Does the picture give it away? This is the car my five-year-old daughter called “Muh-zetti” when we had the privilege of taking a coupe for a test drive. Yes, Mystery Car #62 is none other than the Maserati BITURBO Spyder. Let me just say that the car we test drove had the nicest interior of any 1980’s era car I have ever driven.
The Maserati Biturbo is a sports car introduced by Maserati in 1981. The Biturbo was … of somewhat smaller dimensions than the BMW 3 Series of the time … featuring, as the name implies, a two-litre V-6 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.
Export versions came initially with a 2.5L V6, after 1989 it was enlarged to 2.8 Litres, while for Italy a two-litre high-performance version was originally produced (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 2.0L Merak engine. Itself based on earlier V8 Formula One Maserati engines, designed by Giulio Alfieri (1924-2002). The carbureted 2.5L 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 hp (186 kW) for Europe.