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Maserati history: from the Maserati A6 1500 to the MC12 Corsa

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D he roots of the Maserati models can be found in Bologna, Italy . On December 1, 1914, Alfieri Maserati founded the “Società Anonima Officine Alfieri Maserati” as one of seven brothers in the Maserati family.


The construction of racing cars was a top priority

At the beginning of the company's history, the focus was on building racing cars. Alfieri Maserati, himself a successful racing driver, created the first Maserati with the Tipo 26, which immediately won the Targa Florio in its class with Alfieri at the wheel. In 1926 the company emblem was also created: the famous trident designed by brother Mario - the only one of the brothers not a technician but an artist. Alfieri died on March 3, 1932 at the age of only 44 from the long-term consequences of a racing accident. Then another of the brothers got into the business - henceforth Maserati was managed by Bindo, Ernesto and Ettore. In 1937 the Maserati brothers sold their shares to the Orsi family. The brothers remained chief engineers until 1948.

Maserati A6 1500 first street car from Maserati

After the Second World War, the first Maserati street car was finally created: the A6 1500. The in-line six-cylinder was characteristic of this and the following models A6 1500 with 1.5 liters displacement. The Gran Turismo principle should continue into the present. The successor to the A6 1500 was the 2000 Gran Turismo Tipo A6G, which was manufactured from 1950 to 1951. The low number of units is explained by the low success of the car - it was too slow. Maserati reached the peak of racing success in 1957. Juan Manuel Fangio won the world championship with the 250 F. In the same year, Maserati withdrew from racing, but later still developed racing cars like the legendary Birdcage or made Cooper engines available in Formula 1.

Maserati series production comes first from 1958

1958 then marked a turning point in the history of Maserati. From then on, serial car production was the top priority. The 3500 GT started. However, the symbiosis of racing and series production was also evident here - the three-and-a-half-liter, six-cylinder engine came from the Tipo 350 S racing car. Maserati only survived the financial hardship in 1958 with the 3500 GT, of which 20 units were sold per month, and with it the first Maserati that wasbrought a lot of money.

The first Maserati with a 90-degree V8 engine was the 5000 GT (1959 to 1966), which the new chief designer Giulio Alfieri built for the Shah of Persia. The engine here also came from a racing car - the Tipo 450S. One of the most important models is the Quattroporte, which is still around today and which marked the first four-door model in Maserati's history. The Maserati Quattroporte I was built from 1963 to 1969

Citroën takes over shares from the Orsi family

Even Maserati could not escape the trend towards mid-engine sports cars in the 1970s. That is why the Maserati Bora premiered in Geneva in March 1971, and production started at the end of the year. The highlight: The driver's seat could not be adjusted, but the pedals and steering wheel could. The hydraulics came from Citroën - because in 1968 the French manufacturer took over shares in the Orsi family. The demand for the Bora was limited. The Merak was also more or less a result of the symbiosis between Maserati and Citroën. Maserati developed a V6 engine for the Citroën SM, which was now also used in the Merak. Parts of the interior also came from the SM.

In 1976, the second generation of the Quattroporte followed, which was still made with Citroën and shared all of the technology with the SM. This made it the first and so far only post-war Maserati with front-wheel drive. The mostly built Maserati before the biturbo era remained the third generation Quattroporte, which was manufactured from 1979 to 1990.

1982 the biturbo era begins

From 1982 the Maserati Biturbo followed, ending the Alfieri era. Because development costs had to be kept low, it remained the only new model from Maserati in a number of variations for 20 years. The Karif, Shamal and Ghibli were also more or less biturbo clones. Even the fourth generation Quattroporte from 1994 was based on the biturbo design. The Chrysler TC by Maserati emerged from the short marriage between Maserati and Chrysler - an American luxury convertible. In 1993 Fiat took over the brand, in 1997 it was assigned to Ferrari.

The new beginning after the Biturbo was the Coupé 3200 GT in 1998. Instead of a V6 engine, a V8 was introduced under the hood. Not only was the rear-wheel drive characteristic, but also the unusual arrangement of the rear lights. Maserati finally returned to its roots with the Spyder (from 2001), the 4200 GT and the fifth generation Quattroporte (from 2003).

Back to racing with the MC12 Corsa

The Italian company found its way back to the racetrack with the super sports car MC 12 Corsa, which was intended for twelve select customers worldwide. The car is not street legal and is only intended for private test drives on the racetrack. The monocoque is made of carbon fiber,under the hood sits a 6-liter V12 with 755 hp. In 2007, the Gran Turismo continued in a similarly sporty manner and in 2008 with the Gran Turismo S. The sixth generation of the long-running Quattroporte was also presented in 2008.

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