It wasn't too long ago that Maserati joined the sport-utility vehicle fray.

Alongside sporty, luxury marques like Porsche and Jaguar, the Italians added an SUV to its product portfolio. And, frankly, we can't blame them.

That's where today's buyers are. If you want it to survive and continue producing lust worthy sports cars, it's going to have to move units. So, an SUV was born.

Today it accounts for more than 50 percent of Maserati's sales, according to CAR.

But, to be honest, it seems like the Levante's time has come and gone. There was a momentary pop and it's now gone. So, Maserati rolled out a more beastly varient. Dubbed the Trofeo, it boasts a twin-turbo V8 producing about 575 horsepower and nearly 570 lb.-ft. of torque.

Is that enough to get a "W" though? See CAR's take, below and judge for yourself.

Maserati Levante Trofeo: verdict

...Either way, these V8-powered Maseratis represent a cooler, more unusual choice over the far more obvious competition. Their styling is unlike anything else, but the Trofeo and GTS’ main strengths lie with a surprisingly good drivetrain – from the V8 all the way through to the ZF ‘box and AWD system.

But there’s only so much charm and character can do when parked alongside extremely well-executed competitors from Mercedes, Porsche and Volkswagen. That’s when the Levante's shortcomings are most obvious.

With an all-new Levante platform on the way – with room for electrification – we’re hoping Maserati can keep the character and dynamics of the current car, but sharpen things up everywhere else for an increasingly competitive market.

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DRIVEN: Is The All-new Maserati Levante Trofeo Worth Checking Out? Verdict Enclosed...

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