Skip to main content

1987 Maserati BiTurbo news, pictures, specifications, and information
Chassis Num: ZAM333B000HA101478
The Maserati Bi-Turbo, as the name implies, was powered by a two-liter V6 engine with two turbochargers and a luxurious interior. It was designed by Pierangelo Andreani, an engineer from the DeTomaso team. The design was influenced (somewhat) by Giugiaro's design of the newer Quattroporte III as can be observed on the front fascia.

The versions destined for export were given a 2.5-liter V6. The aluminum 90-degree, single overhead camshaft V6 engine was roughly based on the 2.0L Merak engine, itself based on the earlier V8 Formula One Maserati engines, designed by Giulio Alfieri. In carbureted, 2.5-liter form, the engine produced 185 horsepower and 208 lb/ft of torque in North American guise and slightly more in other versions.

This Maserati Spyder has spent many years in a Swiss collection. The odometer shows just 44,000km and is finished in red with a tan interior.

In 2012, the car was offered for sale at Coys 'Legende et Passion' Monaco sale where it was estimated to sell for €18.000 - €25.000.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2012
The Maserati Biturbo was produced from 1981 through 1991. It was powered by a 2.5-liter V6 engine that had two turbochargers attached, thus its name. The car was true to the Maserati heritage, providing luxurious accommodations in a sporty package.

The SOHC V6 engine was based on the 2.0-liter Merak engine and mounted at a 90-degree angle. The export version of the car originally had a 2.5-liter V6; after 1989 the displacement was enlarged to 2.8-liters. The 2.5-liter engine produced 185 horsepower in the United States trim, and more in other markets. The 2.8-liter engine, introduced in 1989, offered 225 horsepower for North American and an astonishing 250 horsepower for Europe.

Sales of the Bi-Turbo were strong for the marque, selling about 40,000 examples world-wide. A few examples were entered in the British Touring Car Championship though they had little success. Their fate was no better in the European Touring Car Championship or the World Touring Car Championship.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2008
To most car enthusiasts, especially ones from America, the word 'Biturbo' refers only to a single model by the company Maserati. This is one of the greatest automotive fallacies. In reality, the Biturbo was much more than the entry-level Maser brought to the States for 1984. The Biturbo was an entire generation of Maserati, a whole chapter in the marque's tumultuous and often controversial history. While often derided as the cheap, boxy Maserati of the 1980's, the Biturbo was really a full range of exciting cars with explosive personalities. From coupes to sedans to convertibles, there was a Biturbo to satisfy anyone's tastes.

Maserati , now in the hands of Fiat, had changed owners several times already before falling under the guidance of Alejandro De Tomaso in 1975. De Tomaso, an entrepreneur and owner of the exotic Italian car company bearing his name, knew a great deal about the car business when he acquired Maserati from its previous owner, Citroen. De Tomaso saw the potential of a volume-production Maser, and by 1978 he had decided to take the company in a new direction with an all-new, twin-turbocharged model to be offered with a competitive price tag.

Prototypes were being tested by 1980, and in 1982 a production version was offered for sale in Europe. The Biturbo reached the U.S. in 1984. These new cars quickly developed a bad reputation, especially in the U.S., due to severe reliability problems. Volume production was a bold new step for Maserati, so the problems were to be expected. Typical teething issues plagued the cars for the first few years of production. The Biturbo continued to evolve regardless of early gremlins, and in Europe the model branched out and prospered. It was offered in many body styles with a wide array of features.

Unfortunately, the reputation for poor build quality established in the U.S. haunted the Biturbo's American buyers. The Biturbo sold poorly in the States, and as years went by it became largely ignored despite great improvements in design and execution. Sales were so dismal that Maserati was driven out of the U.S. altogether after 1991, never to return again until 2002 with the new Coupe and Spyder.

The U.S.-spec Biturbo began life in 1984 with a 2.5 liter, 18-valve V6 with a turbocharger for each cylinder bank. A single 2-barrel Weber carburetor topped off the engine. Though it had been introduced in Europe with a 2.0 liter V6 whose lineage could be traced back to the mid-engined Merak, only the 2.5 liter could ever be purchased in America.

This made the standard U.S. Biturbo a very quick car. Producing 185hp, it had a good power-to-weight ratio and could hit 60 in about 7 seconds, a very respectable time for its day. The Biturbo's power delivery was somewhat uncontrollable. Despite the use of two small turbos instead of one large unit, the early cars had serious turbo lag. If the turbos spooled-up suddenly while driving through a corner, the Biturbo was liable to become an expensive collection of scattered Italian debris. Of course, that also meant that the Biturbo was an absolute blast to drive. Its tail-happiness and turbo lag made it a difficult car to maneuver, but once mastered the small Masers were fast and rewarding.

For 1985, the higher performance Biturbo E was offered. It produced 205hp and a mammoth 260lb-ft of torque. With its two-tone paint, new wheels, and lower stance, the Biturbo E looked menacing and more like a true Maserati. In 1986, no Biturbo coupe was offered at all. For that year, only the newly-introduced Spyder (convertible) and 425 (sedan) could be bought. Water-cooled turbos were also introduced, making for improved reliability as compared to the oil-cooled units they replaced. The coupe was back for 1987, and fuel injection was added. Moving closer to De Tomaso's dream of a well-engineered and mass-produced Maserati, the Biturbo had just become a thoroughly modern car with a full range of body styles.

Though no new Biturbos were sold in the States for 1988, 1989 brought a freshened car with more displacement and many new features. In an attempt to save its reputation, Maserati dropped the Biturbo name. There was the Spyder convertible, 228 coupe, and 430 sedan. Even this effort couldn't save the company's ruined U.S. sales, though. Biturbos soldiered on with downright pathetic sales until after 1991 when, following a year when Maserati sold only 12 cars to U.S. customers, the company pulled out of the U.S.

To most Americans, it would seem that the Biturbo ruined Maserati. After all, it was that very car that sold so poorly here that the company was forced to withdraw from the market. Ask any European or knowledgeable Maserati enthusiast, though, and you'll get a very different answer. The Biturbo saved Maserati. In Europe, during Maserati's dormant decade in the U.S., the Biturbo flourished. It continued to sell, and it continued to evolve into more and more potent forms. Exotic bodies were added to a competent chassis, and cars like the turbo-V8 Shamal were based off of the already proven platform. Fiat's 1993 takeover pushed for greater and greater development of the Biturbo cars. Eventually, the company had regained enough steam to start anew once again. The 3200GT that followed the last of the Biturbo generation's cars was a radical departure whose arrival put Maserati on a path towards profit and towards an eventual return to the long gone U.S. market.

The Biturbo is faced with low values today, which makes it very attainable for a car with such exotic engineering and with such a famous nameplate. The Spyders are still worth a lot thanks to desirable bodies built by the illustrious Italian design house Zagato, but the Coupes can be picked up for unthinkably low prices. No matter where you stand on the controversial styling, all of these machines come with Italian sophistication and one of the finest interiors to be fitted to an automobile for their time. Quirks aside, Biturbo owners should be proud. After all, they get to drive the car that saved one of the finest and most respected marques to ever come out of Italy.

This article was made possible by, a site with a wealth of information on all Maserati models. It is an invaluable resource to any Maserati fan. Also, the site'mabc/ provided much information specific to the U.S.-spec Biturbos.

By Evan Acuña
For more information and related vehicles, click here

Harry Schell: American Bleue
 Americans would officially set foot on French soil during the Second World War in 1944. However, after a few years, the troops would leave, yet, there would be one that would remain. He had been in Europe long before and he would be there still when the Americans returned in the 1950s. Selim Lawrence 'Laury' Schell would lead the way. Though conceived by American parents, Laury would be actually be born in Switzerland in the late 19th century. At that time, the automobile was still very much ...[Read more...]
◾Sébastien Ogier lines up on the racetrack for the second time this season ◾Porsche Supercup outing forms warm-up for Rally Poland ◾World Rally Champion's second appearance in the Supercup Sébastien Ogier (F) returns to the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup for a brief cameo. The defending champion and current leader in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) will contest the third race of the season this coming weekend, as the series forms part of the Formula One weekend in Spielberg. This is Ogier's...[Read more...]
1951 British Grand Prix: Tapped for a Special Moment in History
The lead and the victory were firmly within his grasp, but would the moment be taken away from him? He had been in a similar situation before and then there would be a tap on the shoulder and he was forced to give up what he had fought so hard to earn. Would this be another one of those moments? Thoughts raced through his head, and then, there was a tap on the shoulder once again. Prior to the 1951 season, Jose Froilan Gonzalez had shown little of his true potential. After making his debut in...[Read more...]
LONDON (May 15, 2013) - TAG Heuer, the world's number one manufacturer of luxury timepieces inspired by sport, has signed on as Official Timekeeper, Official Watch and Chronograph and Founding Partner of the FIA Formula E Championship. The agreement was signed at TAG Heuer's headquarters in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland by Jean-Christophe Babin, President and CEO of TAG Heuer (on the right), and Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings. 'Teaming up with Formula E, the world's top competi...[Read more...]
2012 German Grand Prix: Preview
Round 10 of the 2012 Formula One World Championship marks the second home race in succession for the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS team. The German Grand Prix takes place on Sunday 22 July at the Hockenheimring which is just 100kms from the Daimler and Mercedes-Benz headquarters in Stuttgart. • The 2012 German Grand Prix will be the 33rd held at Hockenheim; Mercedes-Benz power has won twice, in 1998 & 2008 • This year's race marks the tenth anniversary of the circuit's redesign and the constructio...[Read more...]

200 Si
3500 GT
5000 GT
Coupe / Spyder

Image Left 1986 BiTurbo
© 1998-2015. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.