The key news here is that you can no longer have a diesel engine in this car - which is significant because that's what most UK Levante customers have so far chosen. In place of the previous 271hp 3.0-litre VM Motori V6 diesel is a petrol Hybrid unit. The electrification offered with the 'GT Hybrid' variant in question is of the 'mild' 48-volt form, so this core Levante derivative can't ever run without the aid of its 2.0-litre 330hp four cylinder engine. But said powerplant is decently rapid,particularly if you slot the drivetrain into its 'Sport' mode. The engine drives through the rear wheels only via an 8-speed ZF auto gearbox.
Next up are two versions of the brand's Ferrari-derived 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6; a 350hp variant in the 'Modena' model, which makes 62mph in 6.0s en route to 156mph. And a 430hp version of the same powerplant in the Modena S, which improves those figures to 5.2s and 164mph. At the top of the range is the 580hp 3.8-litre V8 used by the most desirable Trofeo model, which reduces the rest to 62mph time to just 4.1s en route to 187mph.
Whatever your engine choice, on the move, what's unusual about this car is the way that it's constantly able to monitor the location of its centre of gravity. Every time you turn the wheel, the Levante is able to determine the load it's carrying and work out what that'll do to its centre of gravity. It'll then continuously adjust its air springs and electronic dampers to suit.
As a result, Maserati claims that this car understeers less than any of its rivals, this helped by a 51:49 front-rear weight distribution and a 4x4 driveline that sends 90% of the engine's torque to the back axle by default. If a lack of traction demands it, this proportion can be adjusted in just 150 milliseconds, these continuous shiftings visible on an attractive instrument cluster graphic.
Can you go off-road in a Levante? Actually yes. This Maserati comes with adjustable ride height, hill-descent control and lots of torque. Plus there's plenty of wheel travel and a couple of off-road modes. But if you seriously take to the undergrowth in this Italian SUV, you'd be a brave buyer.