is an Italian manufacturer of racing cars and sports cars,
established in December 1 1914 in Bologna.
The company's headquarters are now in Modena, and its emblem is a trident.
Today, Maserati is owned directly by the Italian car giant Fiat, after having
been a part of Ferrari for some years. Maserati is a luxury car manufacturer
competing directly with Aston Martin and Jaguar, and sometimes with large German
mass-producers, including Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
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The Maserati brothers, Alfieri Maserati, Bindo Maserati, Carlo Maserati,
Ettore Maserati, Ernesto Maserati and Mario Maserati, 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 (actually two straight eights mounted parallel to one another). Mario,
an artist, is believed to have devised the company's trident emblem, based on
one of Bologna's civic symbols: the statue of Neptune in one of the city's main
squares. Alfieri Maserati died in 1932 but three other brothers, Bindo, Ernesto
and Ettore, kept the firm going, building cars that won races.
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In 1937 the remaining Maserati brothers sold their shares in the company to
the Orsi family, who in 1940 relocated the company headquarters to their
hometown of Modena,
where it remains to this day. The brothers continued in engineering roles with
the company, however. Racing successes continued, even against the giants of
German racing, Auto Union and Mercedes. In 1940 a Maserati won the Indianapolis
500, a feat repeated the following year.
The war then intervened, Maserati abandoning cars 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. They failed in this endeavour and the
plans were scrapped. Once peace was restored, Maserati returned to making cars,
the Maserati A6 series, doing well in the post-war racing scene. This was the
last involvement of the Maserati brothers, who after the 10-year contract with
Orsi, went on to form the O.S.C.A. car builder.
The famous Argentinean driver Juan-Manuel Fangio raced for Maserati for a
number of years in the 1950s, producing a number of stunning victories including
winning the world championship in 1957 in the Maserati 250F. Other racing
projects in the 50s were the Maserati 200S, Maserati 300S, Maserati 350S,
Maserati 450S, followed in 1961 by the famous Maserati Birdcage. Maserati had
retired from factory racing participation due to the Guidizzolo accident (1957),
though it built racing cars to be raced by others after that date.
After 1957, Maserati became more and more focussed on road cars, and chief
engineer Giulio Alfieri built the 6-cylinder Maserati 3500 2+2 coupe featuring
an aluminium body over Carrozzeria Touring's superleggera structure, a design
also used for the small-volume V8-powered Maserati 5000. Next came the Maserati
Sebring bodied by Vignale and launched in 1962, the Maserati Mistral Coupť
(1963) and the Spider (1964), both designed by Pietro Frua, and their first
four-door, the Maserati Quattroporte (1963), also designed by Pietro Frua. The
two-seater Maserati Ghibli coupe was launched in 1967, followed by a convertible
In 1968 came a great changeópurchase by CitroŽn. Adolfo Orsi remained the
nominal president, but Maserati changed a great deal. New models were launched,
and built in much greater numbers than before. CitroŽn borrowed Maserati
expertise and engines for the CitroŽn SM and other vehicles, and Maseratis also
incorporated CitroŽn technology, particularly in hydraulics.
New models included the Maserati Bora, the first mass-produced mid-engine
Maserati, in 1971, and the Maserati Merak and Maserati Khamsin soon afterwards;
the Maserati Quattroporte II, which shared some parts with CitroŽn SM, never
came into production. The 1973 oil crisis, however, put the brakes on this
ambitious expansionósuddenly, the demand for fuel-thirsty sports cars shrank.
CitroŽn went bankrupt in 1974 and on May 23, 1975, the new controlling group PSA
Peugeot CitroŽn declared that Maserati also was in liquidation. Propped up by
Italian government funds, the company stayed alive, if barely.
1959 Maserati 5000 GT Coupe
1975 saw the company back on its feet with Alessandro de Tomaso,
an Argentinian former racing driver, the new managing director. De Tomaso had
arranged for the Benelli motorcycle company, which he controlled, to buy
Maserati from CitroŽn and install him as its head. New models were introduced in
1976, including the Maserati Kyalami and the Maserati Quattroporte III.
The 1980s saw the company largely abandoning the mid-engined sports car in
favour of squarish, front-engined, rear-drive coupes, cheaper than before but
with aggressive performance, like the Maserati Biturbo.The Maserati Biturbo has
been declined in a large number of models, all sharing key components among
which a short two door coupe Maserati Karif and a cabriolet, the Spyder,
designed by Zagato. The last version of the Maserati Biturbo was called Maserati
Racing. It has been a transitional model in which several features to be found
on the Ghibli II and the Shamal were tested. Two new coupes, the Maserati Shamal
and Maserati Ghibli II, were released in 1990 and 1992, respectively.
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The company also worked loosely with Chrysler, now headed by de Tomaso's
friend Lee Iacocca. Chrysler purchased part of Maserati and the two jointly
produced a car, the Chrysler TC by Maserati that took much too long to introduce
on the US market.
There were also two further very challenging projects:
- the Chubasco a V8 mid-engine sports car, unfortunately
due to lack of funding remained a dream.
- the Maserati Barchetta a small open top mid engine sports
car, designed by Synthesis design (Carlo Gaino) ; unfortunately very few
cars were produced.
1993 saw the company acquired by Fiat. Substantial investments were made in
Maserati, and it has since undergone something of a renaissance.
In 1999 a new chapter began in Maserati's history when the company launched
the 3200 GT, the only "Fiat Maserati". This two-door coupť is powered by a 3.2 L
twin-turbocharged V8 which produces 370 hp (276 kW); the car does 0Ė60 mph in
less than 5 seconds. Its top speed is an amazing 285 km/h (177 mph). With the
addition of a Ferrari-designed and -built V-8 and automated manual transmission
for the 2002 model year, this car continues to be produced today as the Coupť
(hardtop) and Spyder (convertible model).
In 1997, Fiat sold a 50% share in the company to Maserati's long-time
arch-rival Ferrari (though this was, and is, itself controlled 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.
More recently, Maserati discussed an agreement with Volkswagen for the German
company to share its Audi division's Quattro all-wheel-drive technology
(originally meant for the still-born Maserati Kubang sport utility vehicle
concept) for Maserati's current Quattroporte platform. This discussion has since
been abandoned since Volkswagen owns two of Ferrari's direct rivals, Lamborghini
Meanwhile two new models have been shown to the public: the MC12 road
supersports and successful GT racer with an Enzo FerrariĖderived chassis and
engine. And the Quattroporte, a high luxury saloon with the 4.2l V8 engine.
Maserati is nowadays back in the business, very successfully selling on a global
basis. In 2001 year Ferrari has decided to throw away all the old instruments
and installed high-tech devices in the Modena's( Northern Italy) factory. In 2001
Maserati's factory became one of the most advanced in the world
In 2005, as a consequence of the termination of the agreement between Fiat
and General Motors under which GM may have been obliged to buy Fiat's car
division, Maserati was separated from Ferrari and brought back under Fiat's full
control. Fiat plans to create a sports and luxury division from Maserati and
another of its marquees, Alfa Romeo. GM had to pay Fiat around $2,000,000,000.
Maserati sold 2,006 cars in the United States for all of 2005. In the second
quarter of 2007 Maserati made profit for the first time in the 17 years under
the Fiat Group ownership.
Present production includes:
- Coupť a two-plus-two coupť.
- Spyder two-seater roadster version of the Coupť.
- Quattroporte (Italian for four-door), a sporting-luxury four-door
- GranTurismo is the new four seat coupť.
Since early 2002 Maseratis are once again being sold in 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 took part in select
GT races in 2004. The MC12 is based on the Enzo Ferrari supercar; 50
street-legal homologation models have been sold for about US$750,000 each.
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I HAVE A MAS! IT IS WITH-OUT A DOUBT A GREAT CAR. I DRIVE IT MORE THEN I DO MY
OTHER CARS', LAMBO, FERR, POR& HUMM. ALL I CAN SAY IS I LOVE IT! BUY ONE; YOU
WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!?!