The Maserati 228, in sorts, was created out of necessity and out of competition. It was created to compete with other marque's that were offering luxury and sport in one elegant and attractive package. Cadillac had their Allante which was a very exclusive automobile that featured styling by the European coachbuilding firm Pininfarina. The BMW 635CSi also fit the mold, being very attractive and sporty. The 228 built by Maserati was designed by Zagato and sat atop a long wheelbase that measured 102.4-inches, the same as the Maserati 430. It had the traditional Maserati trident emblem and a very attractive front grill. The bodystyle was coupe configuration with two doors and seating for four. Under the bonnet was a V6 engine that displaced 170 cubic-inches and produced 225 horsepower with the help of the twin IHI turbochargers and air-to-air intercoolers. This engine was also used in the Spyder and the 430 Sedan.
The interior featured bur walnut with the interior trim being either black, blue, gray or white leather. Exterior colors included Swan White, Blue Silver, Rifle Gray, Maserati Red, Soft Gray, Dark Aquamarine and Black. The standard accessories included climate control, power steering, electric windows and mirrors, and an analog clock, to name a few.
As would be expected, these cars had a very steep sticker price, costing nearly $53,000 and ensuring the vehicles exclusivity.
The 228 Maserati made its official debut on December 14th of 1984. In 1988 the engine was given a new Weber multi-point injection system. To comply with government regulations, all cars exported were given catalytic converters and an optional 3-speed automatic gearbox. By 1984, a four-speed automatic gearbox became available.By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2007
During the mid-1970s after Alejandro DeTomaso took over control of Maserati, the decision was made to produce a less expensive performance vehicle in an attempt to boost flagging sales. Attempting to keep the company solvent, the end result was the Maserati Biturbo. Initially launched in 1981 in Europe, the Biturbo was powered by a 2-liter carbureted, twin-turbo, 180-hp, 90-degree V6 engine based heavily on the Italy-only Merak 2000's normally aspirated V6 engine.
Rather than priced on a level with other Maserati high priced cars, the Biturbo was instead designed to compete with current BMW models. Styled by Giugiaro, the attractive two-door coupe was tastefully fitted with a plush leather interior. Available with either a five-speed or automatic transmission the Biturbo featured impressive performance and handling.
Powering the U.S. Biturbo in 1984 was an enlarged 2.5-liter, 185-hp version of the V6 engine. Unfortunately the U.S. reception of the Biturbo was less than as expected, and though the car received pretty decent reviews, the car suffered from insufficient dealer support, carburetor/turbo issues and inconsistent build quality. Over the years the Biturbo underwent improvements that helped the vehicle. Another 11 horsepower was added in 1985 when the Biturbo introduced intercooling to its 2.5-liter motor. Better handling also became a reality when the four-wheel independent suspension was tweaked.
In 1986 the Biturbo was available as a Gran Turismo model, the 228, and as a four-door model called the 430. Introduced at the 1986 Turin Motor Show, the 228 used the longer four-door chassis and the larger 2.8-liter Biturbo engine combined with two-door coupe bodywork. The Biturbo/228 rode on a long 102.4-inch wheelbase that was identical to the Maserati 430. The front of the 228 featured an attractive grille and the car carried the traditional Maserati trident emblem.
The interior of the 228 was much more luxurious than the typical two-door cars. The buyer had his choice of black, blue, gray or white leather interior trim and exterior colors included Blue Silver, Rifle Gray, Maserati Red, Swan White, Soft Gray, Dark Aquamarine and Black. The interior featured plenty of sleep bur walnut and standard accessories included cushy extras like power steering, electric windows and mirrors, climate control and an analog clock.
In 1987 the coupe was reintroduced in America, and the fuel injection was also added, which eliminated the blow-through carb arrangement. This update also made the car much more reliable. Braking and suspension improvements were made in 1989 and 1990. Other changes these years included an engine size increase to 2.8 liters that produced 225 hp and performance that was praised by the auto media. In 1990 the importation of the 228s and 430s to the U.S. ended in 1990, and the Americans never got to experience the exciting high performing Biturbo-based Karifs and Shamals that were introduced in Europe later. Production of the Maserati 228 continued until 1992 with a total of 469 examples were produced. The exclusive Maserati 228 was priced around $53,000. Sources:
By Jessica Donaldson