Maserati Khamsin

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Maserati Khamsin
Maserati Khamsin 1975 front.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Maserati
Production 1974-1982
Designer Marcello Gandini at Bertone[1]
Body and chassis
Class Sports car
Body style 2-seat GT Coupe
Layout FR layout
Powertrain
Engine 4.9 litre V8 engine
Transmission 5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,550 mm (100 in)
Length 4,400 mm (170 in)
Width 1,804 mm (71.0 in)
Height 1,180 mm (46 in)
Curb weight 1,500 kg (3,300 lb)
Chronology
Predecessor Maserati Ghibli

The Maserati Khamsin (Tipo 120) (named after the Khamsin, a hot, violent wind in the Egyptian desert) was a sports car introduced as a Bertone prototype in the autumn of 1972 at the Turin Auto Show.[2] In 1973 it was put on display at the Paris Motor Show, where it was badged as a Maserati. Production of the vehicle started in 1974. [1] The car had a front mounted 4.9 litre V-8 delivering 320 hp. The engine was pushed back as far as possible so it would be able to fit a spare tire for more room in the trunk. The Khamsin's bodywork resembled a lower, flatter Ghibli, designed by Bertone. Production of the Khamsin ended in 1982, with only 430 vehicles produced. One of those was delivered to Luciano Benetton in 1981. 155 were brought to the United States.[1]

Features[edit]

The Khamsin had several unusual features, such as DIRAVI power steering, with higher than usual assistance for parking, decreasing with speed, and a glass rear panel (between the taillights) below the rear window, giving reverse visibility surpassing most cars, especially similar sports cars. Also, the Khamsin had features like hydraulic seats and an adjustable steering column, which were innovative features at the time. Air-conditioning was standard on the Khamsin.

Maserati Khamsin 1975.

US Version[edit]

Khamsin models destined for the United States were subject to significant design alterations to comply with newly-enacted legislation with respect to bumper height/strength (informally referred to as "rubber baby buggy bumpers") and placement of tail lights. Maserati and Bertone designer Marcello Gandini strongly objected to the NHTSA's decision prohibiting tail light assembly fitment in the rear vertical Plexiglass panel. After a lengthy and unfruitful appeal process, Maserati ultimately capitulated to obtain federalization of the Khamsin and introduce it to their most vital export market.

These models required fitting a solid version of the Plexiglass panel. The tail lights were shifted downward to the rear bumper's intended location and the bumper was mounted below the tail lights. This new placement of components left the exhaust tips unable to clear the bumpers. Inverted orientation of the exhaust resonators resolved this. American automotive publications and the buying public found this visually awkward arrangement to be an unattractive compromise compared with the intended design available to the rest of the world.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Khamsin". maserati-alfieri.co.uk. Retrieved 2007-08-10. 
  2. ^ "Maserati Khamsin". carsfromitaly.net. Retrieved 2007-08-10. 
  3. ^ "Jay Leno's Garage: 1975 Maserati Khamsin". youtube.com. Retrieved 2014-06-25. 

External links[edit]