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Marcello Gandini (1988 facelift)
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Sports / Luxury|
|Body style||2-door coupé
|Engine||2.0 L twin-turbo V6
2.5 L twin-turbo V6
2.8 L twin-turbo V6
|Wheelbase||2,514 mm (99.0 in) (Coupé)
2,600 mm (102.4 in) (Sedan, 228)
2,400 mm (94.5 in) (Spyder)
|Length||415 cm (163.4 in) (Coupé)
440 cm (173.2 in) (Sedan)
404 cm (159.1 in) (Spyder)
445 cm (175.2 in) (228)
|Width||171 cm (67.3 in) (Coupé, Spyder)
173 cm (68.1 in) (Sedan)
186 cm (73.2 in) (228)
|Height||131 cm (51.6 in) (Coupé, Spyder, 228)
136 cm (53.5 in) (Sedan)
|Successor||Ghibli II and Quattroporte IV|
The Maserati Biturbo (Tipo 116, 331, 332) 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 III) 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 Alejandro 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 2.5 L V6, after 1989 it was enlarged to 2.8 litres, while for Italy the two-litre version was the biggest seller (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 2.5 L 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 PS (184 kW) for Europe.
The first Biturbo version was introduced in December 1981 as a two-door coupé. In 1987 the carburetted engines were replaced with fuel injected units; power increased across the range, albeit at some loss of throttle response. The tainted Biturbo name disappeared when the car was significantly redesigned in 1988, with a more rounded design. After 1994 the two-door Biturbo was again significantly reworked and became the Ghibli II.
In 1984 the Italian market received the sporting Biturbo S model - thanks to twin intercoolers and increased turbo boost, power was up from 180 to 205 PS (132 to 151 kW) at 6500 rpm. The S also received two NACA ducts in the bonnet, black rims and a lower half painted black. Starting with the Biturbo S and the 425, the Biturbo also received a new instrument cluster in 1984.
Later Biturbo coupés had a new name, "222", meaning 2-door, 2-litre engine and 2nd generation. Marcello Gandini was responsible for this first facelift with more rounded grille, different wing mirrors and rear spoiler.
|Biturbo||1981–85||V6 ohc||1995 cc||180 hp||carburetor, turbo||Only Italy||9206|
|Biturbo/E||1983–85||V6 ohc||2491 cc||185 hp||carburetor, turbo||4577|
|Biturbo S||1983–86||V6 ohc||1995 cc||205 hp||carburetor, turbo||Only Italy||1038|
|Biturbo ES||1984–85||V6 ohc||2491 cc||205 hp||carburetor, turbo||1480|
|Biturbo II||1985–87||V6 ohc||1995 cc||180 hp||carburetor, turbo||Only Italy||(Biturbo)|
|Biturbo S 2.5||1984–88||V6 ohc||2491 cc||196 hp||carburetor, turbo||Catalysator||(Biturbo ES)|
|Biturbo E II 2.5||1985–87||V6 ohc||2491 cc||185 hp||carburetor, turbo||Catalysator||(Biturbo E)|
|Biturbo S II||1985–86||V6 ohc||1995 cc||210 hp||carburetor, turbo||Only Italy||(Biturbo S)|
|Biturbo i||1986–90||V6 ohc||1995 cc||188 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Only Italy||683|
|Biturbo Si||1986–88||V6 ohc||1995 cc||220 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Only Italy||992|
|Biturbo Si Black||1986–88||V6 ohc||1995 cc||220 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Only Italy||450|
|Biturbo Si 2.5||1987–91||V6 ohc||2491 cc||188 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Catalysator||430|
|2.24V||1988–92||V6 dohc||1996 cc||245 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Only Italy||1147|
|222||1988–90||V6 ohc||1996 cc||220 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Catalysator, Only Italy||1156|
|222 E||1988–90||V6 ohc||2790 cc||250 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||722|
|1988–93||V6 ohc||2790 cc||225 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Catalysator|
|222 SE||1990–91||V6 ohc||2790 cc||250 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||210|
|1990–91||V6 ohc||2790 cc||225 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Catalytic converter in US (225 bhp)|
|2.24V II||1991–93||V6 dohc||1996 cc||240 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Catalysator, Only Italy||254|
|222 SR||1991–93||V6 ohc||2790 cc||225 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Catalysator||(222 SE)|
|222 4v||1991–94||V6 dohc||2790 cc||279 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Catalysator||130|
|Racing||1991–92||V6 dohc||1996 cc||285 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||230|
The Maserati Racing (Tipo 331) is a more sporting version of the Biturbo produced by Maserati from 1991 to 1992. It was first revealed to the press in December 1990. Built only in 230 copies, this car was dedicated to the Italian market. Later, several units could be found exported across Europe (France, Sweden, Danmark, Germany and the Netherlands). Limited documentation was available, which made homologation in some countries (still) a huge administrative challenge. The Racing was essentially a variant of the 2.24v. with a higher power output, and was meant as an intermediate model underneath the more aggressive Shamal.
In the chassis the lower tunable electronic KONI shock absorbers allowed for selection among four settings according to the level of comfort or road handling required at the flick of a switch. This is combined with a manual five-speed gearbox from Getrag and a limited slip differential "Ranger" from Maserati but suspected to use Quaife technology.
The new front fascia used new ellipsoid headlights developed by Magneti-Marelli. Marcello Gandini, the Shamal's designer, developed an aerodynamic kit that included a front spoiler, windshield wiper spoiler, rear spoiler, and side skirts. The choice of colour of the Racing was limited to red or black. Inside, the only change was the wood paneling that has been painted dark grey (carbon fiber grey).
Combined with new settings on the two engine controllers from Magneti-Marelli, in charge of the ignition, the fuel injection and the turbo boost management, this allowed the power to increase to 283 hp (211 kW; 287 PS) at 6250 rpm with a specific output 142 hp/l. The torque is 37.3 kg·m (365.8 N·m; 269.8 lb·ft) already at 3500 rpm, peaking at 38.1 kg·m (373.6 N·m; 275.6 lb·ft) at 4250 rpm. This engine is coded AM 490 in the Maserati engine reference book. The engine has been made compatible with lead-free gasoline. Induction consists of two IHI water-cooled turbos with two air-to-air intercoolers. Changes from the 2.24v's engine include a new, lighter crankshaft, new exhaust valves (sodium filled for improved heat dissipation), new combustion chambers, new lighter conrods, new lighter forged aluminum pistons, and new IHI turbochargers.
Suspension is similar to the regular Biturbo: At the front MacPherson struts, dual-rate telescopic dampers, coil springs, anti-roll bar and four position electronic adaptive damping. Semi-trailing rear arms mounted on a rear subframe, coil springs, dual-rate pressurised telescopic dampers and four position electronic adaptive damping at the rear.
- Max. speed: 256 km/h (159 mph)
- 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph): 5.9 s.
- 0–1,000 m (0.00–0.62 mi): 25.60 s.
The Maserati 228 (Tipo 334) is a two-door, 5-seater notchback coupé model, targeting the same markets as had earlier bought 3500 GTs and Mexicos. The 228 was introduced at the 1986 Turin Motor Show, while it's 4-valve prototype was presented back in December 1984. It uses the longer four-door chassis and the bigger 2.8-litre biturbo engine combined with a two-door coupé bodywork with a more luxurious interior than the usual two-door cars. 469 examples of the 228 were built up until 1992. 228 name means 2-door and 2.8l engine. This model was designed by Pierangelo Andreani.
|228||1986–92||V6 ohc||2790 cc||250 bhp (186 kW)||Fuel injection, turbo||469|
|225 bhp (168 kW)||Catalysator|
Two years after the Biturbo's introduction a four-door family version was unveiled. This version has a longer wheelbase, 2.6 metres (100 in). While similar in appearance, only the nose was the same as for the shorter coupé. All the bodywork behind the front windshield is specific to the four-door model. The weight penalty for the sedan is about 100 kg (220 lb). Originally only built with the 2.5 liter engine (as the 425), the two-liter 420 model was added for the Italian market in 1985. In 1986, due to the popularity of the 420, Maserati produced a limited number of the more powerful 420S. The 420S sported improved handling and another intercooler.
In 1984 the 425 (as well as the two-door Biturbo S) received a new dashboard. The four-door Biturbo range was replaced in 1994 with the Maserati Quattroporte IV.
|425||1983–89||V6 ohc||2491 cc||200 hp||carburetor, turbo||2372|
|425i||1987–89||V6 ohc||2491 cc||188 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Catalysator||(425)|
|420||1985–86||V6 ohc||1995 cc||185 hp||carburetor, turbo||Only Italy||2810|
|420i||1986–88||V6 ohc||1995 cc||185 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||1124|
|420 S||1985–87||V6 ohc||1995 cc||210 hp||carburetor, turbo||Only Italy||254|
|420 Si||1986–88||V6 ohc||1995 cc||220 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||524|
|430||1987–94||V6 ohc||2790 cc||225 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Catalysator||995|
|422||1988–92||V6 ohc||1996 cc||220 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Catalysator||978|
|4.18v||1990–92||V6 ohc||1995 cc||220 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Catalysator||77|
|4.24v||1990–92||V6 dohc||1996 cc||245 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Only Italy||384|
|4.24v II||1991–93||V6 dohc||1996 cc||240 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Catalysator||490|
|430 4v||1991–93||V6 dohc||2790 cc||279 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Catalysator||291|
The Spyder (Tipo 333) 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. Also Carrozzeria Embo was commissioned to develop a four-seater cabriolet version of the Biturbo, but this never made it into production. The Spyder version has a shorter wheelbase, 2.4 metres (94 in). Still, since it is a strict two-seater with folding rear seats, the luggage space is larger than in the original Biturbo. On this shorter chassis the sporty hardtop Karif was later developed. Overall 3,076 were built over a ten-year period, setting a production record for Maserati Spyders. Third series Spyder was the only 2.8l that didn't get an 4-valve head upgrade, unlike 430 4v or 222 4v.
|Spyder 2.0||1984–88||V6 ohc||1,996 cc||180 hp||carburetor||Only Italy||276|
|Spyder 2.5||1984–88||V6 ohc||2,491 cc||192 hp||carburetor, turbo||Catalysator||1,049|
|Spyder 2.0i||1986–88||V6 ohc||1,996 cc||185 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||297|
|Spyder 2.5i||1988–89||V6 ohc||2,491 cc||188 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Catalysator||(Spyder 2.5)|
|Spyder 2.0i||1989–91||V6 ohc||1,996 cc||220 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Catalysator, Only Italy||122|
|Spyder 2.8i||1989–91||V6 ohc||2,790 cc||250 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||603|
|1989–91||V6 ohc||2,790 cc||225 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Catalysator|
|Spyder III 2.0||1991–94||V6 dohc||1,996 cc||245 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Only Italy||309|
|1991–94||V6 dohc||1,996 cc||240 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Catalysator, Only Italy||200|
|Spyder III 2.8||1991–94||V6 ohc||2,790 cc||225 hp||Fuel injection, turbo||Catalysator||220|
The Maserati Biturbo was the first ever production twin-turbocharged 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 (6 valves per cylinder) engine was developed but never manufactured.
|AM 452||1,995 cc||18 valves||carburetor||Biturbo, Biturbo S|
|AM 453||2,491 cc||18 valves||carburetor||Biturbo 2500|
|AM 470||1,995 cc||18 valves||injection||Biturbo i|
|AM 471||1,995 cc||18 valves||injection||Si, 222, 4.18v, Spyder|
|AM 472||2,491 cc||18 valves||injection||Biturbo 2.5i|
|AM 473||2,790 cc||18 valves||injection||430, 222 SR, Spyder III 2.8, Karif|
|AM 475||1,995 cc||24 valves||injection||2.24v, 4.24v, Spyder III 2.0|
|AM 490||1,996 cc||24 valves||injection||Racing, Barchetta Stradale|
|AM 495||1,996 cc||24 valves||injection||Ghibli II|
|AM 496||1,996 cc||24 valves||injection||Ghibli Cup|
|AM 477||2,790 cc||24 valves||injection||222 4V, 430 4V, Ghibli II|
|AM 501||1,996 cc||24 valves||injection||Barchetta Corsa|
The Maserati Biturbo has been renowned for being one of the "worst" Maseratis ever made. Craftmanship on a new assembly line system suffered. Sadly plagued by an overloaded electrical system, gremlins in a complicated system ensured a short future. On the other hand, from intercooler versions on, the engines were reliable, strong, and IF maintained properly, and NOT abused, mechanically reliable also.  Jeremy Clarkson destroyed a Biturbo on Top Gear Season 6 Episode 2.
- Heitz, Rudolf, ed. (1985-08-01). Auto Katalog 1986 (in German) 29. Stuttgart: Vereinigte Motor-Verlage GmbH & Co. KG. p. 104. 81530/85001.
- Neil, Dan (2007). The 50 Worst Cars of All Time: 1984 Maserati Biturbo. Time Magazine.
- Perini, Giancarlo (September 1984). "Maserati on the offensive". In Cropley, Steve. Car (London, UK: FF Publishing): 88.
- "Racing - 1991 to 1992". About us: Heritage. Maserati. Retrieved 2014-04-20.
- "Maserati Racing". maserati-alfieri.co.uk. Retrieved 2007-10-28.
- Perini, p. 89
- Reark, Jim. "Maserati 420/420S". Maserati Club of Australia. Retrieved 2006-11-07.
- World Cars 1985. Pelham, NY: The Automobile Club of Italy/Herald Books. 1985. p. 40. ISBN 0-910714-17-7.
- "The 6:36 'Hi-Tech' Engine". Enrico's Maserati Pages. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
- Official Maserati Heritage Biturbo pages[dead link]
- Grassroots Motorsports magazine Biturbo Buyers Guide
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Maserati Biturbo.|
|Maserati road car timeline, 1950s–present|
|Ownership||Orsi family||Citroën||De Tomaso||Fiat S.p.A.|
|Luxury||Quattroporte||QP II||Quattroporte III||QP IV||Quattroporte V||QP VI|
|GT||A6||3500 GT||Sebring||228||Ghibli II||3200GT||Coupé|