The third generation of the Maserati Quattroporte, known as the Tipo AM 330, was produced from 1979 through 1990. It followed the front-wheel drive Quattroporte II which had been developed while under the brief Citroen ownership. The Quattroporte III was developed under the Alejandro de Tomaso-GEPI ownership and signaled a change back to the rear-wheel drive configuration. It wore a design by Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign, who had created two show cars on Maserati platform from 1974 to 1976, called the Medici I and Medici II. Several of the design features found on the Medici II would make it into the Quattroporte III. The pre-production Quattroporte made its debut in 1976 at the Turin Motor Show. The production version went on sale three years later, in 1979.
Power was from a new quad-cam V8 engine built for the Kyalami. Two versions were available including a 4,930cc which developed nearly 280 horsepower. The smaller 4,136cc version was built-to-order and offered just over 250 horsepower. This smaller made-to-order engine was available briefly, and was phased out in 1981.
The Maserati Royale edition was introduced in December of 1986, in celebration of Maserati's 60th anniversary as a car manufacturer. These built-to-order vehicles represented the ultimate level of Quattroporte luxury. The high-compression 4.9-liter V8 offered nearly 300 horsepower and came with leather upholstery, a revised dashboard with an analogue clock, veneer trim, electric adjustable seats, a mini bar, and retractable veneered tables in the rear doors. Exterior changes included silver colored side sills and new disc-shaped alloy wheels.
Maserati planned on producing 120 examples of the Maserati Royale, however, by the time production came to a close in 1990, just 53 had been built.
Total production of the Maserati Quattroporte III, including the Royale, reached 2,155 examples.By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2019