Despite diesel receiving a roasting from so many voices at the moment, from air quality campaigners and local authorities to the mayor of London, the black nozzle still feeds over 50% of business fleet cars along with a large chunk of personal contract hire lease vehicles. After all, diesel cars and vans are still generally more fuel efficient than petrol equivalents, which is one of the points recently highlighted by the SMMT when they bellowed diesel’s praises from the rooftops.
Diesel powers all manner of cars nowadays, from the Porsche Panamera to the Bentley Bentayga, but it’s fair to say that models like these have typically been manufactured with petrol alternatives. It was therefore a gamble when Maserati launched its debut SUV, Levante, as a diesel-only model. While the Germans may well have produced some incredibly powerful diesel engines in recent years, the notion of an Italian thoroughbred guzzling derv just seems passion-stiflingly wrong.
Anyone previously tempted to lease a Maserati Levante SUV on business or personal contract hire (PCH) but who was put off by its diesel-only availability will be invigorated to learn that a petrol engine has at last been announced for UK-spec cars.
Ferrari-built, the 3-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine produces peak power of 430bhp and is capable of a top speed of 164mph and a 0-62mph sprint time of 5.2 seconds, which is pretty impressive for a mid-size crossover 4×4 SUV like the Levante.
“Following the launch of the diesel-powered Levante in the UK, it became clear there is also a demand for the luxury SUV in a petrol-powered version. With the Levante now available in the UK with our V6, 430hp petrol engine, we can offer the performance synonymous with Maserati along with the great off-road capabilities and sophistication we designed when creating the Levante”, comments Peter Denton from Maserati North Europe.
With OTR prices kicking off at £70,755, the petrol model is badged ‘Levante S’ and will be fitted with air suspension plus the Q4 AWD system as standard, with a unique Zegna Mulberry Silk interior option distinguishing it further. The green nozzle version of the Levante will be available in the UK from September of this year, so now’s a great time to register your interest in lease deals and offers.