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[Behind the Wheel] Limited-edition Maserati Levante S made more luxurious with Italian leather

Only 20 units of the Levante S GranSport Zegna Pelletessuta are available in South Korea

Maserati Levante S GranSport Zegna Pelletessuta (Maserati)
Maserati Levante S GranSport Zegna Pelletessuta (Maserati)

What completes a perfect ride relies not only on the car’s driving performance, but also how it instills a sense of self-worth and pride in the driver, people here often say.

Luxury Italian automaker Maserati’s sport utility vehicle Levante S ticks all of those boxes, naturally catching the eyes of passersby with its classy, yet powerful aura.

The Korea Herald had the chance to test drive the Maserati Levante S GranSport Zegna Pelletessuta, the limited edition model whose interior is fitted out with the supple woven Nappa leather in collaboration with the Italian luxury fashion brand, Ermenegildo Zegna.

In South Korea, only 20 units of the limited edition model were introduced to the market, according to the automaker. The limited edition SUV used Pelletessuta, a soft and lightweight leather fabric that is exclusively produced by Zegna.

Maserati Levante S comes in two trim options, GranLusso and GranSport. The former model has an emphasis on luxury, while the latter leans more toward a dynamic driving performance. 

Maserati Levante S GranSport Zegna Pelletessuta (Maserati)
Maserati Levante S GranSport Zegna Pelletessuta (Maserati)

At a first glance, the Levante S GranSport has a sturdy silhouette, yet with refined curves that differentiates itself from other SUVs. The car is 5,020 millimeters in length, with the wheelbase at 3,004 mm.

The 21-inch polished Helios alloy wheels, together with black brake calipers, also give the car a charismatic look.

Inside the SUV, the luxury leather amply covers the dashboard, the sport seat and the door panels. Because of the luxury leather, the Zegna Pelletessuta edition costs about 23 million won ($20,400) more than the standard Levante S GranSport model.

Maserati’s famous trident logo depicting Neptune, the god of the seas, is featured on the headrests, and an analog clock top is placed in the center of the dashboard.

Taking the Maserati Levante S GranSport Zegna Pelletessuta for a spin on busy Seoul roads, it filled up the narrow lanes. Still, despite its size and heavy weight -- 2,300 kilograms -- it did not feel bulky to drive, thanks to the powerful powertrain.

The Levante S GranSport is equipped with a 3.0 liter twin-turbo V6 engine, which can exert up to 430 horsepower and a maximum torque of 59.2 kilogram-meter. The time for the vehicle to accelerate from zero to 100 kph is 5.2 seconds, according to the automaker.

Passing through Yeouido in Seoul, the luxury SUV in its tri-coated Bronzo color was definitely an eye catcher.

Gathering speed on the highway, Levante S GranSport was smooth with acceleration. The howling sound of the engine grew louder as the car picked up speed, offering a sporty and unique driving experience. It was also excellent in absorbing shock from the ground, and over speed bumps.

As for the car’s infotainment system, it had all the convenient functions needed for driving, but the user interface appeared not as up-to-date as one would hope, as newly launched vehicles often put emphasis on connectivity technology. The 8.4-inch touchscreen display could also be made bigger.

The premium Bowers & Wilkins audio speakers were a great plus to the riding experience.

The price starts from 192 million won for the Levante S GranSport model. 

By Jo He-rim (