Modena, Italy - Revving up for its world premiere at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend in the latest iteration of Maserati’s luxury SUV, and we’d say Goodwood is the right stage for the Levante GTS, because the Modena Mafia are tossing around some impressive performance numbers.

It has the same 3.8-litre, twin-turbo V8 as the seriously quick Quattroporte GTS sedan, built (as are all Maserati V8s) by Ferrari at Maranello, and re-mapped in this application to work with Maserati’s Q4 all-wheel drive, delivering a claimed 404kW at 6250 revs and 730Nm from 2500-5000rpm.

Maserati quotes a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 292km/h, with updated suspension and stability software - integrated vehicle control is standard which, rather than correcting vehicle instability, helps prevent it, improving both active safety and driving dynamics - as well as distinctive GTS styling, focused on a deeper front fascia and a special rear bumper.

Updated trim and features

All Levantes, as well as the Ghibli and Quattroporte, now have the redesigned gearshift lever first seen in the Levante Trofeo, with shorter travel and a more intuitive shift pattern. You can shift the eight-speed ZF transmission from automatic to manual by simply moving the lever from right to left, while a new ‘P’ button takes you straight into Park from any gear.

The infotainment system also gets updated display graphics and improved climate control system ergonomics, and butter-soft full-grain Pieno Fiore leather is now standard in the Trofeo, and optional on all other Levantes, in your choice of black red or tan with specific stitching on the seats and double stitching on the door panels.

Among the five new wheel designs for 2019 are two for the Levante in 20 and 21 inch sizes, as well as the new 22 inch Orione alloys - the biggest ever offered by Maserati - exclusively available for the GTS and the Trofeo.

And as for the most important numbers of all, Maserati South Africa plans to release the Levante GTS in South Africa before the end of 2018; pricing will be announced closer to the launch date.

IOL Motoring