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Maserati promises Levante hybrid won't skimp on power

by Justin King

An executive suggests the electrified Levante will have the \"same feeling\" as the brand\'s traditionally powered lineup.

Maserati has promised that its upcoming Levante hybrid won't be tuned solely for fuel efficiency at the expense of performance.

The company early last year confirmed plans to launch an electrified adaptation of its first-ever SUV. The disclosure may have caused a bit of worry, however, when Chrysler's Pacifica hybrid was identified as the technology donor.

"If it will be a Maserati — Maserati means many things. One of these things is the pleasure of driving," Maserati's head of overseas markets, Umberto Cini, recently told CarAdvice. "If we can deliver with hybrid technology or electric technology the same feeling that you can deliver with the current product range, why not?"

The Pacifica hybrid pairs Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' venerabe Pentastar V6 with a small electric motor and a 16-kWh battery pack, enabling the minivan to drive for up to 33 miles on battery power alone. The setup provides 260 horsepower, significantly below the 350 ponies delivered by the base Levante's turbocharged 3.0-liter V6.

There is presumably some flexibility in Maserati's hybrid integration, likely allowing many of the core electrical components to be paired with a more powerful gasoline engine and tuned for higher performance. In any case, a hybrid system will undoubtedly help reduce fuel consumption for short commutes and in urban settings.

The hybrid Levante is expected to make its official debut before the end of the year.

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