The Maserati Levante will offer a Latin blend of the Porsche Cayenne and BMW X6 when it is launched in the first half of 2015, company insiders have revealed.

Road-biased dynamics, muscularly athletic styling and room for five will be key ingredients of Maserati’s first production SUV, along with a sumptuous cabin. The 2011 Kubang SUV concept is said to provide a clue to the car’s “visual character”, but not its actual style.

Engines for the Levante will include the firm’s new 410bhp twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol V6 and a 530bhp twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8. A 271bhp 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel will be the key powerplant for Europe.

The engines will be linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission and a version of the ‘Q4’ all-wheel drive system adapted from its application in the new Ghibli and Quattroporte models.

The all-wheel drive system will be modified for the Levante’s dual-purpose role, with Maserati expected to draw on sister brand Jeep’s expertise for the SUV’s rough-terrain capabilities.

The Levante’s structure will draw on the Quattroporte and Ghibli, while some electronics will come from Chrysler and Jeep. Its underpinnings are a development of those used on the Jeep Grand Cherokee. As with the Quattroporte and Ghibli, the Levante is expected to contain a high level of weight-saving aluminium in its body and suspension.

The Levante will have a sporty driving feel and its cabin is said to be as luxurious as that of the new Quattroporte.

The Levante was originally set to be built alongside the Grand Cherokee in Detroit, but high demand for Jeeps at the Jefferson North plant has quashed this plan. Instead, Maserati boss Harald Wester says it’s likely to be Italian-built, although not at the new Grugliasco plant that’s home to the Ghibli and Quattroporte, as the Levante is too big for the body-framing equipment and paint plant to handle.

Thanks to: Autocar