Spied: Maserati Levante GTS

The Levante is about to get a Ferrari-designed V8.

Maserati is looking to heat up is Levante lineup with a new V8-powered version of the sporty SUV. Known as the GTS, the top-spec version of the Levante was spotted for the first time earlier today undergoing shakedown testing in Europe.

Despite its sporting pretensions, the Maserati Levante simply hasn't had the firepower to compete against rivals like the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Mercedes-AMG GLE 63. However, that's about to change with the Levante GTS.

Whereas the Levante is currently only offered with a V6, the GTS will come equipped with the same 3.8L twin-turbocharged V8 found beneath the hood of the Quattroporte GTS. In that application the Ferrari-designed V8 is good for 530 horsepower, and we'd expect at least that much from the Levante GTS. However, we've heard rumors that the Levante GTS could come packing as much as 570 horsepower.

Power will be sent to all-four wheels via an eight-speed automatic. The normal Levante isn't exactly a billy goat off-road and the sport-oriented GTS will likely be even less capable off the beaten path, thanks to its stiffer suspension and high-performance tires. However, that shouldn't matter much to the Levante GTS' intended buyer.

It remains to be seen when Maserati will officially introduce the Levante GTS. Despite having recently launched, Maserati is reportedly planning a mid-cycle update for the SUV in late 2018. Maserati could opt to hold the Levante GTS back until that new model debuts. When it does finally land, expect a price tag in the neighborhood of $100,000.

Read more!