Maserati unveils its most powerful car, a 590 horsepower SUV

Maserati's first SUV is cheaper than you'd guess
Maserati's first SUV is cheaper than you'd guess

Maserati unveiled a 590 horsepower high performance version of its Levante crossover SUV at the New York Auto Show.

SUVs have become a virtual requirement for luxury, and even ultra-luxury, automakers in recent years -- with even Lamborghini marketing one. Performance, of course, is a key attribute for any luxury brand to offer so expect to see more of these sorts of extreme performance SUVs.

Jaguar, for instance, also revealed a high-performance SUV at the show, the 550 horsepower Jaguar F-Pace SVR.

The Levante Trofeo is the fastest and most powerful car in Maserati's line-up and among the fastest SUVs ever made, with a 187 mile per hour top speed. It's powered by a 3.8-liter turbocharged V8 engine that's built by Ferrari (RACE). (All Maserati engines are built by its sister-brand Ferrari.) It is capable of going from a stop to 60 miles an hour in 3.7 seconds, according to Maserati. It has a "Corsa" -- "Race," in Italian -- driving mode that will allow drivers to access the SUVs full performance capabilities.

Driving the Maserati of SUVs

In "Corsa" mode the suspension drops the SUV's body lower to the ground while also stiffening it for better control in turns. The Levante Trofeo unveiled at the New York Motor Show was painted "Grigio Lava," or "Lava Gray," a matte, rather than shiny, light gray color. In the production version, which will go on sale in late Summer, the Maserati badges will be in a dark "black chrome."

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