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Lets Talk Platforms...

5829 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  SEM
So lets quickly review where the Levante has been to date. First we thought Levante would see production alongside the Grand Cherokee at Jefferson North in Detroit. Then we found out that Levante would actually be produced at FIATs Mirafiori facility in Torino, Italy still using the Grand Cherokees bones however. Lastly news broke in mid February that Levante would actually be based on a Maserati platform to preserve the integrity of the Maserati brand. All sounds great, except that its not true...

See I'm sure Maserati would love us to swallow the hubris, but we wont, the claim was dubious from the outset considering Maserati was touting the Ghiblis platform as the new underpinnings to the Levante. Well heres the thing, the Ghibli platform is in fact a Chrysler platform. I can already hear the Ghibli guys getting uppity in the pants about the spurious condemnation I just delivered to their beloved Italian character, but its ok, I wore my flame proof undies this morning. Double plus I have the benefit of being correct so there's always that.

See when the Ghibli debuted FCA touted its new corporate mid-size RWD architecture that was under the ghibli and would eventually underpin the next gen Dodge Charger and Challenger, Chrysler 300 and eventually (maybe) some kind of Alfa Romeo Saloon. They also boasted that the platform was actually a derivative of the new Quatroportes architecture. Well they lied to you.

Ostensibly the narrative sounds great, until you take 2 seconds to give your mind a shake and then you realize this. While the Ghibli and QP may be riding on new architectures, where did the architectures come from? Well its basically an updated next gen LX platform same as... you guessed it the Chrysler 300. Mind you the Ghibli does get some premium suspension upgrades and the like, but at its core its an LX platform.

What if I told you there was further to dig, well it doesn't matter because I just did. See the LX platform is actually a relic from the Daimler-Chrysler days, LX is basically a mashup of the Mercedes parts bin. LX uses the W220 S class control arms and the W211 E-Class 5 link rear suspension, firewall and floor pan, rear differential and ESP system. The LX has been around since 2005.

So Sure Maserati replaced a couple of bits here and there but at its core the platform is Chrysler through and through, or, er should we say Daimler? Now none of this is meant to take away from the Levante, I just have thorough disdain for auto executives ostentatious regard for the buying public intelligence. Consider this a Public Service Announcement...
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man that is one confusing thought

so at the end of the day

its a chrysler platform

though it may be changed,
Basically at the end of the day we're driving a chrysler :D
Now run and tell that to Ghibli owners and Maserati dealers, they might call tony to put you in the trunk.
a bit disturbing (nothing against Chrysler/Merced) - I was told that the only reason they were moving away from the Grand Cherok platform and frame was due to the heaviness and that they didn't need the Levante to be too "off -road" - but would still keep some of the electronic features on the AWD. This seemed a bit dumb if the engine still put out the torque and power necessary to perform on road... Seems like they are going for basically a Ghibli that can hold a bike rack with some ground clearance.
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