Ah, the Maserati Levante Trofeo. We’ve been here before, ensconced in the still, near-silent cabin, the air conditioning quietly whispering in the background, tucked into the soft leather seats of Maserati’s ne plus ultra family hauler and all-purpose SUV. We’ve reported on it before. And we liked it. We really, REALLY liked it. So we’re happy to be back in it again.
There’s much to like about the Levante Trofeo. From it’s attractive exterior styling and design that loudly proclaims that it’s something special – worth a second and third look – to it’s rich leather and carbon-fiber interior with nearly every luxury and convenience available in a modern car; From the electronically-adjustable suspension that’s capable of raising the Levante up a few inches for additional off-road clearance or lowering it down closer to the tarmac to increase it’s aerodynamic efficiency while firming up the shocks in Corsa mode to rocket through corners faster than any SUV has any business travelin; To say nothing of the true heart of the la bella machina: the twin-turbo Ferrari-built V8 engine that proudly sits under the hood, making utterly glorious noises while giving the large, heavy SUV enough power (580hp) to embarrass some serious sports cars; Indeed, there is MUCH to like here.
Maserati seems to have long struggled to achieve the sophistication and panache that it needed in the modern luxury car market but over the last few years, they seem to have really found their stride and are now producing the best cars of their long and storied history. While current Maserati’s are great cars, the new Trofeo trim level that provides the Ferrari engine and the Corsa suspension, pushes them to new levels of excellence that Maserati should be extremely proud of. We’ve certainly been extremely impressed with the Ghibli Trofeo and the Levante Trofeo that we’ve been able to drive.
They recently offered us a few days in a gorgeous red (a new color!) Levante Trofeo and we couldn’t say no. (Would you?) Especially when they told us it was for a good cause. The cause is Drive Toward a Cure (drivetowardacure.org), a non-profit that raises money for Parkinson’s Disease research and patient care. Nearly everyone knows someone that has had Parkinson’s Disease and seen the havoc that it wreaks on the human body. It’s a miserable disease and it’s certainly worthy of raising money for research and to help those that have it afford the services they need to cope with it. To their credit, Maserati thought so too and jumped into the fight by underwriting (along with Hagerty Driver’s Club) the “75 Days of Summer” program. For a small donation ($20) you’re entered to win a ton of very nice prizes, from driving shoes to Skip Barber school. Getting people to donate based on how many miles they’ve driven enters you for many more, even better prizes. It’s a great idea for car clubs and automotive clubs to raise money for Parkinson’s research and patient care.
What Drive Toward A Cure has done is to focus on tapping America’s car culture to help raise money for Parkinson’s research and patient care through exclusive all-inclusive driving tours and events, planned scenic drives, car club fund-raising, promotional sales, and good old fashioned donations. If you’re a person of means, there are some great driving tours you can sign up for that will introduce you to some great roads, breathtaking scenery, great people, and great food. A percentage of the fee will go to help the cause. If you’re not a person of means, there are less exclusive events – drives, tours, track events – that you can participate in, of which a certain percentage of the fee goes to help the cause. Their website also has some really nice swag you can purchase, of which a percentage goes to help the cause. They also accept straight donations. It’s a fun and enjoyable way to raise money to fight something that’s not so fun and enjoyable. We members of the Car Tribe have always had generous hearts for medical fundraising and this is one more thing we can do to improve the world. Best of all, it’s EASY to help. I strongly encourage you to visit drivetowardacure.org and check it out. (Just don’t buy the print of the Ferrari 250LM at Reims – i want that.)
And before I forget…they have a very special event coming up on September 13th, 2022, at 7:00PM EST – a virtual event featuring Tanner Foust and Loni Unser, in which you can win some very awesome prizes. It’s completely free but donations are always welcome. You should register here
So thank you, Maserati, for including us in your endeavor. We are honored to be a part of it. And we were also honored to be able to drive the Levante Trofeo again as well.
The new red color is extraordinary. I had been wondering which shade of gray, white, or black it was going to arrive in and was delighted to see such a fun but refined color on it. It really looks great in red. Inside, the black leather had matching red stitching that tied the whole thing together, as well as glossy carbon fiber, aluminum and an alcantara headliner.
It’s astounding how quickly this big truck gets up and moves, and how nimble it is. The Ferrari-built engine may not scream like a 458, but it certainly roars and makes the Levante feel like a much lighter car than it really is. During acceleration runs, it can scramble your brain. Honestly. Your brain can’t quite comprehend how it’s possible for such a large vehicle to accelerate so quickly. It feels nearly weightless, but then 580 hp has that effect.
The basic default ride is comfortable and refined, if a little squishy. Pressing the suspension mode button for Sport firms things up a bit and holding the button longer to get Corsa (track) firms it up even greater levels of firmness that make it capable of doing extraordinary things in that setting. It feels more like a serious performance car than an SUV and it’s quite capable of delivering that performance too.
The 22” wheels were wrapped in Continental tires and provided excellent grip, assisted by the all-wheel drive and a fantastic stability and traction control system. Behind the trident-themed wheels were some of the most impressive brake disks and calipers you’ve ever seen and they certainly did a fantastic job of stopping all that weight and momentum. They were capable of hanging you up in the seatbelts if you got on them hard enough.
The driver’s seat was more than comfortable, well-bolstered to hold you in place but not so bolstered that it was difficult to get in and out of. Frankly, once you’re in you really don’t want to exit anyway but Maserati saw to it that you could. The thick wheel gave ample grip and the view of the gauges through the wheel was good and unobstructed. The wheel adjusted for height and telescoped as well. The seats adjusted about 320 different ways and were both heated and ventilated. All the controls were easy to understand and use. The infotainment/navigation was dead simple to use and intuitive. The only thing we took issue with was how tight to the center console the seatbelt receivers were. It was difficult to get the seatbelt tongues in the receivers if you’re, uh, slightly more than supermodel thin.
The backseat was just as nice, with seat controls thrown in for forward, backwards, recline, and heat. There was ample room behind the rear seats as well – more if you folded the rear seats down.
The Levante Trofeo is probably my favorite SUV on the market right now. It does everything right and nothing wrong. At $175,000, that’s probably expected but it’s still nice to feel that you’re getting your money’s worth.
While out driving the big Maserati alone one day, I began thinking about Parkinson’s Disease and about the people I have known that had it. It was terrible watching them lose control of their limbs and motor skills. What an awful feeling it must be to know that soon you will lose the ability to drive a car or may have already lost the ability to participate in this great thing called driving. I know that if I weren’t able to drive, a big bright light in my life would be extinguished. That’s a terrible and frightening thought to me, to say nothing of the other things I’d have to give up. How many others have already suffered that loss, forced to give up the enjoyment of driving? It’s a heavy thing to consider when driving something so exclusive and perfect and fun. I appreciate Maserati including us in their effort to fight Parkinson’s Disease and I was moved to make a little donation myself. I hope you’ll visit Drive Toward the Cure’s website (www.drivetowardacure.org) and maybe sign up for an event (especially the virtual event), buy something that contributes to the research, or simply make a straight donation. Because the sooner we eradicate Parkinson’s Disease the safer we’ll all be from losing the ability to do the things we enjoy most in our lives. Thanks.