Maserati’s first SUV, the Levante, may not have won any Guinness World Record titles so far but it is already associated with a world title awarded by the organization – the fastest speed achieved by a snowboarder being pulled by a vehicle. A Levante helped Britain’s fastest snowboarder, Jamie Barrow, to beat his own record set in 2016, clocking a new fastest speed while being towed on the frozen lakes of St Moritz in Switzerland.

Barrow, 25, previously set a record at a speed of 99.87 km/h while being towed behind a car across the same frozen lake. But he was always confident that an even greater speed was possible, due to the track in 2016 being slightly shorter than originally planned and the soft snow not allowing the grip needed.

This time, he returned to the lake with a Maserati’s powerful SUV, capable of a higher speed than the one used in his last record attempt. It had special snow tyres with 474 studs per tyre, each 4 mm long to get the best grip possible on the frozen lake.

Also important was the Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive System and recently developed EPS (electric power steering). With its variable torque control, the AWD system is always active and responds immediately to any variation in the driving conditions, providing the best grip on slippery surfaces. In conjunction with the Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive System, EPS improves the car’s handling and comfort, better supports the driving modes, and enables the newly-introduced active Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS).

Strict criteria had to be met for the record to meet Guinness World Record guidelines. These included completing a timed run in both directions with specialised recording equipment, set at 100 metres by a Guinness World Records official. With 400 metres needed either side so that the Levante could accelerate and slow down safely on the snow, a total run of approximately 900 metres was used.

On the very first run, the speed recorded was 151.57 km/h. However, the Guinness World Record conditions stipulate that there should be an average of two runs. The return run was recorded at 147.72 km/h which gave an average of 149.65 km/h – the new record.

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[Chips Yap]

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