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Alfa Romeo Stelvio vs. Maserati Levante: Battle of the European SUVs

Alfa Romeo Stelvio vs. Maserati Levante

On display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit was the Alfa Romeo Stelvio while the Philadelphia Auto Show displayed the Maserati Levante, the two new Italian stallion SUVs. On the exterior, the two Italian cars share similarities, but under the hood and inside the cabin, they differ quite a bit.

A Quick Look Under the Hood

The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio has two different engine options. The smaller version is an all-aluminum, 2.0-liter, direct-injection turbo engine which delivers 280 horsepower and 306 lb.-ft. of torque. Its counterpart, the more powerful twin-turbo V6, delivers 505 horsepower and can go 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds.

Currently, the Maserati Levante features a 3.0-liter V6 engine with either 345 horsepower on the base model or 424 horsepower on the S model. At its best, the Levante takes about 5.0 seconds to go from 0-60 mph. However, a 560 horsepower V8 is scheduled for availability on the Levante in 2018.

Both cars are all-wheel drive, but the Maserati is being built for going off-road. By switching the Levante into its “off-road” mode, drivers enjoy better handling in winter weather or harsh conditions.

Instead of an “off-road” mode, The Stelvio Quadrifoglio has a “race” mode. This feature disables the ESC and activates the overboost function. It also adjusts steering and overall engine performance.

Inside the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Maserati Levante

Inside, the two cars have almost nothing in common. The Levante is all about luxury. If the standard leather seats aren’t opulent enough, the Luxury Zegna package features leather and silk seats. The cabin has accents of aluminum as well as a sleek, clean design. The Maserati has Touch Control, a touchscreen display, as well as a customizable gauge cluster.

The Stelvio, in contrast, is less about luxury and more about fun. The Quadrifoglio has sport leather seats which are heavily bolstered for comfort. A wide screen infotainment system takes up most of the dashboard. Dramatic detailing draws the eye and screams “Hey, look at me.” Overall, the interior design of the Stelvio is bolder than the Levante.

How They Compare in Price

The Levante and the Stelvio Quadrifoglio are similar in price at around $70,000+ while the base Stelvio is estimated to be ~$50,000.. Whether you prefer the Levante or the Stelvio depends solely on your lifestyle. If you want an off-road adventure, the Maserati is for you. However, if speed is your thing, go for the Stelvio. In the end, both cars live up to their hype and offer quite a bit of bang for the buck.

Expect a Second Maserati SUV by 2020 According to Fiat Chrysler CEO

Expect a Second Maserati SUV by 2020 According to Fiat Chrysler CEO

There will be a Second Maserati SUV by 2020

At end of 2016, Maserati introduced the Levante to the world and entered the SUV market. Now, Maserati will be releasing a second SUV by 2020. Automotive News reports that Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne stated this recently. The new SUV will be a size smaller than the Levante on the Giorgio platform. This means the new Maserati SUV will share the platform with the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. As you’d expect, this new SUV will sport its own power train.

Maserati Aims to Sell 70,000 to 80,000 Vehicles per Year

With 2 SUVs, Marchionne believes Maserati will be able to sell 70,000 to 80,000 vehicles per year. Three quarters into 2017, Maserati has sold around 36,000 vehicles. This is impressive as the previous years value was 24,000 vehicles at the same time in 2016. This is an increase of 12,000 vehicles which can be due to the Levante’s entrance to market. Unfortunately for Maserati, the Quattroporte sales are down from previous years, probably due to the other vehicles being sold in the lineup.

Maserati Demand is Lower than Expected in China

In China, Maserati Levante demand has been lower than calculated so the Levante production is turned down. Regardless, the Levante has made sales worldwide in the last year. Due to this, Maserati hopes a second SUV with a lower MSRP would increase overall sales. The Levante has a “cheap” Chrysler switchgear layout and electronic shifter but has proven itself in other areas. In off-road and touring capabilities, the Levante exceeds any expectations. Not to mention that it feels and handles like a true sports SUV.

A Second Maserati SUV Should Increase Demand & Profits

Overall, the Levante is a beautiful car and a younger brother should increase Maserati’s market reach. With Maserati’s new cheaper models, the sales have increased leading to higher profitability for the company. As you’d expect, this led Maserati to the decision to create a second SUV by 2020. Even though it’ll share the Giorgio platform with the Stelvio, it should be an amazing vehicle. In the end, we will just have to wait until 2020 to see what Maserati has planned for the future.

2018 Range Rover Sport: Dragon Challenge

2018 Range Rover Sport: Dragon Challenge

A New Adventure for Range Rover

For the 2018 Range Rover Sport, the company decided to take on the Dragon Challenge. The 2018 Range Rover Sport Dragon Challenge encompasses Tianmen Mountain Road in the Hunan Province of China. This road incorporates 99 hairpin turns on 7 miles of mountainside road. Usually, this road is strictly in use by ECO buses. Furthermore, to reach the summit, there is a 999-step staircase. This staircase leads to “Heaven’s Gate”, a natural rock arch in the mountainside. Mythically, this location is thought to be where the mortal world comes into contact with the world of the gods.

Specifications of the Range Rover Sport

2018 Range Rover Sport - Dragon Challenge - Tianmen Mountain Road - Land Rover Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2018 Range Rover Sport – Dragon Challenge – Tianmen Mountain Road – Land Rover Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

The 2018 Range Rover Sport Dragon Challenge requires quite the vehicle to complete. The 2018 Range Rover Sport SE starts at a price of $68,750. In this deal, a 3.0-liter motor is included that produces 254 horsepower and 443 lb.-ft. of torque. This allows it to reach 60 mph in only 7.2 seconds. Furthermore, the Sport has a top speed of 130 mph. Finally, to optimize the hill climb, this car features different modes for functionality. These range from Terrain Response levels to Mud and Ruts mode.

Completing the Dragon Challenge

2018 Range Rover Sport - Dragon Challenge - 45-Degree Angle Staircase - Side Perspective - Land Rover Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2018 Range Rover Sport – Dragon Challenge – 45-Degree Angle Staircase – Side Perspective – Land Rover Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

”The Dragon Challenge is the hardest challenge I’ve ever been involved with because I can’t categorically say that we will succeed.” – Phil Jones, Land Rover Experience Special Projects Expert

To complete the 2018 Range Rover Sport Dragon Challenge, the company decided to use driver Ho-Pin Tung. He is a Le Mans 24 Hours winner and driver for the Jaguar Formula E Racing team. The first step was to tackle Tianmen Mountain Road’s 7-miles of 99 hairpin turns. In Terrain Response 2 mode, the SUV maneuvers better, allowing to complete it with ease. But, that was not the major challenge. The largest challenge was tackling the 45-degree angle of the 999 step staircase to “Heaven’s Gate”. In Mud and Ruts mode, the Sport was able to accomplish this feat. This made the Range Rover Sport the first car that made it to “Heaven’s Gate” in only 22 minutes and 41 seconds.

Who Will Accomplish the Challenge Next?

Range Rover Sport | Dragon Challenge – Land Rover Deutschland – YouTube

After such a feat by Range Rover, it is only a certain amount of time before contenders step up to the plate. Obviously, this depends if China officials allow it to take place again. The 2018 Range Rover Sport Dragon Challenge is quite impressive, showing the capabilities of the SUV. With many different modes, the Sport can handle everything from hairpin turns to off-road adventures. Although it is a bit pricey, this car is definitely worth it for those who can afford it. The Maserati Levante was aimed at the Sports level of market, but probably can’t accomplish this type of feat. But, nobody truly knows, so maybe they should try it sometime. In conclusion, the 2018 Range Rover Sport is a beastly SUV showing the power of the Land Rover company.

2018 Range Rover Sport - Dragon Challenge - 45-Degree Angle Staircase - Land Rover Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2018 Range Rover Sport – Dragon Challenge – 45-Degree Angle Staircase – Land Rover Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

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