07 Maserati Biturbo cMaserati went through a challenging period in the 1980s and 90s. There were fuel crises and recessions and powerful car safety advocates, there were emission laws and noise laws and compulsory corporate average fuel economy figures, there were class actions and consumer actions and speed cameras everywhere. And all through these difficulties lesser brands, like BMW and even the upstart Honda, were building exotic models that tapped on the door of the supercar league and threated the throne occupied by the Italian triumvirate of Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini.

But unlike its two premium Italian siblings, Maserati seemed to assume that the glory days of supercars, like its stirringly named Meraks, Ghiblis, Mistrals, Sebrings, Indys, Kyalamis, Khamsins and Boras were gone, and it unveiled a two-litre V6 with twin turbochargers to take their place. Showing exceptional creativity it christened the new model the Biturbo.

As two-litre V6s went in those days it wasn’t a bad car, its challenge was that in a darkened carpark, and often in a well-lit one, it looked just like an XD Falcon. Which is part of the reason the Biturbo is, in Australia anyway, rarely encountered. But unlike other rare Maseratis its resale value is well to the south of encouraging. Shannons auctioned a 1988 Biturbo Spyder (with a 2.8-litre V6 engine) last year. The Spyder was just about the most expensive Biturbo model Maserati made, but this one fetched just $8000. There are MGBs older than this that bring in more. And probably a few XDs.

07 Maserati Biturbo bI visited Maserati after the Biturbo had passed into history and couldn’t help noticing in the management ranks a host of serious young men in suits clutching their MBAs. These were not car guys, there was a distinct lack of passion in the place. I was there for the unveiling of a new two-door model called, spare me, the GT.

I think things are finally starting to improve now. The company’s original attitude seems to be returning slowly, especially since it started using V8s again (built a few kilometres down the road at the Ferrari factory). Speaking on behalf of all true believers I hope there’s never another Biturbo.

Posted February 2020.

 

 

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