Maserati’s first SUV offers practicality with Italian flair. The Levante S is built from the same underpinnings as the full-size Ghibli sedan and powered by a 424 hp 3-liter twin-turbocharged V-6, which is assembled at the Ferrari factory in Maranello. The shark-nose front end and massive, toothy front grille are its distinguishing design elements. Different drive modes and ride heights give the Levante S a broad range of capability.
Its rigid chassis and nearly 50/50 weight distribution allow for spirited on-road driving—accompanied by Maserati’s signature exhaust note. The Levante S can also tackle rugged terrain, displaying the same type of off-road capability as the vehicles built by Maserati’s sibling brand Jeep. The spacious interior can be furnished with a leather dash and the Zegna Luxury Package, which adds dark-gray silk inserts and hand-stitched upholstery. (maseratiusa.com, from $83,800)—Laura Burstein
The 7 Series has been conspicuously absent from the M lineup—the models developed by BMW’s performance division. And it remains absent, because the M760i xDrive is not an M7. Indeed, there may never be an M7, because for BMW the 7 Series represents the pinnacle of luxury, and an M variant of the flagship sedan might detract from that image. So instead we have the M760i.
It’s not an M car, but it is the fastest, most powerful BMW road car ever made. Its smooth-as-silk twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V-12 delivers 601 hp. The engine is tuned for rapid acceleration (zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds) and high-speed work on the autobahn.
The exhaust growls when you drop the hammer, but with the engine’s ability to produce 590 ft lbs of torque at only 1,550 rpm, you can stir up thrills even in a parking lot. The M760i features all-wheel drive (thus the xDrive designation), and so its grip, even in deplorable weather, is exemplary. Like every BMW, this is a sport-oriented car, with engine tuning, exhaust, suspension and steering, aerodynamics, and even a road stance that emphasize dynamics. It will please enthusiasts who value performance as much as they appreciate the amenities of a traditional luxury sedan.
The seats—upholstered in leather with diamond-patterned stitching—coddle occupants in a spacious cabin that is equipped with every conceivable comfort and convenience amenity, including Gesture Control. Among other functions, this feature enables you to adjust the audio system’s volume just by twirling your index finger in the air. But the M760i’s most alluring feature may be its value. It delivers an abundance of luxury and performance for the money. (bmwusa.com, from $159,700)—Robert Ross
Lincoln’s full-size flagship sedan doesn’t try to be sporty. Instead, it provides comfort and elegance, what Lincoln executives tout as “quiet luxury.” Its design is both classic and modern, with a tasteful mesh front grille, jewellike LED headlights, and a high beltline with integrated, electronically operated door handles.
The top-of-the-line Black Label Edition is powered by a 400 hp 3-liter V-6. Its visually distinguishing features include 20-inch aluminum wheels and exclusive exterior colors such as Chroma Elite Light Brown, a striking metallic bronze.
The interior design themes include the Thoroughbred, which incorporates black leather upholstery and Chilean maple trim. Black Label Edition owners have access to complimentary concierge services. (lincoln.com, from $63,075)—LB