A fortnight ago I found myself on the Maserati stand at the New York Auto Show watching the revered Italian marque pull a rabbit out of a hat. It came in the form of the ultra-high performance Levante Trofeo SUV and because it was that rarest of things – a genuine surprise rather than something that’s been teased and trailed for months in advance by its manufacturer – it was probably the star of the show. The fact it had a 582bhp V8 engine designed and built by Ferrari probably helped too.
Thank Frankel It's Friday: Two cars that have better Ferrari V8s than any Ferrari
Andrew Frankel has been racing cars for over 20 years and testing them for nearer to 30. He is senior contributing writer to both Autocar and MotorSport magazines, sits on the Car of the Year jury and was chief car tester for the Sunday Times for 15 years. He cites driving and writing as the only disciplines for which he has any talent and therefore considers himself vocationally employed. When he is not working he lives quietly in the Wye Valley with his family, a small and unimportant accumulation of cheap old cars and some sheep.