Maserati’s long-awaited and first-ever SUV finally rolls onto the scene in Geneva as a in production trim as the Levante. Initially set to be built in Detroit using Jeep-based underpinnings, the

2017 Maserati Levante will be assembled at the newly refurbished FCA Mirafiori plant in Turin using all Maserati-developed components. Similar in scale and concept to the Porsche Cayenne, the Levante fills an obvious hole in the automaker’s roster and its success will play a critical role in helping Maserati grow its volume globally as well as in the U.S. where it will arrive sometime later this year.

Also: Class of 2016 -- New Cars Ready to Roll

Despite its unique position in the Maserati lineup, the Levante’s smartly sculpted exterior styling maintains a clear family resemblance with the Quattroporte, Ghibli and GranTurismo. Up front, a more aggressively scaled and shaped trident-embellished grille is matched with new dual-element headlamps that have a strip-like upper unit linking the two. The marque’s iconic trio of fender vents are used along with frameless side glass and the “Saetta” logo on its C-pillar. The tapered and streamlined aft quarters also echo familiar themes, particularly in the rear lamps and twin-paired dual exhausts.

Intelligent all-wheel drive

Based on a version of the platform that underpins the Maserati’s Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans, all versions of the new Levante will be fitted with a sophisticated electronically controlled air suspension that includes multi-mode adaptive damping intended to deliver outstanding balance of comfort and control both on and off road. It also will come with a bespoke version of the firm’s “Q4” intelligent all-wheel drive system to enhance its confidence and capability regardless of the surface conditions.

Also: Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards of 2016

While specific details on the engines it will use in the U.S. have not been released, expect the same 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 and 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 from the Quattroporte to be under the hood here, although both gasoline and diesel power will be on offer in most other markets. All engines will be paired with a specially-calibrated version of the firm’s 8-speed automatic transmission.

More Midsize Luxury SUVs…

Check out our Midsize Luxury SUV Buyer's Guide for a look at what’s new and what’s next.

Browse photography at Denver.Gallery.