Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Maserati Khamsin

Born as a Bertone prototype in 1972, the Khamsin entered production as a Maserati in '74. It employed a configuration that has become commonplace in the supercar sphere, being front-mid-engined - see the Ferrari 599, Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione and Maserati GranTurismo, for example. In its eight-year production run, just 430 were produced. This is perhaps why the Khamsin is one of the seventies' forgotten supercars...

With a 4.9-litre V8 offering up a respectable 320bhp, it was as much GT as it was supercar, thanks to a number of practical innovations such as variable-assistance power steering, hydraulic seats and air-con as standard. So, it's gorgeous, rapid, practical, rare... why should it command so much less cash than, say, a Ferrari 275GTB/4 or Lamborghini Countach? Well, many view it as being an 'impure' Maserati; it comes from the period in the firm's history when they were owned by Citroën, so you find Citroën-sourced hydraulics and suchlike throughout the car. (Indeed, the front-mid layout was more to accommodate the spare wheel under the bonnet, French-style, than for reasons of weight distribution.) But this snobbery is foolish - the Khamsin is a true thoroughbred, a beautiful supercar built by Italian craftsmen. The smart money will be investing in these before the cognoscenti realise just what they're missing.

Click here for a fascinating insight into the special world of the Khamsin.

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