The Mercury Turnpike Cruiser is a full-size automobile that was the flagship model of the Mercury division of Ford Motor Company for the 1957 and 1958 model years. Named after the 1956 creation of the Interstate Highway System, the Turnpike Cruiser was produced in two-door and four-door hardtop bodystyles. In 1957, a two-door convertible was also produced, serving as the pace car for the Indianapolis 500 of that year.
They are best known for the unique styling cues and wide array of gadgets including a “Breezeway” power rear window that could be lowered to improve ventilation, “twin jet” air intakes at upper corners of car’s windshield, “seat-o-matic” automatically adjusting seat, and an average speed “computer” (that would tell your average speed at any point along a trip).
rear view showing “Breezeway” window
For 1957, the Turnpike Cruiser was the premium model offering from Mercury. In addition to its unique features, the car was further differentiated from other Mercury models by a gold anodized trim strip in the car’s rear fin. It came standard with an automatic transmission and a 368-c.i.d. engine producing 290 horsepower (220 kW); this engine was optional on other Mercurys. A tachometer was available. Safety features such as an impact absorbing, deep-dish steering wheel, front seat stops (to keep the front seat from breaking away) and safety door locks were standard, while seat belts and a padded dash were optional.
The Turnpike Cruiser would comprise 8.47% of Mercury sales in 1957. Motor Trend gave high marks for fuel economy (14.6mpg at 60mph) and comfort, low for handling.
1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser convertible
1957 Convertible Cruiser with “Continental Kit” spare tire
Later in the model year an open car named Convertible Cruiser was added to this series. From the beginning it was created only to be used as the official pace car of the 1957 Indianapolis 500. On January 7, 1957, it was announced that the Convertible Cruiser would be available as a production model as well. All Convertible cruisers had a continental tire kit and were painted yellow (Sun Glitter), similar to the original pace cars.
In 1958 the Turnpike Cruiser joined the mid-range Mercury Montclair line with only minor trim changes to the car from the previous year, but the convertible version was not offered this year. A further upgrade of luxury equipment and appearance of the Turnpike Cruiser became the Mercury Park Lane which replaced it entirely for 1959.
Standard engine became the 383-c.i.d. “Marauder” V8 engine, with the 430-c.i.d., 360 horsepower (270 kW) version available as an option. A triple-carburetor”Super Marauder” 400 horsepower (300 kW) version was available across the Mercury line. Self-adjusting brakes were added.
From 1963 to 1966 Mercury revived the most distinctive feature of the Turnpike Cruiser, returning a retractable “Breezeway” rear window, on its full-size Monterey, Montclair and Park Lane model ranges.
Subaru cars are known for the use of a boxer engine layout in most vehicles above 1500 cc. Most Subaru models have used the Symmetrical All Wheel Drive drive-train layout since 1972. The flat/boxer engine and all-wheel-drive became standard equipment for mid-size and smaller cars in most international markets by 1996, and is now standard in most North American market Subaru vehicles. The lone exception is the BRZ, introduced in 2012, which uses the boxer engine but instead uses a rear-wheel-drive structure. Subaru also offers turbocharged versions of their passenger cars, such as the Impreza WRX and the Legacy 2.5GT. The 2.0XT trims of the Outback and Forester also include a turbocharged engine.
In Western markets, the Subaru brand has traditionally been popular among a dedicated core of buyers. Marketing is targeted towards specific niches centered on those who desire the company’s signature drive train engine, all-wheel/rough-road capabilities or affordable sports car markets.
Subaru is the Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster M45, or “The Seven Sisters” (one of whom tradition says is invisible – hence only six stars in the Subaru logo), which in turn inspires the logo and alludes to the companies that merged to create FHI.
Former logo on a Subaru 360 showing six stars in an arrangement similar to the Pleiades open star cluster
Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) and Subaru’s first cars
Fuji Heavy Industries started out as The Aircraft Research Laboratory in 1915, headed by Chikuhei Nakajima. In 1932, the company was reorganized as Nakajima Aircraft Company, Ltd and soon became a major manufacturer of aircraft for Japan during World War II. At the end of the Second World War Nakajima Aircraft was again reorganized, this time as Fuji Sangyo Co, Ltd. In 1946, the company created the
Fuji Rabbitmotor scooter with spare aircraft parts from the war. In 1950, Fuji Sangyo was divided into 12 smaller corporations according to the Japanese Government’s 1950 Corporate Credit Rearrangement Act, anti-zaibatsu legislation. Between 1953 and 1955, four of these corporations and a newly formed corporation decided to merge to form Fuji Heavy Industries. These companies were: Fuji Kogyo, a scooter manufacturer; coachbuildersFuji Jidosha; engine manufacturers Omiya Fuji Kogyo; chassis builders Utsunomiya Sharyo and the Tokyo Fuji Dangyotrading company.
1955 Subaru 1500, a.k.a. the P-1
Kenji Kita, CEO of Fuji Heavy Industries at the time, wanted the new company to be involved in car manufacturing and soon began plans for building a car with the development code-name P-1. Mr. Kita canvassed the company for suggestions about naming the P1, but none of the proposals was appealing enough. In the end he gave the company a Japanese name that he had “been cherishing in his heart”: Subaru, which is the name of the Pleiades star cluster in Japanese. The first Subaru car was named the Subaru 1500. Only twenty were manufactured owing to multiple supply issues. Subsequently, the company designed and manufactured dozens of vehicles including the 1500 (1954), the tiny air-cooled 360 (1958), the Sambar (1961), and the 1000 (which saw the introduction of the Subaru boxer engine in 1965).
1958 Subaru 360
Nissan acquired a 20.4% stake in Fuji Heavy Industries, Subaru’s parent company, in 1968 during a period of government-ordered merging of the Japanese auto industry in order to improve competitiveness under the administration of Prime MinisterEisaku Sato. Nissan would utilize FHI’s bus manufacturing capability and expertise for their Nissan Diesel line of buses. In turn many Subaru vehicles, even today, use parts from the Nissan manufacturing keiretsu. The Subaru automatic transmission, known as the 4EAT, is also used in the first generation Nissan Pathfinder. While under this arrangement with Nissan, Subaru introduced the R-2 (1969), the Rex and the Leone (1971), the BRAT (1978), Alcyone (1985), the Legacy (1989), the Impreza (1993) (and its WRX subtype), and the Forester (1997).
Upon Nissan’s acquisition by Renault, its stake in FHI was sold to General Motors in 1999. Troy Clarke, of General Motors served as representative to Fuji Heavy Industries on their corporate board. During that time, Subaru introduced the Baja (2003), and the Tribeca (2005). The Subaru Forester was sold as a Chevrolet Forester in India in exchange for the Opel Zafira being sold as a Subaru Traviq in Japan. Also, the Chevrolet Borrego concept was presented in 2002, a crossover coupe/pickup truck being derived from the Japanese-market Legacy Turbo platform. During the brief General Motors period, a “badge engineered” Impreza was sold in the United States as the Saab 9-2X. An SUV (Subaru Tribeca / Saab 9-6X) was also planned but the Saab version did not proceed, and styling was recycled in the 2008 Tribeca refresh.
GM liquidated their holdings in FHI in 2005. Nearly all Saab-Subaru joint projects were dropped at that time, other than Subaru supplying parts for the Saab 9-2x.Toyota Motors bought a little over 40% of GM’s former FHI stock, amounting to 8.7% of FHI. (The rest of GM’s shares went to a Fuji stock buy-back program.) Toyota and Subaru have since collaborated on a number of projects, among them building the Toyota Camry in Subaru’s Indiana U.S. plant beginning in April 2007. Subaru introduced the Exiga in 2008.
Toyota increased their share of FHI to 16.5% in July 2008. Subsequently, Toyota and Subaru jointly developed the Toyota 86, first sold in January 2012 as the Subaru BRZ and by Toyota under various names.
Some of the advertising slogans Subaru has used in the past include “Inexpensive, and built to stay that way” (USA 1970s – early 1980s), “The World’s Favourite Four Wheel Drive” (in the UK), “Plus on y pense, plus on a le gout de la conduire” (Literally: “The more one thinks, the more one has the taste (or desire, impulse, drive) of driving it”) in French Quebec, “We built our reputation by building a better car”, “What to Drive”, “The Beauty of All-Wheel Drive”, “Driven by What’s Inside”, “Think, Feel, Drive”, “Love. It’s what makes Subaru, a Subaru” (USA early 2010s) and currently “Confidence in Motion” in North America, “All 4 The Driver” in Australia, and “Uncommon Engineering, Uncommon Stability, Uncommon Roadholding, Uncommon Sense” in the UK and “Technology that gives you Confidence in Motion” in Southeast Asia.
As a result of this refocused advertising campaign, Subaru products began to attract a following among the young and educated, who saw the car as a practical alternative to the SUV craze. Subaru has historically been popular in the Northeastern United States as well as the Pacific Northwest. According to Automotive Lease Guide, Subaru ranked second place in vehicles that have the highest overall predicted resale values among all industry and all luxury vehicles for MY 2009. The awards are derived after carefully studying segment competition, historical vehicle performance and industry trends. According to a study done by J.D. Power and Associates for the 2008 Customer Retention Study, Subaru ranked at 50.5%, which was above the national average of 48%.
Subaru launched an animation series Hōkago no Pleiades (放課後のプレアデス?, Hōkago no Pureadesu, lit. ‘After School Pleiades’) developed jointly with Gainax. The 4-part mini episode series was released on YouTube on February 1, 2011. It featured a magical girl plot with Subaru as a leading protagonist.
Subaru’s corporate headquarters are located in Ebisu, Tokyo.
Subaru is distinct from many of its Japanese competitors in that as of early 2016 it still made almost 75% of its cars sold internationally in Japan. Subaru’s facilities designated to automotive manufacturing are located in Ōta, Gunma Prefecture, consisting of four locations. Subaru-chō is where the Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 is built, having been re-purposed from kei car production, Yajima Plant is where all current Subaru cars are built, Otakita Plant is where commercial kei trucks are built (originally a factory location of Nakajima Aircraft Company), and Oizumi Plant is where engines and transmissions are built.
Subaru’s only overseas manufacturing facility is located in Lafayette, Indiana; the factory is called Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc.. Due to continued sales growth in North American markets, vehicle production capacity at the Lafayette assembly plant is set to expand to 390,000 vehicles annually. Under the current strategic plan, Subaru will have a total production capacity of 1,026,000 vehicles per year at the end of 2016.
Subaru in Canada
Subaru Canada, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries of Japan. Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of 88 authorized dealers throughout Canada.In 1976, Canadians got their first exposure to Subaru vehicles when Subaru Auto Canada Limited (SACL) began offering the Subaru Leone. In 1989, the privately owned SACL was purchased by the Toronto-based Subaru Canada, Inc. who, under the guidance of parent company Fuji Heavy Industries, began an expansion process that would eventually see over 100 Subaru Dealers in operation across the country.
Motor Image Pilipinas, Inc., part of Motor Image Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Tan Chong International Limited under businessman Glenn Tan, the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of six dealerships in the Philippines.
Subaru in the United Kingdom
In 1974 Robert Edmiston was finance director at sports car manufacturer Jensen Motors. When the company went bankrupt, he used a £6,000 redundancy payout to set up International Motors, which acquired the UK franchise for Subaru and Isuzu. The Coleshill based company is still the parent for Subaru in the UK.
Subaru of America was established in 1968 in Philadelphia by Malcolm Bricklin and Harvey Lamm. It relocated to Pennsauken, New Jersey shortly thereafter and moved to its current headquarters in Cherry Hill, New Jersey when Fuji Heavy Industries acquired full ownership. Subaru of America operates regional offices, zone offices and parts distribution centers throughout the United States. Subaru of America also operates port facilities on both the West and East coasts.
Subaru Rally Team Japan led by Noriyuki Koseki (founder of Subaru Tecnica International, STI) ran Subaru Leone coupé, sedan DL, RX(SRX) and RX Turbo in the World Rally Championship between 1980 and 1989. Drivers for individual rallies included Ari Vatanen, Per Eklund, Shekhar Mehta, Mike Kirkland, Possum Bourne and Harald Demut. Mike Kirkland finished 6th overall and won the A Group at the 1986 Safari Rally. That year Subaru was one of the only manufacturers combining 4WD and turbo after Audi‘s successful quattro system had been introduced in 1980, but Audi withdrew from the WRC after safety concerns and Ford’s serious accident early in the 1986 season. Subaru changed the rally model to Legacy RS for the 1990–1992 period and took part in the first complete season in the World Rally Championship with the same model in 1993.
Subaru was briefly involved in Formula One circuit racing when it bought a controlling interest in the tiny Italian Coloni team for the 1990 season. The Coloni 3B’s 12-cylinder engine was badged as a Subaru and shared the boxer layout with the company’s own engines, but was an existing design built by Italian firm Motori Moderni. The cars were overweight and underpowered and the partnership broke down before the season finished. With the rise of rally racing and the Import scene in the US, the introduction of the highly anticipated Subaru Impreza WRX in 2001 was successful in bringing high-performance AWD compact cars into the sports car mainstream. Subaru supplies a factory-backed team, Subaru Rally Team USA for Rally America and has won the driver’s title six times, most recently in 2011 with David Higgins.Grassroots Motorsports awarded Subaru with the Editors’ Choice Award in 2002.
On 16 December 2008, it was announced that Subaru would no longer be competing in the World Rally Championships. The decision was made by Subaru’s parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), partly as a result of the economic downturn but also because it was felt Subaru had achieved its sporting and marketing objectives. Mr Ikuo Mori denied that alterations to the WRC technical regulations in 2010 or a rumoured deterioration in the working relationship with Prodrive had any impact on the decision. He also said that the possibility of a Subaru car back in the top category of WRC in the future is not zero, but for this moment there can be no assumption of a comeback.
Since 2005, Cusco Racing have entered an Impreza sedan and a BRZ in the Super GT championship. In 2008, the Impreza was the first 4-door and first 4WD vehicle to win a race.
Starting in 2006, Subaru of America (SOA), as the official distributor of Subaru vehicles in the United States participates in the Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) with a Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Spec-B in the Grand-Am Street Tuner class. In 2010, SRRT campaigns a Subaru Impreza WRX STI in the Grand Sport class. In 2011, SRRT switched from the hatchback to a 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI sedan.
The Subaru engine was rated at 110 kW (150 PS; 148 hp) and 350 N·m (260 ft·lbf) with a displacement of 2.0 litres. In March 2008 Subaru offered the Legacy sedan and wagon and the Outback wagon with 2.0 litre turbodiesel in the EU with a 5-speed manual transmission.
In September 2008 Subaru announced that the diesel Forester and diesel Impreza will be introduced at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, with Forester sales to begin October 2008 and diesel Impreza sales to start January 2009. The Forester and Impreza will have a 6-speed manual transmission, whereas the Legacy and Outback have 5-speed manual transmissions.
In June 2006, Fuji Heavy Industries, Inc. (FHI) launched its
Subaru StellaPlug-in electric vehicle which is a kei car equipped with a lithium-ion battery pack. The vehicle has a short range of 56 miles (90 km) but it actually costs more than the Mitsubishi iMiEV, at ¥4,380,000 (US$44,860), including Japanese Government consumption taxes with an exemption of $2,240. It will also qualify for a rebate from the Japanese Government of up to $14,200, bringing the price down to $30,660. The vehicle is much like the i-MiEV, with a 47-kilowatt motor and a quick-charge capability, but the two-door mini-car has a boxy shape. FHI plans to start delivery in late July and plans to sell 170 vehicles by March 2010.
In Japan, Subaru is currently testing two electric vehicles called the Subaru G4e and the Subaru R1e.
The Subaru Hybrid Tourer Concept is a four-seat vehicle with gull-wing doors that combines a 2-liter turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engine with a continuously variable transmission and two axle-mounted motors. A lithium-ion battery pack provides energy storage for the vehicle.
Since the 2005 model year, Subaru has adopted the CAN bus technology for the USA and Canada markets. Starting in the 2007 model year, all Subaru vehicles use the CAN technology. Typically, two CAN-buses are used on vehicles: a high-speed CAN running at 500 kbit/s for powertrain communication, and a low-speed CAN running at 125 kbit/s for body control functions and instrument panels. A body-integrated unit (BIU) is used between these two networks.
Clarion and Harman Kardon are among the audio, video, and navigation technology suppliers for Subaru products in North America. Clarion announced in 2015 that it was introducing its “Smart Access” platform, formerly only offered on Clarion’s aftermarket products, to the units to be installed in certain Subaru 2015 models in North America. Smart Access is able to work with the driver’s smartphone (either iPhone or Android) and allows access to various car-safe apps running on the phone via the car’s built-in infotainment screen. Subaru and Clarion have also, with Liberty Mutual Insurance, introduced the “RightTrack” in-vehicle app which will be able to monitor the driver’s habits, make suggestions for safer driving, and possibly offer insurance discounts.
2009 USA-spec Subaru Legacy PZEV
Subaru claims to have implemented advanced policies which include recycling, reducing harmful emissions, and educating their employees. Their efforts have helped them in their environmental initiatives. The Subaru plant in Lafayette, Indiana (SIA) was the first auto assembly plant to achieve zero landfill status; nothing from the manufacturing process goes into a landfill. The company has developed a recycling plan for the “end-of-life” of their cars. Most of their modern products use highly recyclable materials throughout the vehicle, in the engine, transmission, suspension and elsewhere in each vehicle leaving Subaru with a 97.3% recycling ratio rate for their end-of-life vehicles.
An excerpt from the Subaru website stated “In 2006, SIA was awarded the United States Environmental Protection Agency´s Gold Achievement Award as a top achiever in the agency’s WasteWise program to reduce waste and improve recycling.” The website also stated that “It also became the first U.S. automotive assembly plant to be designated a wildlife habitat.”
Subaru currently offers a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) certified Legacy, Outback, Impreza, XV/Crosstrek and Forester models which are available for sale anywhere in the U.S. Subaru PZEV vehicles meet California’s Super-Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle exhaust emission standard. All other models have been certified LEV2.
Subaru has partnered with various manufacturers over time – here are some of the models are sold in Asia and Europe. In Japan they are in the Kei car class with either front or all wheel drive and a straight engine. An article posted by Autoblog on April 16, 2008 stated that due to a corporate investment by Toyota, all Kei cars built by Subaru will be replaced by Daihatsu models beginning in 2010.
Maserati (Italian pronunciation: [mazeˈraːti]) is an Italianluxury vehicle manufacturer established on 1 December 1914, in Bologna. The Maserati tagline is “Luxury, sports and style cast in exclusive cars”, and the brand’s mission statement is to “Build ultra-luxury performance automobiles with timeless Italian style, accommodating bespoke interiors, and effortless, signature sounding power”.
The company’s headquarters are now in Modena, and its emblem is a trident. It has been owned by the Italian-American car giant Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and FCA’s Italian predecessor Fiat S.p.A. since 1993. Maserati was initially associated with Ferrari S.p.A., which was also owned by FCA until being spun off in 2015, but more recently it has become part of the sports car group including Alfa Romeo and Abarth (see section below). In May 2014, due to ambitious plans and product launches, Maserati sold a record of over 3,000 cars. This caused them to increase production of the Quattroporte and Ghibli models. In addition to the Ghibli and Quattroporte, Maserati offers the Maserati GranTurismo, the GranTurismo Convertible, and has confirmed that it will be offering the Maserati Levante, the first Maserati SUV, in 2016, and the Maserati Alfieri, a new 2+2 in 2016. Maserati is placing a production output cap at 75,000 vehicles globally.
The Maserati brothers, Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, and Ernesto were all involved with automobiles from the beginning of the 20th century. Alfieri, Bindo and Ernesto built 2-litre Grand Prix cars for Diatto. In 1926, Diatto suspended the production of race cars, leading to the creation of the first Maserati and the founding of the Maserati marque. One of the first Maseratis, driven by Alfieri, won the 1926 Targa Florio. Maserati began making race cars with 4, 6, 8 and 16 cylinders (two straight-eights mounted parallel to one another).1921 Diatto 20 DA Torpedo
The trident logo of the Maserati car company is based on the Fountain of Neptune in Bologna‘s Piazza Maggiore. In 1920, one of the Maserati brothers, artist Mario, used this symbol in the logo at the suggestion of family friend Marquis Diego de Sterlich. It was considered particularly appropriate for the sports car company due to fact that Neptune represents strength and vigour; additionally the statue is a characteristic symbol of the company’s original home city.
Alfieri Maserati died in 1932, but three other brothers, Bindo, Ernesto and Ettore, kept the firm going, building cars that won races.
In 1937, the remaining Maserati brothers sold their shares in the company to the Adolfo Orsi family, who in 1940, relocated the company headquarters to their home town of Modena, where it remains to this day. The brothers continued in engineering roles with the company. Racing successes continued, even against the giants of German racing, Auto Union and Mercedes. In back-to-back wins in 1939 and 1940, a1938 Maserati 8CTF won the Indianapolis 500, the only Italian manufacturer ever to do so.
The war then intervened, Maserati abandoned car making to produce components for the Italian war effort. During this time, Maserati worked in fierce competition to construct a V16 town car for Benito Mussolini before Ferry Porsche of Volkswagen built one for Adolf Hitler. This failed, and the plans were scrapped. Once peace was restored, Maserati returned to making cars; theMaserati A6 series did well in the post-war racing scene.
Key people joined the Maserati team. Alberto Massimino, an old Fiat engineer, with both Alfa Romeo and Ferrari experiences oversaw the design of all racing models for the next ten years. With him joined engineers Giulio Alfieri, Vittorio Bellentani, and Gioacchino Colombo. The focus was on the best engines and chassis to succeed in car racing. These new projects saw the last contributions of the Maserati brothers, who after their 10-year contract with Orsi expired went on to form O.S.C.A.. This new team at Maserati worked on several projects: the
the A6 series, the1950 8CLT, and, pivotally for the future success of the company,
Maserati retired from factory racing participation because of the Guidizzolo tragedy during the 1957 Mille Miglia, though they continued to build cars for privateers. Maserati became more and more focused on building road-going grand tourers.
The 1957 Maserati 3500 GT marked a turning point in the marque’s history, as its first ground-up grand tourer design and first series produced car. Production jumped from a dozen to a few hundreds cars a year. Chief engineer Giulio Alfieri took care of the project, and turned the 3.5 L inline-six engine from the 350S into a road engine. First launched with a 2+2 coupé aluminium body over Carrozzeria Touring‘s superleggera structure, a steel-bodied short wheelbase Vignale 3500 GT Convertibile open top version followed in 1960. The 3500 GT’s success, with over 2200 made, was critical to Maserati’s survival in the years that followed the withdrawal from racing.
The 3500 GT also provided the underpinnings for the
small-volume V8-engined 5000 GT, another seminal car for Maserati. Born from the Shah of Persia‘s whim of owning a road car powered by the Maserati 450S racing engine, it became one of the fastest and most expensive cars of its days. From the third to the thirty-fourth and last example produced it housed Maserati’s first ever road-going V8 engine design.
In 1962, the 3500 GT was evolved into the Sebring, bodied by Vignale and based on the Convertibile short chassis. Next, camethe two-seater Mistral coupé in 19631964 Maserati Mistral Spyder and Spider in 1964, both six-cylinder powered and designed by Pietro Frua.
Also in 1963, the company’s first saloon car arrived,the Maserati Quattroporte, designed by Frua as well. If the 5000 GT inaugurated the marque’s first road-going V8, the Quattroporte’s Tipo 107 4.2-litre DOHC V8 was the forefather of all Maserati V8s up to 1990.
The Ghia-designed Ghibli coupé was launched in 1967. It was powered by a 4.7L, dry sump version of Maserati’s quad cam V8. The Ghibli Spyder and 4.9-litre Ghibli SS followed.
In 1968, Maserati was taken over by French car manufacturer Citroën. Adolfo Orsi remained the nominal president, but Maserati changed a great deal. The relationship with Citroën started as a joint venture, made public in January 1968, in which Maserati would design and manufacture an engine for an upcoming Citroën flagship car, the Citroën SM. Launched in 1970, the SM was a four-seater front-wheel-drive coupé, powered by a Maserati Tipo C114 2.7 L 90° V6 engine. The V6 Maserati engine and its associated gearbox have been used in other vehicles such as Special Rally prepared Citroën DS, as used by Bob Neyret in Bandama Rally, and in the Ligier JS 2.
With secure financial backing, new models were launched, and built in much greater numbers than before. Citroën borrowed Maserati expertise and engines for the Citroën SM and other vehicles, and Maseratis also incorporated Citroën technology, particularly in hydraulics. Engineer Giulio Alfieri was key to many of the ambitious designs of this period.
The first new arrival was the 1969 Maserati Indy—a Vignale-designed four seater GT with a traditional V8 drivetrain, which was produced in over 1100 units.
In 1971, the Maserati Bora, was the first series production mid-engined Maserati, an idea agreed with Maserati administrator Guy Malleret shortly after the 1968 takeover. The Bora ended Maserati’s reputation for producing fast, but technologically out of date cars, being the first Maserati with four wheel independent suspension. In contrast, competitor Lamborghini had independent suspension in 1964.
In 1972, fitting a Tipo 114 SM-derived V6 enlarged to 3.0-litre into the Bora produced theMaserati Merak.
To power this large car, Alfieri developed a V8 engine from the SM V6 with 260 PS (190 kW; 260 bhp) and fitted it to a lightly modified SM, proving that the chassis could easily handle the power increase. Citroën’s and Maserati’s financial difficulties hampered the type homologation process; the development costs for the stillborn saloon further aggravated Maserati’s situation. Only a dozen Quattroporte IIs were ever produced, all with the V6.
a front-engined grand tourer that introduced in 1972 and produced from 1974; it married the traditional Maserati V8 GT layout with modern independent suspension, unibody construction and refined Citroën technologies such as DIRAVI power steering.
Meanwhile, the 1973 oil crisis put the brakes on this ambitious expansion; demand for fuel-hungry sports cars shrank drastically. Austerity measures in Italy meant that the domestic market contracted by 60-70%. All of the main Italian GT car manufacturers were damaged, having to lay off workers in order to empty lots of unsold cars. Maserati received the hardest blow, as its home market sales accounted for over half of the total—in contrast, for example, with Ferrari‘s 20%. In this situation, the only Maserati that continued to sell in appreciable numbers was the smaller engined Merak.
In 1974, the 1973–75 recession at its climax, things took a turn for the worse. Citroën went bankrupt and its incorporation into PSA Peugeot Citroën begun. The year closed with domestic sales tumbling from 1973’s 360 to 150 units, and losses exceeding the share capital.
On 22 May 1975, a press release from the Citroën management announced all of a sudden that Maserati had been put into liquidation. The workforce immediately picketed the factory, but production was not halted. Trade unions, the mayor of Modena and local politicians mobilised to save the 800 jobs; industry ministerCarlo Donat-Cattin even flew to Paris to meet Citroën chairman Francois Rollier. An agreement was reached in June, after several meetings and assemblies. During one of these meetings, Citroën liquidators disclosed that a possible Italian buyer had showed up, and the name of de Tomaso was put forth for the first time. Citroën accepted to suspend liquidation as requested by the Italian government, which on its part guaranteed six months of special redundancy fund to pay the salaries.
De Tomaso era
On 8 August 1975, an agreement was signed at the Ministry of Industry in Rome, and property of Maserati passed from Citroën to Italian state-owned holding companyGEPI and Alejandro de Tomaso, an Argentinianindustrialist and former racing driver, who became president and CEO. As of December 1979, GEPI’s quota amounted to 88.75% of Maserati, the remaining 11.25% being controlled by De Tomaso through an holding which grouped his automotive interests in Maserati and Innocenti. Beginning in 1976, new models were introduced, sharing their underpinnings—but not their engines—with De Tomaso cars; first came the Kyalami grand tourer, derived from the De Tomaso Longchamp restyled by Frua and powered by Maserati’s V8. Following wasthe Italdesign Giugiaro-designed third generation Quattroporte, introduced in 1976 and put on sale in 1979. Bora sales dwindled down; Khamsin was discontinued between 1982 and 1983. Progressively stripped of its Citroën-derived parts, the Merak continued to sell over one hundred pieces a year, until 1982.
The 1980s saw the company largely abandoning the mid-engined sports car in favour of a compact front-engined, rear-drivecoupé, the Maserati Biturbo. Of fairly conventional construction, the Biturbo’s pleasure and pain was its twin-turbochargedV6 engine, the first ever in a production car. This engine, descending from Alfieri’s 90° V6, was fitted in a large number of models, all sharing key components; every new Maserati launched up to the 1990s would derive from the Biturbo. The Biturbo family was extremely successful at exploiting the aspirational image of the Maserati name—selling 40,000 units.
During 1984, Chrysler bought a 5% share in the new company. Following an agreement between De Tomaso’s friend and Chrysler head Lee Iacocca, a joint venture was signed. Maserati would produce a car for export to the American market, the Chrysler TC by Maserati, with Chrysler-sourced engines. In July of that same year, a merger between Maserati and Nuova Innocenti was decided; it was carried out in 1985. Chrysler upped its stake to 15.6% by underwriting three quarters of a 75 billion Lire capital raise in 1986.
New Biturbo-based cars and model evolutions were launched year after year. In 1984, it was the 228, a large coupé built on the long wheelbase saloon chassis, with a new 2.8 L version of the twin-turbo V6. WeberFuel injection was phased in starting in 1986, bringing improved reliability and a host of new model variants. The same year, the ageing third generation Quattroporte was updated as the luxurious Maserati Royale, built to order in an handful of examples a year; its discontinuation in 1990 marked the disappearance of Maserati’s four-cam V8 engine, a design that could trace its roots back to the 450S racer and the legendary 5000 GT. In 1987, the 2.8-litre 430 topped the saloon range. 1988 brought the Maserati Karif 2.8-litre two-seater, based on the short wheelbase Spyder chassis. Meanwhile, the Biturbo name was dropped altogether, as updated coupés and saloons were updated became the 222 and 422. 1989 marked the reintroduction of an eight-cylinder grand tourer: the Maserati Shamal, built on a modified short wheelbase Biturbo bodyshell, clad in new muscular bodywork by Marcello Gandini. It was powered by an all-new twin-turbo 32-valve V8 engine paired to a 6-speed gearbox. Two-litre, 24-valve engines also debuted.
De Tomaso-Fiat years
In October 1989, De Tomaso bought the remaining Gepi quota. In December, Fiat entered in Maserati’s history. Maserati and Innocenti were separated; Innocenti Milano S.p.A., the company that sold Innocenti cars, continued its business under a 51% Fiat Auto ownership. All of the Modena and Lambrate plants went to a newly created company, the still extant Maserati S.p.A.; 49% of it was owned by Fiat Auto and 51% was controlled by De Tomaso through the old company, Officine Alfieri Maserati.
In the early Nineties, a mid-engined sports car was developed, the Maserati Chubasco—which was to début in 1992. It featured Gandini-designed body, a V8 powertrain and a backbone chassis. The project was cancelled, as it proved too expensive. Starting in 1990, the entire range received a facelift by Marcello Gandini, on the lines of the Shamal’s styling. The last version of the Biturbo coupé proper was called Maserati Racing. It was a transitional model in which several features to be found on the upcoming Ghibli were tested.
The Maserati Ghibli was introduced in 1992. It was a six-cylinder coupé, with modified Biturbo underpinnings dressed by new Gandini bodywork (toned down from the Shamal) and the latest evolution of the 24-valve twin-turbo V6 with record breaking specific output. The underpinnings of the stillborn Chubasco gave birth to the Maserati Barchetta, a small open top mid-engine sports car styled by Synthesis Design (Carlo Gaino). A one-make racing series was held in 1992 and 1993, using the Barchetta Corsa racing version; the road-going Barchetta Stradale was never put into production. Just 17 Barchetta examples were produced. Between 1992 and 1994 all models save for the Ghibli and Shamal were progressively discontinued.
On 19 May 1993, 17 years after having rescued it from liquidation, Alejandro De Tomaso sold its 51% stake in Maserati to Fiat, which became the sole owner. Substantial investments were made in Maserati, and it has since undergone something of a renaissance.
In 1998, a new chapter began in Maserati’s history when the company launched the 3200 GT. This two-door coupé is powered by a 3.2 L twin-turbocharged V8 derived from the Shamal engine, which produces 370 hp (276 kW).
Over two decades after the ill-fated Chrysler TC by Maserati during Chrysler’s brief ownership stake in Maserati, the two companies became interconnected again when Fiat purchased majority control of Chrysler in 2011 as a result of Chrysler’s bankruptcy.
In July 1997, Fiat sold a 50% share in the company to Maserati’s long-time arch-rival Ferrari (Ferrari itself being owned by Fiat). In 1999, Ferrari took full control, making Maserati its luxury division. A new factory was built, replacing the existing 1940s-vintage facility. Ferrari is credited for bringing Maserati back into business, after many lacklustre years of Maserati teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.
Meanwhile, two new models have been shown to the public: the MC12 road supersports and successful GT racer with a Ferrari Enzo–derived chassis and engine and the new Quattroporte, a high luxury saloon with the 4.2l V8 engine. Nowadays, Maserati is back in business and successfully selling on a global basis. In 2001, Ferrari decided to throw away all the old tooling and installed high-tech devices in the Modena factory, making it one of the most advanced in the world.
Since early 2002, Maserati once again entered the United States market, which has quickly become for Maserati the largest market worldwide. The company has also re-entered the racing arena with their Trofeo and, in December 2003, the Maserati MC12 (formerly known as the MCC), which was developed according to FIA GT regulations and has since competed with great success in the world FIA GT championship, winning the teams championship three consecutive times from 2005 to 2007. The MC12 has also been raced in various national GT championship as well as in the American Le Mans series. The MC12 is based on the Enzo Ferrari sports car; 50 street-legal homologation models (roadsters and coupés) have been sold for about US$700,000 each.
The Maserati and Alfa Romeo Group under Fiat Group
The Maserati and Alfa Romeo group, under Fiat Group, started in 2005, when Maserati was split off from Ferrari and partnered with Alfa Romeo. On 9 June 2005 the 20,000th Maserati, a Quattroporte, left the factory. In the second quarter of 2007, Maserati made profit for the first time in 17 years under Fiat ownership.
On January 22, 2010, Fiat announced that it had created a new partnership/brand group for Alfa Romeo, Maserati, and Abarth. The group was led by Harald J. Wester, the current CEO of Maserati. Sergio Marchionne said that “[the] purpose of bringing the Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Abarth brands under the same leadership is to emphasize and leverage the value of the shared qualities of the three brands in terms of their sporting characteristics and performance.” Abarth stayed under Wester’s leadership until 2013, leaving Maserati and Alfa Romeo in the brand group, led by Wester. Although Maserati and Alfa Romeo are in a brand group, Alfa Romeo is structured under FCA Italy S.p.A., which itself is structured under FCA, whereas Maserati is structured solely under FCA. In addition, in an interview with Wester in 2015, he clarified that his “role at Maserati is different from that in the Alfa Romeo as the latter is better integrated into the Fiat Group” and that “the new Alfa car won’t share any parts with the current Maserati model. I’m not planning any technical merging of these two makes.”
In 2013, Maserati started its expansion with the sixth-generation Maserati Quattroporte, which was designed to better compete with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This was followed by the introduction of the Ghibli, which was slated to compete against the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5-series. On May 6, 2014, Maserati confirmed production of the Levante SUV and the Alfieri (previously a 2+2 concept sports car that was named after Alfieri Maserati). At this event, it was revealed that 2014 will be the last year of production for the GranTurismo and GranTurismo Convertible, although production of the GranTurismo was extended until 2016, with a new GranTurismo still being unveiled in 2018. In a 2015 interview, Harald J. Wester said that there was room for a future sports car, positioned above the Alfieri.
Along with their expansion, Maserati started their re-entrance into the high-performance car field, in order to compete with brands such as Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, Porsche, Jaguar, and in certain cases, Ferrari. This is being done with Maseratis that have higher output engines, higher performance components, and better handling. The fastest Maserati Alfieri will be receiving a 520 bhp (388 kW; 527 PS) V6 with all-wheel drive, while the Quattroporte, Ghibli, and Levante are receiving 560 bhp (418 kW; 568 PS) V8s in the future with all-wheel drive, in order to better compete with their respective AMGs, M cars, Jaguars, and Porsches. The Maserati Alfieri will be competitive against the Mercedes-AMG GT, Porsche 911, Jaguar F-Type R, and even the Ferrari California T in terms of performance. The replacement for the GranTurismo, to be presented in 2018, will have a 560 bhp (418 kW; 568 PS) V8. The high performance all wheel drive version of the Ghibli (as mentioned above) will likely wear a GTS badge. For the Quattroporte, this will be a replacement for the GTS version (with increased power and all wheel drive, as mentioned above).
In addition, Harald J. Wester stated that Maserati is experimenting with plug-in hybrid powertrains, and that one will be offered in the second half of 2017 in the Levante SUV. By 2018, the base Ghibli will receive a performance upgrade 350 bhp (261 kW; 355 PS), and the Ghibli S Q4 to 450 bhp (336 kW; 456 PS).
The 2014 Maserati lineup, as shown at the 100th Year Anniversary in Autoworld Brussels From left to right: Maserati GranCabrio Sport, Maserati Ghibli III and Maserati Quattroporte Series VI
Maserati sales in 2013 were 15,400 units, which is up from just over 6,000 units worldwide in 2012 (2013 included the release of the new Quattroporte and Ghibli towards the end of the year, and thus the first year to fully represent the sales inclusive of these models is 2014). In May, 2014, Maserati sold a company record of over 3,000 cars worldwide, causing them to increase production of the Ghibli and Quattroporte. For that same month in the United States, Maserati sold 1,114 vehicles, which is up 406.19% over the same month in the previous year in the United States. Maserati’s best month of sales in the United States was September 2014, with 1,318 units sold. The month in 2014 where the increase on sales for the same month of the previous year was the highest was May, with a volume increase of 406.19%. The sales target for 2018 is 75,000 units worldwide.
2014 marked an historic record of 13,411 total units sold in North America for the year, a 169% increase versus 2013, boasting the highest-ever overall sales year for Maserati North America, Inc. Worldwide, in 2014 Maserati sold about 36,500 cars, a 136% increase over 2013. Harald J. Wester stated that Maserati will not surpass the 70,000 sales per year mark, and that Maserati will maintain its current position in the higher end of the luxury sports car market, not expanding downmarket and making vehicles smaller and less expensive than the Ghibli and Levante (such as those similar to the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class), as other FCA brands, specifically Alfa Romeo, are or will be in those market spaces.
Since 2009, Marco Tencone (born 1967) has been the head designer of Maserati cars.
Italian for “four-door,” the Maserati Quattroporte is a sportingluxury saloon. The sixth generation Maserati Quattroporte was introduced in 2013. The Quattroporte is currently available in S Q4, GTS and Diesel trim. The S Q4 has an advanced four wheel drive system, and a 404-horsepower twin-turbo V6. The GTS is rear wheel drive, and has a 523-horsepower V8. A Quattroporte Diesel model is offered on selected markets, making 275 horsepower (250 hp in Italy) and 442 ft-lbs of torque. The sixth-generation Quattroporte has grown in size in order to better compete with the roomier luxury saloons like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
By 2018, the Quattroporte S Q4 will be upgraded to produce 450 bhp (336 kW; 456 PS) from its V6, and the GTS to produce 560 bhp (418 kW; 568 PS) horsepower from its V8, both with all-wheel drive (for the V8 to increase performance).
The first presentation of this car was on 20 April 2013 in Shanghai. It is a sporting/luxury executive saloon that competes against the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class or Audi A6. This new model is expected to be key in order to reach the ambitious target sales of 50,000 cars a year by 2015, and 75,000 by 2018. The car, along with the new Quattroporte, is built in the Italian factory of Grugliasco, Turin (former Bertone). The base Ghibli comes with 330 horsepower, the Ghibli Diesel with 275 horsepower (also 250 in Italy only), and the Ghibli S Q4 with 410 horsepower. By 2018, the base Ghibli will have 350 horsepower, the S Q4 450 horsepower, and a higher performance version (likely GTS) which will have 560 bhp (418 kW; 568 PS) and all-wheel drive.
The Maserati GranTurismo is a grand tourer introduced in 2007. The GranTurismo has a 4.7-litre V8, making 454 bhp (339 kW; 460 PS) in Sport form and MC form. A convertible (GranCabrio) version is also available in standard, Sport, and MC form. The final production year for the Maserati GranTurismo is scheduled to be 2014, but it will be revived in 2018 with a 560 bhp (418 kW; 568 PS) V8, again in rear wheel drive form.
The Maserati Levante is a crossover SUV due to be released in 2014. It has been anticipated with the Maserati Kubang concept SUV in September 2003 at the Frankfurt Motor Show and again in 2011. It was announced, at the Paris Motor Show held in Paris in September 2012. The Levante will be assembled in Mirafiori Plant, in Turin. It was confirmed on May 6, 2014. The Levante 3.0L V6 will be offered in either 350 or 425 horsepower states of tune, with a 3.8L V8 producing 560 bhp (418 kW; 568 PS) down the road, due in 2018. All models will have all-wheel drive.
The Maserati Alfieri was a concept 2+2 presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 2014. The concept was based off the lighter chassis of the GranTurismo MC Stradale, although it had a shorter wheelbase. The concept was introduced with a 4.7 liter V8 producing 460 bhp (343 kW; 466 PS).
The Alfieri was confirmed for production in 2016 at a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles event on May 6, 2014. The production version will receive three different V6 engine choices, producing 410 bhp (306 kW; 416 PS), 450 bhp (336 kW; 456 PS), and 520 bhp (388 kW; 527 PS), respectively. The 450 horsepower and 520 horsepower versions will only have an all-wheel drive system. The Alfieri will be joined by an Alfieri convertible in 2017.
Maserati developed fifteen GranTurismo MC racecars, homologated for the European Cup and National Endurance Series, one of which was raced by GT motorsport organization Cool Victory in Dubai in January, 2010.