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Maserati is an Italian brand of sports cars . It has also developed an off-road vehicle prototype (the Kubang in 2003), and crosses between sports cars and luxury cars. Maserati collaborates with the also Italian Alfa Romeo and is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. In the past, Maserati produced motorcycles for several years.
The Maserati brand was founded in 1914 in Bologna by the six Maserati brothers Carlo, Bindo, Alfieri, Mario, Ettore and Ernesto. It initially made spark plugs and ignition coils. In 1926, the first self-built race car (Tipo 26) was presented in the Targa Florio, driven by Alfieri Maserati, who promptly won. After that he also wrote countless races to his name. From that time to the 1950s, racing cars were built, with the 250 F and the “Birdcage” being the most famous types that were extremely successful.
At the end of the 1950s, it was recognized that the racing factory could not live, and it was decided to build street cars as well. The first type to be made in a fairly large series (almost 2000 units) was the 3500 GTS from 1957. During the 1960s and 1970s, the brand built a reputation as a producer of exclusive GTs with names like the Mexico, Ghibli, Indy, Bora, Merak, Khamsin, Kyalami and Quattroporte, all fast travel cars that were manufactured in small numbers. In 1968 Citroën took over Maserati, which led to the cars in which Citroën’s hydraulic engineering could be found.
In the mid-1970s, the factory was on the verge of collapse when Citroen wanted to pull the plug on the loss-making business. De Tomaso took over the business in 1975 for a symbolic amount. He decided that the only way to survive was to develop a car that was accessible to a wider audience. Thus, in 1982, the Biturbo was presented, which hit like a bomb.
By equipping a relatively small engine with two turbochargers, a very fast car was presented that could easily compete against the BMW 323i , the main competitor.
After that, the model has been further improved. The last incarnation of the biturbo was the Ghibli II. After that, the factory was placed under Ferrari management and the company was completely reorganized and rebuilt. The first model under the new regime was the 3200 GT, which still had an 8-cylinder biturbo engine.
Then they switched to conventional engines without turbos, which can be found in the current models. Maserati has recently been added to Alfa Romeo within the Fiat group, so it has been removed again under Ferrari.
In 2015, 31,500 vehicles of the brand were sold. About 40% of sales take place in the United States and the second market is the People’s Republic of China, where just over a fifth of sales were made.
At the 2004 Geneva Motor Show, a new Maserati car could be admired: a super sports car, the MC12 , built for the FIA GT Championship, based on the Ferrari Enzo. The MC12 is road legal and a total of 50 units have been built.
In 2016, Maserati launched two sports utility vehicles. The Levante has an entry-level model based on Ghibli technology and is equipped with a 3-liter V6 diesel engine with 275 hp. The S version is a more luxurious version with a 430 hp V6 petrol engine.
Maserati’s model history includes the following cars:
Tipo 26 ( 1926 )
Tipo 8CTF ( 1938 )
Tipo 4CL ( 1939 )
Tipo 8CL ( 1940 )
Tipo A6 ( 1946 )
Tipo A6G ( 1951 )
Tipo A6G54 ( 1954 )
300S ( 1955 )
150S ( 1955 )
250 F ( 1957 )
3500 GT Touring ( 1957 – 1965 )
5000 GT ( 1959 – 1964 )
Tipo 61 “Birdcage” ( 1959 – 1961 )
Sebring ( 1961 – 1969 )
151 ( 1962 )
Quattroporte ( 1963 )
Mistral ( 1963 – 1970 )
Ghibli ( 1966 )
Mexico 4200 ( 1966 – 1972 )
Motor Tipo 9 / F1 ( 1966 )
Indy ( 1969 )
Bora ( 1971 )
Khamsin ( 1972 )
Merak ( 1975 – 1983 )
Kyalami ( 1978 )
228 ( 1986 – 1992 )
222 ( 1988 )
2.24v ( 1988 – 1991 )
Karif ( 1988 – 1993 )
222 E ( 1988 – 1993 )
222 SE ( 1990 – 1993 )
4.24v ( 1990 – 1991 )
Racing ( 1990 – 1991 )
Ghibli II ( 1990 – 1996 )
Shamal ( 1990 – 1996 )
Quattroporte IV ( 1992 – 1996 )
3200 GT ( 1998 – 2001 )
4200 GT ( 2001 – 2007 )
Quattroporte V ( 2003 – 2012 )
Quattroporte VI ( 2013 -)
Ghibli III ( 2013 -)
Levante ( 2016 -)
Maserati 48IL Rospo from 1958
Maserati also produced motorcycles for several years (from 1953 to 1961 ), under the company name Fabbrica Candele Accumulatori Maserati SpA, Modena.
At least one of the Maserati brothers had dealt with motorcycles in his youth. Carolo Maserati had developed the auxiliary engine for the Carcano and also competed with Carcano motorcycles.
Maserati produced motorcycles from 49 to 248 cc with its own two-stroke and overhead valve engines . Also included were 246 cc twin cylinders. In 1952 , the Orsi family , owner of Maserati, bought the Italmoto engine factory in Bologna. This company was moved to Modena.