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2019 Maserati Levante GTS has a 550-hp Ferrari-derived V8

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A V6-powered

Maserati Levante

just wasn’t enough. At least that’s what a group of engineers thought as they formed a sort of skunkworks and secretly set out to see if they could fit the Ferrari-derived V8 from the


GTS into the


. Turns out they could, and after revealing their project to company honchos, were given the green light for not just one V8-powered Levante, but two.

The first to be revealed was the

Levante Trofeo

shown at the

New York Auto Show

. Now we get this, the Levante GTS, which was revealed last month to journalists in


, Mich., and kept under wraps until now. It will debut in Europe at



Although the GTS shares the same 3.8-liter V8 as the 590-horsepower Trofeo, it features a slightly less prodigious output of 550 hp with peak torque of 538 pound-feet available from 2,500 rpm to 5,000.


says the GTS will hit 60 mph in 4 seconds with a top speed of 181 mph.

The chassis was tuned to better handle the extra power, and while the suspension shares the same components as the rest of the Levante line, the tuning was changed for the GTS and Trofeo. The Sport Skyhook adaptive damping system was also retuned, while the air springs feature six different height levels spanning a total of 3 inches from its lowest to highest position. A rear-biased all-wheel-drive system and a rear limited-slip differential are included. These mechanical updates are largely shared with the Trofeo, which differs visually and features extra luxury equipment.

Outside, the GTS features a larger lower air dam, a special black-trimmed grille and 22-inch wheels. Inside, there’s a full-leather interior package and carbon fiber trim. That includes the shift paddles, which are carbon fiber rather than metal.

Maserati models also receive some updates for the new model year. The eight-speed ZF automatic gets a new electronic shifter. Similar in layout to


(forward for R, rearward for D, push button for Park), it replaces the previous Chrysler-sourced PRND layout. It’s similar to what you’d find in a current

Alfa Romeo

but the shifter itself is more luxurious and substantial in feel and appearance. The infotainment system has been refreshed, but remains a


Uconnect system in Italian clothing. There’s also new optional “Pieno Fiore” leather for all three models, Levante,


and Quattroporte. It is available in red, black and tan. The Quattroporte also gets 10 new exterior colors, while the Ghibli and Levante get 11.

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