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Maserati Khamsin

Maserati Khamsin
1973 Maserati Khamsin
Overview
Manufacturer Maserati
Production 1974–1982
Designer Marcello Gandini at Bertone[1]
Body and chassis
Class Grand tourer
Body style 2+2 coupé
Layout Front mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Powertrain
Engine 4.9 L V8 (petrol)
Transmission 5-speed ZF 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)
Kerb weight 1,500 kg (3,300 lb)
Chronology
Predecessor Maserati Ghibli
Successor Maserati Shamal

The Maserati Khamsin (Tipo AM120) is a grand tourer produced by Maserati between 1974 and 1982. The Khamsin had no direct successor, with Maserati not making another V8 grand tourer until the 1990 launch of the Shamal. Following Maserati's tradition it was named after a wind: the Khamsin, a hot, violent gust blowing in the Egyptian desert for fifty days a year.[2]

Contents

  • History 1
  • Design 2
  • Specifications 3
  • US-market version 4
  • Variants and Legacy 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

History

Front view of a Khamsin, showing the three slots added in 1977.

The Khamsin was introduced on the Bertone stand at the November 1972 Turin Auto Show.[3][4] Designed by Marcello Gandini, it was Bertone's first work for Maserati. In March 1973 the production model was shown at the Paris Motor Show. Regular production of the vehicle started only a year later, in 1974.[1] The Khamsin was developed under the Citroën ownership for the clientele that demanded a front-engined grand tourer on the lines of the previous Ghibli, more conventional than the mid-engined Bora. In 1977 a mild facelift added three horizontal slots on the Khamsin's nose to aid cooling. Inside it brought a restyled dashboard and a new padded steering wheel. One Khamsin was delivered to Luciano Benetton in 1981. Despite the many improvements over its predecessor, the Khamsin didn't replicate its success; partly due to the concurrent fuel crisis that decreased demand for big V8 grand tourers. Production ended in 1982, with 435 vehicles made[2] (a mere third of the Ghibli's 1274 examples production run) - 155 of whose had been exported to the United States.[1]

Design

The Khamsin's body is prominently wedge-shaped, with a fastback roofline and kammback rear end. The tail is characterized by a full-width glass rear panel, carrying inset "floating" tail lights.

Rear view of a 1975 Maserati Khamsin.

Combined with the wide, almost all-glass rear

  • Maserati Khamsin Registry
  • Maserati Khamsin photo gallery

External links

  1. ^ a b c "The Khamsin". maserati-alfieri.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2007. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Maserati Khamsin". Maserati official site - About us: Heritage. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Salone, soffio di “vento caldo”".  
  4. ^ "Maserati Khamsin". carsfromitaly.net. Retrieved 10 August 2007. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Maserati Khamsin" (PDF).  
  6. ^ a b "Maserati Khamsin!" (PDF).  
  7. ^ "Jay Leno's Garage: 1975 Maserati Khamsin". youtube.com. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  8. ^ http://www.maserati-alfieri.co.uk/alfieri06wwwww.htm
  9. ^ http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/maserati-khamsin-spyder-4866601-details.aspx?intObjectID=4866601
  10. ^ http://www.artcurial.com/en/asp/fullcatalogue.asp?salelot=2651+++++143+&refno=10516864&image=2

References

Recent Khamsin sales reflect the car's rarity, including the 2015 auction of a non-running, low milage car, sold for EUR €162,400 (USD $175,411) at Artcurial.[10]

One Khamsin (chassis 1030) was professionally converted to a Spyder (Convertible), by the US Maserati distributor. [8] This vehicle sold at auction for EUR 76,375 (USD $100,445) in 2007. [9]

Variants and Legacy

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.[5][7]

The federalized Khamsin went on sale in 1975. These models required fitting a solid version of the glass tail panel. The tail lights had to be moved downward, to the rear bumpers' former location; the new, protruding bumper was mounted below the tail lights. This new configuration of components left the exhaust tips unable to clear the bumper, a problem resolved flipping the exhaust resonators upside down. The front bumper was also replaced by a bigger one. Square side markers found their way on the front and rear wings. The engine had to be revised too, gaining smog control equipment (air injection, thermal reactors in the exhaust manifolds, different carburettors and leaner fuel mixture) and losing 5 hp.[5][6]

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 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 glass 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.

US-spec Maserati Khamsin

US-market version

Having been developed under the Citroën ownership, the Khamsin made large use of its high-pressure hydraulic systems. The power steering used the Citroën SM's DIRAVI speed-sensitive variable assistance, which made steering lighter for easier parking and decreased its intervention with speed. The all-around vented disc brakes and the clutch command were both hydraulically actuated and assisted. The adjustable seats and the pop-up headlights were also hydraulically actuated. An adjustable steering column (an innovative feature at the time), air conditioning, electric windows, a radio and full leather upholstery were standard. Maserati claimed a 270 km/h (170 mph) top speed for the European-specification model.[2]

The automatic transmission was also available on request. Khamsins rode on 215/70 Michelin XWX tyres on 7½J 15" Campagnolo alloy wheels.[2][6]

Khamsin's engine bay. The green components are part of the hydraulic system.

The Khamsin used an all-steel monocoque construction, with a rear Silentbloc-bushing insulated tubular subframe supporting the rear suspension and differential. Suspension was double wishbones all around - a major improvement over the Ghibli's leaf-sprung solid axle - with coaxial springs and shock absorbers (single upfront, double at the rear) and anti-roll bars.[2]

Specifications

and a clock. voltmeter, water temperature, oil temperature, oil pressure, tachometer, speedometer The complete instrumentation included gauges for [5]

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