The Maserati Levante is currently only offered in Australia with the automaker’s 3.0-liter diesel V6 engine, however once the Levante line grows to include the V8-powered GTS, it’s likely Australia will receive the range-topping model.
According to Maserati Australia Chief Operating Officer Glen Sealey, diesel SUV sales in Australia were down 6 percent in January, whilst petrol SUV sales were up 14 percent. The jump can be attributed to the growing popularity of compact crossovers, the majority of which are petrol, along with the bad rep diesel has received due to VW’s diesel scandal and other similar controversies. This change has driven Maserati to consider bringing the petrol-powered V8 Levante to the country, along with the V6 petrol.
“We would need a significantly large proportion [of sales] to be petrol,” Sealey told Motoring.com.au. “That said we think we could have a good penetration [with] petrol, given the history of the brand. We know that our brand typically attracts people who like horsepower.”
“The tipping point? I’m not sure, but if [the V8] was available tomorrow I’d happily have it,” he added.
Maserati’s high-horsepower cache means the V8 Levante, which will be powered by the twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 engine found in the Quattroporte GTS, will likely make its way to Australia once its unveiled. If the V8 were to go on sale in Oz, it’s also likely the twin-turbocharged petrol V6 Levante and Levante S would make their way to the region as well.
It’s now up to Maserati to determine how many Australians there are with a taste for a 500+ horsepower Italian performance SUV. The results from that market insight will decide if Australia will be stuck with the lowly oil-burning Levante, or if it will get the full-blown V8-powered GTS. Fingers crossed, Aussie fans of the Trident brand.