• Maserati Quattroporte II

The Maserati Quattroporte II (internal: Tipo AM 123) was a four-door sports car of Italian car manufacturer Maserati, which was introduced in the fall of 1974.

The Quattroporte II was developed under the direction of Citroën and was so tight like no other Maserati technically related with Citroën models. He was the only passenger car in the history of the Italian brand, which had front wheel drive.

The project was still at the prototype stage addition. It failed, as Alejandro de Tomaso company Maserati by Citroen took over in 1975. Came a little later, based on the De-Tomaso-technology Quattroporte III In place of the Quattroporte II.

Maserati had been represented successfully used in 1963 featured Quattroporte I in sporting luxury car. When production of the Quattroporte I ended in 1970, designed by Pietro Frua the car was, however, externally and technically outdated.

Pietro Frua designed in 1971 on his own initiative a potential successor (Tipo AM 121), which was based technically on the Maserati Indy. Frua put the AM 121 with some success public. Maserati’s owner, the French car manufacturer Citroën, however decided against a mass production of the Frua-model. Frua sold the exhibit in 1972 to Spain, possibly at the later King Juan Carlos I. A second copy was In 1974, Karim Aga Khan IV produced. Both cars still exist. There are also rumors of a third Frua model, which also was in the 1980s in Spain.

Instead of the Frua-draft Citroën decided to develop its own Quattroporte, which should have recourse to a far greater extent than the previous Maserati models on production technology of the French manufacturer. The Quattroporte II was basically a prolonged notchback version of the Citroën SM, with whom he shared the key technology components.

The Maserati Quattroporte II took over from the Citroën SM, the entire drive technology, the hydropneumatic suspension, the power-assisted steering and brakes. The Quattroporte II was so like the SM designed as a front wheel drive car. When driving the six-cylinder engine was used, had developed the Maserati for the SM. He appeared here in the enlarged, in the SM from 1973 available 3.0-liter version, which gave 140 kW (190hp). At least one copy of the Quattroporte II was increased once again, not available in the SM version of the engine with a displacement of 3.2 liters and an output of 147 kW (200hp), according to other sources 162 kW (220hp). As power transmission served a five-speed manual gearbox Citroën; an automatic transmission was provided as an alternative.

The body of the Quattroporte II was designed by Bertone, Marcello Gandini was executive designer. The car had a classic notchback body that had no similarities with previous Maserati models. She remembered rather to also designed by Bertone BMW 5-Series. family resemblance was to Citroën SM to the extent that even the Quattroporte II had six located behind a glass cover headlights, of which the inner were movable and the steering angle followed.

At the rear, the taillights of the 2000 Lancia were installed, which were surrounded by a plastic bezel and slightly alienated. Front and rear wore the Quattroporte II massive, black-painted plastic bumpers.

Eigenständigstes design feature of the Quattroporte II were far reaching into the car side engine and trunk hoods down stuck to the side light-catching contour. In the interior, seats, dashboard, doors and headliner were covered with leather. The dashboard showed deposits of pepper tree wood on.

The Quattroporte II was also a relatively heavy vehicle, because with the 3.0 liter engine, he weighed – depending on the source -. 1.6 or 1.8 tons

The Quattroporte II was – unlike his immediate predecessor – no outstanding sporty car. He was equally difficult as the Quattroporte I, however, had significantly less power. The top speed of the 3.0-liter version was at 190km/h; the acceleration from 0 to 100km/h was given as 10 seconds. Subsequent test driver classify this information as "optimistic".

The driving behavior is described as "soft" and "unsportsmanlike". The hydraulically assisted steering was very direct and left little resistance felt. Overall, there were complaints that the car does not feel like it do to be driven fast.

The Maserati Quattroporte II was introduced to the public on October 3, 1974, the Paris Motor Show; Another presentation was made at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1975. This exhibition is an enlarged 3.2 liter engine has been announced but not shown. In the following months, Maserati became insolvent; Finally, in August 1975 took over Alejandro de Tomaso the traditional sports car manufacturer. Since March 1975, no more development work has been carried out on the Quattroporte II. Immediately after the takeover Maseratis de Tomaso was on the Quattroporte II project.

The information concerning the production volume are different. Some sources speak of five copies, other nine; most go from a total production of 13 vehicles from.

According to the predominant view to 1975 six pre-series of the Quattroporte II were manufactured, some of which were destroyed in crash tests. In addition arisen body shells and parts for other cars. The body shells were sometimes several years on the Maserati factory premises. Until 1978, were derived from the existing parts in manual work gradually building up a total of seven other vehicles. In the German car catalogs was the Quattroporte II to 1977, described as available.

The Quattroporte II were not homologated for the European market, so could not be sold in the European Economic Community. Most vehicles were exported to Spain. From there, they were sold to South America and the Middle East.

The development of the Quattroporte II ended when Alejandro de Tomaso took over 1975 Maserati in the summer. The decision to waive a series production of the Quattroporte II is to first understand as clear documentation of a break with the previous Citroën era. After the takeover by De Tomaso Maserati was a purely Italian brand again; This impression should not be diluted by a top model, which clearly shows the roots of the former revealed the French owner.

Apart from that have grown up around the Quattroporte II conspiracy theories. They have to do with the question, on whose initiative the development of the Quattroporte is due. Some authors are of the opinion that the development of the Quattroporte II had its origin at Citroën where a limousine version of the SM should be developed in the late 1960s. The project was quickly because of the size of the car and the lack of performance of the Motor proved problematic. It is therefore considered that, Citroën have the project in 1971 passed to Maserati or deported to give the Italian designer to blame for the predictable failure of the large sedan. In support of this theory it is argued that the Quattroporte II had different than developed under Citroen leadership models Bora, Merak and Khamsin no relation to Maserati, but basically a large Was Citroën.

Some sources report that the French automobile manufacturer Renault in 1975 to have had interest in the acquisition of the Quattroporte II construction. After that Renault wanted to equip the car with its own six-cylinder engine and position it above the recently presented models Renault 20/30 as a high end model. These considerations, however, were not pursued.

It is not known how many of the Quattroporte II 13 produced still exist. A vehicle was at the beginning of the 21st century in Germany, another in the UK.

On the European used car market of the Quattroporte II is almost not present. A used car magazine called the summer of 2011 at a price of 85,000 euros for a Quattroporte II in excellent condition. In August 2011, was offered in the UK at a cost of £ 125,000 to buy a copy of the Quattroporte II.

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