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The new Maserati Levante Trofeo marries a glorious engine with a generous serving of quality to deliver a thoroughly exotic experience.

01 Apr 2020


If we were all just sensible, simple and practical people, we'd all live in a three-room HDB flat, drive a Toyota Altis, eat $3.50 cai png every day, and only ever buy clothes from Uniqlo.

Except, of course, life isn't that simple, is it? In some way or another, we all pine after luxurious things. Whether it's clothing, furniture, electronic gadgets, even cars, there's a certain undeniable appeal in the exotic.

That brings us to Maserati, a brand that has developed its image (and cars) around this exact notion of exotica. You buy a Maserati because of the way it looks, sounds and feels. The 'Italian flair', if you would.

A Ferrari-built V8 engine makes the ideal recipe for a properly exotic Levante
When the Levante was first launched in Singapore, the diesel-powered SUV struggled to make a deep impression. Not so much because it was necessarily lacking in competency or ability, but because it struggled to deliver that exotic appeal. After all, when you think of exotic cars, a diesel powertrain never comes to mind. 

Following that, the Levante lineup has been significantly beefed up, and you now have a total of five variants available (all petrol, thankfully). The newest, most powerful, most premium variant on offer is this one - the new Levante Trofeo. Alas, a properly exotic V8 engine...

Punching power

The 3.8-litre V8 unleashes a vicious 581bhp and 730Nm of torque
This is the Levante in its most potent, souped-up form. It is powered by a Ferrari-built 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine producing an unrelenting 581bhp and 730Nm of torque. 0-100km/h takes an outrageously quick 3.9 seconds (this car weighs 2,170kg), and the car will accelerate all the way to 299km/h.

This car is wicked quick. Put it into Sport mode, and it is intensely capable of doing that exotic sports car thing - namely, pin you to your seat, warp you into the distance, and make all your passengers profusely curse and swear.

This glorious engine defines the entire driving experience. It revs with hunger, doles out power in heaps, and delivers an almighty soundtrack - the V8 roaring soulfully and melodically.

Even when riding on 22-inch wheels, the Levante Trofeo rides pliantly and comfortably
There is also a Trofeo-only Corsa mode that sharpens the car up for maximum aggression. By lowering the ride height, quickening gear shifts, firming up the dampers and optimising the all-wheel drive settings, the car becomes notably more responsive and sporty.

In so many ways, this feels and sounds like a sports car.

Except, of course, it isn't. It's a big, luxurious SUV, and driven lightly it feels oh-so-comfortable. In the Normal setting, the ride is fantastically pliant and forgiving, thanks to the retuned suspension and Air Spring control. Even the gargantuan 22-inch rims don't seem to have compromised the car's ride comfort much.

High life

This Launch Edition model is one of just three available in Singapore
This Trofeo model also brings all manner of aesthetic and quality upgrades. On the outside, you get more aggressive bodywork, a smattering of carbon fibre bits, and massive 22-inch forged aluminium rims.

The interior features sports seats with premium full-grain 'Pieno Fiore' natural leather and contrast stitching. This particular Launch Edition model (one of only three in Singapore) also features a plaque to indicate this car's unique limited run (one of just 100 produced).

The rest of cabin feels high quality. The materials are pleasing to the touch, the 17-speaker Bower & Wilkins sound system delivers crystal clear audio, and detailing like the Maserati clock and carbon fibre trim elevate the cabin. Some may complain about the dated infotainment system (both visually and functionally), but it supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so it'll do for most. 

King exotic

Dramatic, enigmatic and somewhat excessive, the Levante Trofeo is the sort of exotica worth pining for
This Levante Trofeo is full-blown exotica. It feels excessive in a way that only exotic things can be. And, the car is so much better off for it. The Bumblebee yellow paint work may not be to every person's taste, but we think it's entirely in keeping with the car's personality - unapologetically loud and proud.

The bulk of Levante sales are of the base model. And that's perfectly fine (it is a whole 250 grand cheaper than this car). But that doesn't mean this car doesn't have its rightful place.

See, no one actually needs a 600 grand, 581bhp, large, two tonne SUV. But then again, we aren't just simple, deeply rational and practical people. Very few of us would adhere to a Warren Buffet-esque standard of frugality.

We lust after exotic, special things. And, this Maserati Levante Trofeo is exactly the sort of exotic and special thing worth lusting over.
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Car Information

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Maserati Levante 3.8 V8 Trofeo (A)
Rate it

Price

: $635,800

Engine Type

:

V8 Twin-Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

3799cc

Horsepower

:

433kW (581 bhp)

Torque

:

730 Nm

Transmission

:

8-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

3.9sec

Top Speed

:

299km/h

Fuel consumption

:

7.4 km/L

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