The Maserati Levante – the Italian sports car maker’s first SUV – will arrive in the UK as a diesel only in autumn 2016, the company has confirmed.
The crossover will be more likely to appeal to senior-level employees and user choosers, on account of the diesel-only powertrain and its lower CO2 emissions of 189g/km, he said.
Although purists may decry the decision not to build the 3.0-litre V6 bi-turbo petrol models in right-hand drive – developing 424bhp, the most powerful can sprint from 0-62mph in just 5.2sec – user-chooser business drivers would be unlikely to stomach the additional monthly payments and 253g/km emissions.
The new breed of Maserati company cars
The Ghibli saloon already appeals to fleets and business owners, said Denton: 1100 are sold in the UK each year. He predicted that Maserati would sell 1500 Levantes here in a full year, with a healthy number bought by company car drivers.
“This premium SUV segment is worth 25,000 sales a year in the UK,” he said. “We hope to pick up buyers who would otherwise consider a Porsche Cayenne, BMW X6 or Range Rover Sport.
“We might even see some Ferrari owners who currently have another brand’s SUV in the garage already.”
Maserati is taking fleet and business sales increasingly seriously. It now has 19 dealerships across the UK and has a medium-term plan to grow the network of showrooms to 26.