Maserati is introducing the Levante SUV for 2017, and I'm not too sure how I feel about that.
It's obviously going to make a major impact on their bottom line. Maserati expects to sell 30,000 Levantes in their first year of production — quite a figure for a brand that sold just over 32,000 total vehicles last year.
The move into the SUV market space is no surprise. Porsche's two SUVs, the Cayenne and the newer, smaller Macan, are their top sellers. But somehow, it doesn't feel right seeing a general luxury market Italian SUV. One might assume that the Levante could cheapen Maserati's exotic appeal as a brand. On the other hand, you could argue that Maserati's appeal is inherent in its Italian heritage; therefore, anything it makes will feel (and hopefully perform) like an authentic Italian thoroughbred. Time will tell if the Levante can bolster Maserati's flagging sales.