Maserati is open to the idea of a Levante with a V8 under the bonnet since it’s already sharing a platform with both the Ghibli and the Quattroporte. Right now, the Quattroporte GTS comes with a 523hp twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 and the most powerful engine you can get with the Levante is a 3.0 litre V6 petrol turbo, tuned to produce a respectable 430 hp.
When head of Maserati vehicle programs, Davide Danesin, was asked if the V8 will fit under the Levante’s bonnet, he said "yes, it fits, and we have a prototype already." While the V8 Quattroporte GTS only comes in rear wheel drive, Danesin assured autoblog that the engine will work with an all-wheel-drive system too.
So now we know that a V8 Levante prototype exists but it may not get the green light for production. Maserati is seriously considering it but they first have to look at the higher performance SUV market which is relatively small with around 12,000 units sold per year. If the V8 Levante does come out, it’ll have to compete with others in this segment for the small pool of buyers; the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and turbo S, Range Rover Sport SVR, and even the upcoming Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
What they’ll also take into account is how well the Levante does after it goes on sale, more specifically, how the Levante S model will do since its horsepower is the closest to the V8. If they see people clamoring for the higher power model, maybe they’ll see the V8 Levante’s sales potential.