The Maserati Biturbo is a sports car introduced by Maserati in 1981. The Biturbo is a two-door, four-seater notchback coupé (of somewhat smaller dimensions than the BMW 3 Series of the time) featuring, as the name implies, a two-litre V6 engine with two turbochargers and a luxurious interior. The car was designed by Pierangelo Andreani, an engineer from the De Tomaso team, somewhat influenced by the design of the newer Quattroporte III (Italdesign Giugiaro), as can be observed on the front fascia.
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 and 4.24v, the Spyder, the Karif, the 228 and 2.24v, the Maserati Racing and the later Shamal and Ghibli II, as well as Maserati Barchetta which used an ultimate version of the V6 engine.
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. Sales figures fell in subsequent years. De Tomaso also used another of his companies, Innocenti, to produce Biturbo body panels and also to provide final assembly of Biturbos.De Tomaso later sold Maserati to Fiat, who grouped the company with their erstwhile rival Ferrari.
Export versions came initially with a 2.5L V6, after 1989 it was enlarged to 2.8 litres, while for Italy a two-litre high-performance version was originally 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 on the 2.0 L Merak engine, itself based on earlier V8 Formula One Maserati engines, designed by Giulio Alfieri (1924–2002). The carbureted 2.5L engine produced 185 hp (138 kW) and 208 lb·ft (282 N·m) of torque in North American spec and slightly more elsewhere. Fuel injection was fitted in 1987 raising power to 187 hp (139 kW). In 1989 the 2.8L engine bumped power to 225 hp (168 kW) and 246 lb·ft (334 N·m) of torque for North America and 250 hp (186 kW) for Europe.
The Biturbo is number 28 in the BBC book of "Crap Cars" and in 2007 was selected as Time Magazine's worst car of 1984, although they ranked the Chrysler TC by Maserati as a "greater ignominy".
The Biturbo competed unsuccessfully in the British Touring Car Championship in the late 1980s, the European Touring Car Championship and the World Touring Car Championship (1987).
The Maserati Biturbo was the first ever production biturbo engine. The 2-litre version featured wet aluminium sleeves coated with Nikasil. The last street version featured over 150 hp/litre and 140 ft·lbf (190 N·m)/litre torque.
A V6 1996 cc DOHC 36-valve engine was developed but never manufactured.
Biturbo Maserati Biturbo S in Alberobello, Italy.Maserati 222E Maserati Biturbo (North America)The first Biturbo version was introduced in December 1981 as a two-door coupe. The Biturbo name disappeared when the car was significantly redesigned in 1988 and after 1994 became the Ghibli II.
Maserati Biturbo: A four-door variant was introduced in 1983 Maserati 430Two years after Biturbo introduction was unveiled four-door family version. This version has longer wheelbase, 2.6 metres (100 in). The four-door version was replaced in 1994 with Maserati Quattroporte IV.
The Spyder version was introduced at the Turin Motor Show in 1984. The car was designed and built by Zagato, their first work for Maserati since the A6G/2000 of thirty years earlier.The Spyder version has a shorter wheelbase, 2.4 metres (94 in). Still, since it is a strict two-seater, the luggage space is larger than in the original Biturbo. On this shorter chassis the sporty hardtop Karif was later developed.
The Maserati 228 is a two-door Gran turismo model, targeting the same markets as had earlier bought 3500 GTs and Mexicos. The 228 was introduced at the 1986 Turin Motor Show, it uses the longer four-door chassis and the bigger 2.8-litre biturbo engine in a two-door coupe form with a more luxurious interior than the usual two-door cars. 469 examples of the 228 were built up until 1992.
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