Maserati to offer plug-in hybrid version of Levante SUV


Not only will the Maserati Levante mark the brand's first foray into the world of SUVs, it will also usher in a new era of powertrains by offering a plug-in hybrid variant, the company has confirmed.

Speaking with Motor Trend last week at the Geneva Motor Show, Maserati's CEO confirmed that the Levante will be available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain sourced from, of all places, the Chrysler Pacifica.

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Given that Maserati and Chrysler are both cousins within the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] umbrella, that's not actually as surprising as it might sound. Additionally, the Pacifica, which is just gearing up for its consumer launch, boasts the company's latest hybrid tech.

Offering 30 miles of electric-only range from its 16 kwh lithium-ion battery, the Town & Country-replacement stands alone for its size and price point. 

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Just what version of that technology will be offered under the hood of the Levante remains merely speculative at this point. The Levante bound for the United States will be available with a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 offered in a choice of 345-or 424-horsepower tunes. Most of the Levante's rivals from Germany offer plug-in hybrid powertrains, but CEO Harald Wester suggested that such a powertrain would likely not account for more than six percent of all Levantes. 

Undoubtedly, there will be some significant engineering hurdles to adapt the Pacifica's hybrid tech to the Levante, which rides on a Maserati platform and uses an engine not shared with Chrysler. How it performs in the real-world is also to be seen, but it certainly promises some fuel savings to go with plenty of power. That is surely a good thing.

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