When it comes to fast whips and all the fine trimmings of a luxury vehicle, Maserati is the one brand name that stands out. Since Its start in the early 1900s, Maserati has become one of the most respected sports car builders in the industry. To this very day, if you asked anyone to name their top 5 luxury sports cars, chances are, a Maserati model is going to make the cut. Combining strong engines with a touch of luxury and cool shapes is what Maserati is all about. This dates back to the ‘70s, when the brand introduced the Maserati Merak.
The Maserati Merak came out in 1972, as a direct inspiration to the Maserati Bora, and yet another addition to the Giorgetto Giugiaro portfolio. It had an eye-catching exterior, complemented by the sleek fish-shaped build, and sweptback rear end. In many ways, the Merak’s body was a great improvement from its sibling. Today, a lot of these models still run like new and are perfect examples of the brand’s racing heritage.
The Maserati Merak was an outstanding sports car that rivaled the Ferrari’s 308 GT4 and the Porsche 911. We will be looking at its development and features. Here is the story of the Maserati Merak.
The Birth Of The Maserati Merak Was Inspired By Its Sibling, The Maserati Bora
The Maserati Merak rolled out of the line and made its debut at the Paris Auto Show in 1972, a year after the release of its sibling, the Maserati Bora. Inspired by the preceding model, the Maserati Merak reserved the same dimensions as the Bora. It also got most of its frontal styling cues from the Bora as well, including the pop-up headlights, hood vents, and a lot of rear-end components. One thing the Merak didn’t inherit from the Bora was the engine. The Maserati Merak mated a V6 engine to a standard 5-speed manual. The Merak had a wheelbase of 102.4 inches, a length of 170.7 inches, a width of 69.6 inches, and a height of 44.6 inches. The Merak’s dimensioning greatly contributed to the car’s performance on the road.
As we said, the Merak and the Bora were both fine pieces of art by the same Italian designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro. While the Maserati Bora was a great sports car, the market just didn’t open up to it as well. Most folks point this to the fact that the Bora didn’t offer the latest tech. Others say it was bad timing. But the brand knew it had to act fast. A year later, Maserati commissioned the designer to transform the Bora into the Merak. The result was significantly smaller and didn’t have the rear glass fastback.
The Maserati Merak Came With A Sparkly And Sporty Exterior
The Maserati Merak came with a stylish exterior, featuring a stainless steel sunroof and unique matte louvers on the sail panels. At the front, the Merak comes with retractable headlights, which greatly complement the car’s coupe shape. Maserati offered the Merak in multiple colors, ranging from silver to jet black. On the side, the Maserati Merak greatly resembled the Bora, with outstanding aluminum alloy wheels. Like its sibling, these wheels added an athletic appearance to the Merak. Since these cars had a mid-engine configuration, both vehicles utilized the frontal area for cargo-hauling purposes, like many sports cars today. In the front boot area, the Merak has 10 cubic feet of space, which was enough room for a moderate amount of luggage.
The Maserati Merak’s Interior Features An Eye-Catching Dashboard And A Plethora Of Equipment
Taking notes from the preceding Bora model, the Merak came with significant design improvements, which became unique to the vehicle. Since the Bora had a constrictive interior, the brand made the Merak more spacious. It subsequently gained lots of legroom and headroom. Its front bucket seats came in a stylish appearance and came padded in pure quality leather, so was the console, the dashboard, and the interior door trim. This added comfort and a touch of luxury. Its driver seat came with a height adjustment setting, for added convenience.
The dashboard was the most attractive feature of its interior, featuring up-to-par instruments, such as the oil temp gauge, water temp gauge, fuel level, speedometer, clock, and odometer. It also had a high-quality sound system and electrically-operated windows. On top of that, the Merak featured a decent air conditioning system. With all its features combined, the Merak was ahead of the Bora.
The Merak Offered Strong V6 Engine Selections
Power-wise, the Maserati Merak packed a 2,965cc V8 engine, which transferred 190 horsepower to the rear wheels via a standard 5-speed Citroën C35 manual gearbox. With this power, the Maserati Merak had a top speed of 149 mph.
The SS And The 2000 GT Models Join The Maserati Merak Fleet
In 1975, the Merak SS trim made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, as a lighter version of the base Merak. Its 3-liter V6 engine gained power, generating 220 horsepower, and a top speed of 155 mph. The highlight was a 3-spoke and padded steering wheel. By the last quarter of 1976, the Maserati Merak 2000 GT came into the scene. It packed a 2-liter, fitted into its stylish design, The engine power significantly decreased to 159 hp, giving it a top speed of 137 mph.
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