Modena, October 19, 2018 - At the annual Texas Truck Rodeo, hosted by the Texas Automotive Writers Association (TAWA), the Maserati Levante GTS was named “SUV of Texas” and best “Full-Size Luxury SUV.”
This year’s Rodeo was especially challenging with muddy conditions and wet roads – an environment where the “Maserati of SUVs” particularly excelled. A total of 57 pickups, SUVs, crossovers and commercial vehicles were entered in the competition and 69 TAWA members attended the event.
Members cast their votes after two days of on- and off-road vehicle evaluations. Consideration is given to everything from exterior/interior styling and off-road capability to the entrant’s overall utility, value and performance.
The Levante GTS is the latest in Maserati innovation: a powerful twin-turbo V8 on a finely tuned chassis combined with an elegantly restyled exterior and an exclusive interior, deliver the quintessential SUV in terms of outright performance, road handling and sporty pedigree.
The Levante GTS is equipped with one of the most powerful engines ever fitted in a Maserati.
The 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine is a re-engineered, upgraded version of the power unit fitted in the flagship Quattroporte GTS, delivering 550hp at 6,250 rpm and 538 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 2,500 – 5,000 rpm. Like any other petrol Maserati engine, this V8 has been developed by Maserati Powertrain in cooperation with Ferrari and is manufactured in its state-of-the art factory of Maranello. The Levante GTS surges from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds and has a top speed of 181 mph.
The adoption of the V8 engine has resulted in a curb weight increase by only 132 lbs. when compared to the V6 versions. Given the dramatic power increase – by no less than 120hp compared to the Levante S – the GTS boasts an impressive power ratio.
The chassis of the Levante GTS has been meticulously tuned to handle the higher power output, providing an exhilarating driving experience with no compromise in terms of long distance comfort and active safety.
The Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive has been designed to deliver a typical Maserati rear-wheel drive experience and has been updated to suit the requirements of the Levante GTS. In normal driving conditions, the Q4 distributes 100 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels. On slippery or loose road surfaces, or in the event of loss of traction at the rear, the system can alter the front/rear torque split from 0:100 percent to 50:50 percent in a matter of 150 milliseconds.
The unmistakable Levante design has reached new levels of sportiness in the GTS version. Thanks to an elegant restyling focused on the lower front fascia and the rear bumper, the Levante GTS boasts a sportier and even more sophisticated presence.
Interior designers have come up with elegant ways to create a distinctive environment within the Levante GTS cabin providing it with standard Full Premium Leather upholstery, sport pedals and Harman Kardon Audio system with 14 speakers. The human-machine interface has been further improved featuring updated display graphics and improved climate system ergonomics.
The Maserati Levante GTS is built at the refurbished Maserati plant in Mirafiori, Turin (Italy).
The Texas Auto Writers Association, Inc. was founded in 1985 by automotive journalists who wanted to provide an avenue of professional growth, development and networking.
These professionals sought to create an automotive event that was unique to Texas and the result was the TAWA Truck Rodeo.
Since 1992, Truck Rodeos have been held in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Granbury and Spring Branch, and now Dripping Springs.
In 2003, TAWA created an event for sedans, sports cars, and other vehicles not eligible for the Truck Rodeo. The Texas Auto Roundup, as the event is called today, is also held annually. For more information, visit www.texasautowriters.org.