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Maserati Biturbo

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Maserati Biturbo
Maserati
aka
Production 1981 - 1991
Class Sports Car
Body Style
Length
Width
Height
Wheelbase
Weight
Transmission
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Power
Similar BMW 3 Series
Designer

The Maserati Biturbo was a sports car introduced by Maserati in 1981. The Biturbo was a two-door, four-seater notchback coupé featuring, as the name implies, a two-litre V-6 engine with two turbochargers (of somewhat smaller dimensions than the BMW 3 Series cars of the time) and a luxurious interior. Export versions came initially with a 2.5L V6, after 1989 it was enlarged to 2.8 litres, while for Italy several two-litre high-performance versions were produced (to avoid the 38% sales tax imposed at the time on cars displacing more than 2000 cc). The aluminum 90 degree SOHC V6 engine was roughly based off the 2.0L Merak engine. The carbureted 2.5L engine 185hp and 208 lb-ft of torque in North American spec and slightly more elsewhere. Fuel injection was fitted in 1987 raising power to 187hp. In 1989 the 2.8L engine bumped power to 225hp and 246lb-ft of torque for North America and 250hp for Europe.

All Maserati models from the Biturbo's introduction in 1981 until 1997 (except the Quattroporte) were based on the original Biturbo architecture, among them the four-door 420/425, the Spyder, the 228 and the later Shamal and Ghibli II.

History

When Alessandro de Tomaso acquired Maserati in 1976, he had ambitious plans for the marque. His plan was to combine the prestige of the Maserati brand with a sports car that would be more affordable than the earlier high-priced models that had traditionally made up the Maserati range. In fact, Maserati ceased making supercars like the ones developed under Citroën ownership altogether, like the Bora and Khamsin.

The Biturbo was initially a strong seller and brought Italian prestige to a wide audience, with sales of about 40,000 units. However, due to poor quality control, the Biturbo was somewhat unreliable and, while very fast in a straight line, they suffered from dubious handling, particularly in the wet. Sales figures fell in subsequent years, until de Tomaso sold the company out to Fiat.

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