A superlative SUV in the land of superlatives. Can the Maserati Levante GTS be the symbol of ultimate luxury?
Words Abhishek Kulkarni
Photography Akash Kumar
Dubai. A place known for superlatives. Here, everything is either the largest or the tallest or the biggest, or perhaps all three. I think it’s an Emirati obsession. But of my umpteen trips to Dubai, the last one was particularly memorable, thanks to my travel companion for the three days that I was here. A dusky black beauty. The Maserati Levante GTS.
Perfect company if you ask me for the kind of travel I was engaging in. In fact, I was at the Jetex terminal in Dubai and realised that this machine looks just apt amongst all the business jets at the Business Jet terminal. Then a thought crosses my mind and I visualise a black Levante GTS parked alongside a black Falcon Jet. I’m sure this would be the picture of the year. And believe me, the Levante would have caught just as much of the limelight as the Falcon because she isn’t any less than the sleek black aircraft.
When I do drive it to my friend’s posh house on the Palm Jumeirah, the Maserati stands out in his parking lot, which isn’t bad in its own right. Her black form doesn’t fail to turn heads and by the time we part after dinner, I have half convinced him to buy one.
The Maserati is powered by a 550hp 3.8-litre twinturbo V8 built by Ferrari. What more would you ask for in something that is so powerful, stylish and sporty. And there is more to it. The design element, the cockpit andoverall presence and feel just fit the bill for someone who understands real luxury. The GTS comes with quite a lot of upgrades to the already luxurious Levante cockpit, with perforated leather seats, carbon-fibre trim, and a Harman Kardon audio system with 14 speakers. The touchscreen feels sophisticated, is user friendly and the screen size is just about perfect in proportion to the size of the entire dash.
I switch on Sport mode and realise that the car hunkers down and is ready for action. And believe me, it is a different experience altogether. I have driven a lot of Ferraris across the globe but this is more than any Ferrari because this is an SUV that houses a Ferrari engine. It sounds crazy and raw, just the way I like it but can also behave and be quiet when you want it to.
Here’s the thing though. Would I want to consider the Maserati Levante GTS in a fleet of supercars? My answer would be negative. That’s not because the Maserati isn’t good enough. It’s because I don’t want a garage full of supercars. I’d rather have a luxury yacht or a speedboat, the best jet money can buy – that black Falcon maybe or the new Gulfstream G700, or the best chopper in the world.
To me, those are symbols of real luxury. And the Levante GTS fits right in, in this company because this hot blooded Italian is a style statement in itself and is built for a man with great taste and love for high living.