The Khamsin made its first public appearance at the Bertone stand at the Salone di Torino in 1972. The following year it appeared at the Bertone stand at the Paris Motor Show, but this time it showcased the Maserati badge. It went into full production in 1974, and the rest is history.
The Maserati Khamsin is a pure gem of a car. It was the last Maserati to be produced under Citroen ownership and was a worthy successor to the highly celebrated Maserati Ghibli. While the Ghibli was a popular car, the Khamsin was on a different level and went with the new wedge-shaped look that was gaining prominence in the auto industry in the early 1970s.
The Khamsin shared parts with the Citroen SM, which was unsurprising, given Citroens’ ownership of Maserati at the time. Citroens ownership of the Maserati brand commenced in 1968 and produced some unique cars in the form of the Maserati Bora and Merak.
The Khamsin is very popular among Maserati enthusiasts as it was the last Maserati car designed by the legendary head engineer, Giulio Alfieri, who was instrumental in the engineering of many legendary sports cars, including the Lamborghini Countach, among others.
Maserati Khamsin Has Striking Looks And Panache
The Khamsin production years were between 1974 and 1982, and 430 units were made. The Khamsin had a wedge-like appearance that was a thing of beauty and offered state-of-the-art aerodynamics and performance. The Khamsin was also the first Maserati to be designed by Bertone.
The 2+2 coupe had variable steering wheel assistance, a legacy from its Citroen owners, as were the Khamsin clutch, pop-up headlights, driver seat adjustments, and the brake system, which was not well received by many Maserati enthusiasts.
The Khamsin traditional GT configuration was considered a large sports car with distinctive looks and performance that had a front-mounted engine with rear-wheel drive. The spare wheel was located in the front lower structure of the car, which allowed for more space in the rear compartment and added to the pragmatic nature of the Khamsin, which had the added advantage of offering better lengthwise mass distribution.
The Khamsin Delivers A True Driving Experience
The Khamsin had beautiful looks and a powerful engine, but what was the driving experience like? It was a front-engine, rear-wheel drive with a very modest 10 MPG. The superfast Khamsin coupe had a wheelbase of 2.55 meters and was 4.4m long, 1.8m wide, and 1.25m high. The steering ratio was relatively low, which resulted in better handling and driving control, which provided direct feedback to the driver at all times.
While some Maserati enthusiasts believe the brand identity was diluted during the Citroen era, it was not the case with the Maserati Khamsin, as the Italian design team’s influence can be evidenced throughout the car. Silver was the color most suited to the Khamsin, and the coupe was fitted with 7.5j alloys and sported a blue coach line that went hand in hand with the interior leather.
Even by today’s standards, it has an obvious sex appeal with its razor-sharp shoulder line and aesthetically pleasing bonnet that is mounted above the exhausts of the Khamsin. The coupe generated great bursts of sustained speed while allowing the driver to feel in total control of the car.
Khamsin’s driving performance was spearheaded like many GT models in this era by improving the engine output and maintaining low drag and low aerodynamics. The car presents an overall enjoyable driving experience with solid handling thanks partly to its streamlined weight distribution and double-wishbone suspension.
Maserati Khamsin Combines Speed And Comfort
It is only fitting that the Maserati Khamsin was named after an Egyptian storm, given the whirlwind speeds it could produce. The Khamsin was equipped with a 3.9-liter twin-cam V8 engine that produced 320 hp at 5,500 rpm. Its engine was identical to its predecessor, the Ghibli. Still, it was a far more agile car and offered a more intuitive driving experience, given its unique shape and enhanced aerodynamics.
A 5-speed manual ZF came as a standard and only sent power to the rear wheels. It also had a fun 3-speed automatic option, but this version failed to live up to the lofty standards of its manual sibling. The Maserati Khamsin epitomized the 2+2 configuration GT landscape at the time, as it could produce high speeds while offering a safe and enjoyable driving experience which added to its allure.
The Khamsin could reach 0-60 mph in a lighting 3.2 seconds and had a torque output of 354 lb-ft. The superfast Khamsin coupe was a car for the ages and still has the ability to turn heads on the road today.