8-speed automatic transmission specially calibrated for the brand's new SUV.
When it comes to power units, the Levante is equipped with both petrol and diesel engines that are all Euro6-compliant.
The Maserati Levante is built at the Mirafiori plant in Turin; the first cars have already come off the assembly line with the launch planned for this spring in Europe, to be followed by the rest of the world later this year.


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I can't believe Infiniti ripped off the Porsche Cayenne body shape so bad.  Oh wait, this is a Maserati?

 

On a side note, I sat in both a Ghibli and Quatroporte last week, and they were I think $90k and $118K sticker price respectively.  Neither were very impressive.  I mean they were nicer than an ATS or 3-series, but probably any sedan at $55-60k has a better interior than those 2.   And at $118k in the Quatroporte you got a 400 hp V6.  What a rip off.  No wonder it doesn't sell.

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I also see this is clearly a rebadge of the Alfa.

 

Nothing new here at all.

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I also see this is clearly a rebadge of the Alfa.

 

Nothing new here at all.

I hate when people confuse 'rebadge' with 'platform sharing'.   This may share a platform with the new Alfa SUV, but it's not a rebadge--probably not a single exterior panel in common.   

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I also see this is clearly a rebadge of the Alfa.

 

Nothing new here at all.

 

So you have seen the new Alfa Romeo SUV in person before anyone else?

I'm highly doubting that.

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Somebody over in the Alfa CUV thread compared it to an Infiniti.  I agree with that guy.

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Infiniti has 4 QX CUVs and SUVs...don't really see a resemblance to any of them.

 

http://www.infinitiusa.com/buildyourinfiniti/vehicles/crossovers?dcp=ppi.63023880.&dcc=0.240189298&_vipreq=809754246

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I also see this is clearly a rebadge of the Alfa.

 

Nothing new here at all.

I hate when people confuse 'rebadge' with 'platform sharing'.   This may share a platform with the new Alfa SUV, but it's not a rebadge--probably not a single exterior panel in common.   

 

Call it what you want but after seeing the pictures of the Alfa, when I saw this, I saw the alfa first with a different nose clip. Yes some subtle changes, but you can see they are on the same platform, not that much difference than you are stating. 

 

I also see this is clearly a rebadge of the Alfa.

 

Nothing new here at all.

 

So you have seen the new Alfa Romeo SUV in person before anyone else?

I'm highly doubting that.

 

Nope just the pictures you guys posted but after seeing the Alfa first, then seeing this, I see the alfa with some small tweeks to the body and the front clip changed out. For a label like Maserati it should have been better I think.

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Considering none of us here have seen either vehicle in person, claims of 'rebadge' are just idle speculation without facts at this point...

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      Expressive design with new Singleframe and features from the original Audi quattro Generous, elegant interior, touch operating concept and high-tech navigation All-wheel steering and quattro drive for agile handling and best traction The Audi Q8 combines the elegance of a four-door luxury coupé with the practical versatility of a large SUV. Richly equipped, comprehensively connected and tough enough for off-road duty, it is a confident companion for business and leisure. The Audi Q8 launches on the European market in the third quarter of 2018.

      Versatile, sporty, elegant: the dimensional and space concept
      The Audi Q8 exudes sporty dynamics and upscale prestige like no other SUV from the brand with the four rings. 4.99 meters (16.4 ft) long, 2.00 meters (6.6 ft) wide and 1.71 meters (5.6 ft) tall, the SUV coupe is wider, shorter and lower than its Q7 sister model. With a wheelbase of nearly 3.00 meters (9.8 ft), it offers a spacious interior that beats of its direct competitors in most relevant dimensions, including interior length and headroom. There is a three-seat system in the rear with longitudinally adjusting upon request. With the seatbacks folded down, the luggage compartment under the power rear hatch holds up to 1,755 liters (62.0 cu ft).
      New presence for the Q family: the exterior design
      With the imposing Singleframe in octagonal design, the Audi Q8 is the new face of the Q family. The brawny radiator grille stands upright and, together with the spoiler that has been drawn toward the front and the large, highly contoured air inlets, emphasizes the self-confident look. The elegantly sloping roofline terminates in gently inclined D-pillars and rests against the quattro blisters above the wheel arches, which house up to 22-inch wheels. Numerous details hint at the design of the original quattro. Strong contours and athletically tight surfaces convey a feeling of power, sophistication and the special dynamics of the permanent all-wheel drive. The spoiler, wheel arch trims, door trim strips and diffuser are in a contrasting color, to further emphasize the off-road look.
      Standard LED headlights illuminate the road, with HD Matrix LED technology available as an option. Here both the three-dimensional signature of the daytime running lights and the taillights have a digital character. A light strip connects the units at the rear. As in the original Audi quattro, a black surface underlays this strip. Q8 owners can use the myAudi app on their smartphone to activate various lighting functions and experience them from the outside.
      Sporty driving experience: suspension and drive
      Audi is quattro and quattro is Audi – of course this applies in particular to the Q8, the top SUV of the brand. The purely mechanical center differential transfers the forces to the front axle and rear axle at a ratio of 40:60 as standard. When required, it transfers the majority to the axle with the better traction. That plus as much 254 millimeters (10.0 in) of ground clearance, short overhangs and hill descent control means the Audi Q8 can keep going even after the pavement ends. The suspension with damper control is standard. Audi offers the adaptive air suspension with controlled damping as an option, with either comfort or sport setup. It adjusts the ride height depending on the driving situation and the driver’s preference by as much as 90 millimeters (3.5 in).
      Besides the standard progressive steering, whose steering ratio becomes increasingly direct the further the steering wheel is turned, Audi also offers the option of all-wheel steering. It can turn the rear wheels as much as 5 degrees – counter to the direction of the turn at low speeds to increase agility and at higher speeds in the direction of the turn for better stability.
      All drive systems are particularly efficient thanks to the new mild hybrid technology (MHEV). The 48-volt primary electrical system incorporates two important technology modules: a lithium-ion battery and a belt alternator starter. During braking, it can recover up to 12 kW of power and feed it back into the battery. The MHEV technology enables long coasting phases with the engine deactivated and a start-stop range that begins at 22 km/h (13.7 mph).
      Clarity is the new premium: the interior
      Easy-to-understand symbols stand for the digital precision from Audi and for the high level of integration of architecture and operation. The central element is the top MMI touch response display. With its black-panel look, it almost dissolves into a large, black surface when switched off. All elements refer logically to one another, from the flat air vent strip to the wide console on the center tunnel bearing the tiptronic selector lever. In the dark, the optional contour light traces the distinctive design lines of the interior and provides backlight for the three-dimensionally lasered quattro badge above the glove compartment – an example for the love of detail at Audi. Options including customized contour seats with massage function and ventilation, four-zone automatic air conditioning and the air quality package further enhance the elegant ambiance.
      Sensitive and concise: controls and displays
      With the MMI touch response operating concept of the new Audi Q8, nearly every function can be accessed via two large displays. The upper 10.1-inch display is used for controlling the infotainment and the navigation system. The driver uses the 8.6-inch display below that for heating and air conditioning, convenience functions and text input, the latter with his or her wrist resting comfortably and ergonomically on the selector lever.
      Operation is swift and simple: A tactile and acoustic click confirms when a finger activates a function. In addition to all this, the natural language voice control turns the Audi Q8 into an intelligent dialog partner. Drivers can word their commands freely. The voice control can, for example, understand the sentence “I am hungry” and in response suggests restaurants close by.
      The instruments are shown in the fully digital Audi virtual cockpit. Its high-resolution 12.3-inch display can be switched between two views via the multifunction steering wheel. The optional plus version includes a third, particularly sporty view. The head-up display also projects important information onto the windshield, including detailed lane guidance for navigation.
      Clever networking: Audi connect and driver assistance systems
      On the German market, the Audi Q8 comes standard with the top-of-the-line infotainment system, MMI navigation plus. It includes the Audi connect data transfer module with the LTE Advanced standard and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The navigation system recognizes the driver’s preferences based on previous journeys and therefore can make intelligent suggestions. The online services from Audi connect add predictive features to the route planning process. This lets the two Car-to-X services for traffic sign information and hazard information benefit from the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet. The optional Audi connect key lets the driver lock/unlock the vehicle, and start the engine using a compatible Android smartphone. Individual user profiles allow as many as 400 preferred settings to be stored for multiple drivers. With the myAudi app, drivers can also transfer special destinations to the navigation system, stream music or transfer the smartphone calendar to the MMI.
      The Audi Q8 is top-notch with respect to sound and connection quality thanks to the Audi phone box and voice-over LTE. The same applies to the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System. It delivers fascinating 3D sound with height information to all five seats. The music unfolds exactly how it was recorded in the concert hall.
      Whether parking, in the city or on long journeys – the Audi Q8 supports its driver in many situations. Among the systems contributing here are the adaptive cruise assist, efficiency assist, crossing assist, lane change warning, curb warning and 360 degree cameras. One highlight is the remote garage pilot, which will follow in early 2019. Under the supervision of the driver, it guides the SUV into a garage and back out again autonomously. The driver gets out of the car beforehand and activates the process using the myAudi app on their smartphone. The (remote) parking pilot offers a similar level of convenience. Behind all of these features is the central driver assistance controller. It continuously computes a differentiated model of the surroundings and uses this to manage the assistance systems. The required data are obtained – depending on the selected options – from up to five radar sensors, six cameras, twelve ultrasound sensors and the laser scanner. 
    • By William Maley
      Lawsuits are fun as they bring forth documents that reveal the internal workings of a company. Case in point is a securities case against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Earlier this week, lawyers filed excerpts of an email from CEO Sergio Marchionne to Gualberto Ranieri, the company’s U.S. spokesman sent in 2015. According to Reuters, the email reprimanded Ranieri for making comments about how the company doesn't use defeat devices in their vehicles.
      “Are you out of your goddam mind?” wrote Marchionne in the email.
      Marchionne also wrote that Renieri's actions were “utterly stupid and unconscionable” and that he should be fired.
      In a statement provided to Reuters, FCA said it was “understandable that our CEO would have a forceful response to any employee who would opine on such a significant and complex matter, without the matter having been fully reviewed through its appropriate channels.”
      The statement goes onto say the Ranieri's comments come only a few days after it was revealed Volkswagen used defeat devices in their diesel vehicles “and before a comprehensive internal review and discussions with component suppliers was possible.”
      The lawsuit against FCA was filled back in 2015 over allegations of defrauding investors by overstating its ability to comply with vehicle safety laws. The company downplayed various safety problems that helped inflate their stock price from October 2014 to October 2015. However, FCA would be fined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over lapses in various vehicle recalls. 
      An amended version of the lawsuit that claims the company did not fully comply with emission laws was filed last year.
      Source: Reuters

      View full article
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