Total Production: 1,286 1987 - 1994
The Maserati 430 was produced from 1987 through 1994 with a total of 1286 examples being constructed. There were two versions of the car, a standard and a 4V (introduced in 1991), which featured four-valves per cylinder and other mechanical improvements such as to the suspension. The 430 was a four-door sedan with seating for five and cost around $41,500. In comparison to other Maserati cars of a few years prior, this car was aerodynamic with a rounded body that was thoroughly modern. Mounted under the hood was a six-cylinder engine mounted at a 90-degree angle and capable of producing nearly 250 horsepower. This horsepower figure was possible due to the Twin IHI turbochargers and intercoolers. A four-speed automatic gearbox was available with the five-speed manual gearbox as standard. There were six colors available, including Dark Blue, Rifle Grey, Stormy Sky, Old Modena, Black, and Silver.
By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2012It would be unfair to speak of the Maserati 430 without first mentioning the Biturbo before it. When Maserati was bought by Alejandro De Tomaso in 1975, the Italian entrepreneur decided the company needed a mass production car. That car was the Biturbo of the early 1980's. The Biturbo, while not a sales success in the United States, did well in other parts of the world, prompting Maserati to continuously evolve the car. This led to eventual convertible and sedan bodies to join the angular coupe.
The first Biturbo sedan introduced was called the 425. Its name was derived from its body style (4-door sedan) and its engine displacement (2.5 liters). After the Biturbos received larger engines, the 425 was replaced by an upgraded sedan: the 430.
Maserati's 430 was like earlier Biturbos in its use of a twin-turbocharged V6 power plant and rear wheel drive configuration. The 430, though, shared its engine with the upgraded coupe instead of the original Biturbo. This meant that it displaced 2.8 liters (Maserati rounded up the displacement figure for the name), and produced a very impressive 247bhp.
The 430 was built from 1987 through 1990. During that time, it was the only Maserati Biturbo-platform sedan available in the U.S. Overseas, though, the 430 was the flagship Biturbo sedan, slotting above lower displacement models in terms of feature content and performance levels.
Maserati endowed the 430 with several important new features. The car had a Ranger limited-slip differential at the rear, and at the front an advanced suspension setup was employed. This configuration, labeled Meccanica Attiva, used a complicated system of levers to maintain parallelism between the car's lower suspension and steering arms. This, coupled with the design's ability to constantly hold the wheels square to the road surface, added more stability to the car in turns.
This increased stability was a useful advantage, as prior Biturbo-platform Maseratis tended to be tricky through curves. Earlier cars mixed turbo lag with tail-happy chassis, ensuring plenty of apex twitchiness. By the time the 430 was introduced, though, the turbos were more tractable and, thanks in part to the revised suspension setup, so were the cars.
The 430's interior matched its great performance, surrounding driver and passengers in sumptuous, supple leather and plenty of warm wood accents. A beautiful analog clock, likely the finest in any contemporary automobile, stood proudly front and center on the elegant dash. The car worked very well as a sedan, providing four convenient ports of access to the dazzling interior.
Sadly, the car's shell didn't benefit as much from the two additional doors. Already a controversial shape, two door Biturbo cars at least had somewhat exotic proportions to make up for the boxiness. The 430, though, looked decidedly plain and anonymous, too similar to a 3-Series BMW to make anyone look twice to notice the trident on the grille. The 430 was at least an improvement over the 425 before it, but its softer front treatment only made it tolerable, not exciting.
Drab styling and initial quality problems prevented the 430, along with other Biturbos, from selling well in the U.S. If you can find one today, though, they are an affordable and distinct ticket into the high-end sedan arena. Just make sure you're friendly with the local Italian car mechanic.
Information for this article was provided by http://www.maserati-alfieri.co.uk/, one of the most comprehensive Maserati sites on the Web. By Evan Acuña