Maserati Shamal

"... hot strong northwesterly summer wind of Mesopotania
that blows in total freedom over large areas".

Text and images from official Maserati literature.

"The Shamal Is the Greatest Maserati You Totally Forgot About" - a short video, presented by Harry Metcalfe, on the virtues of owning a Maserati Shamal !

This is the name Maserati decided to give its new model, to epitomise the exciting features of this latest addition to the marque's noble sports-car tradition. Dedicated to the true lover of top-level sports-car driving, the car stands at the top of the range in performance and technical attributes, with no sacrifice in comfort and class. Designed by the Maserati Design Centre in conjunction with Marcello Gandini.

A powerful 325-bhp engine, mounted on an extremely rigid chassis, a system of active intelligent suspension, electronically adjustable, an overdimensioned braking system and a six-speed gearbox make the Shamal a car that is as thrilling and safe over high-speed bends and long motorway trips as it is docile in bumper-to-bumper city traffic. The cockpit offers superb comfort, thanks to the leather-upholstered anatomical designed seats and climate control. The luggage compartment offers ample space for a car of this type.

A V8, 4-Cam, 32-valve Engine

For maximum response and high performance, Maserati selected a turbocharged V8 configuration, for power and flexibility. The all-alluminium Maserati V8 features an 80mm bore by 80mm stroke, four overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and a compact design. The crankshaft is supported in a "monolithic" structure made from a single casting. Extensive research on port diameters and cylinder axis angle resulted in a minimum angle (20 degrees) between the intake and exhaust valves. This reduced angle, along with ultra-compact combustion chambers, assure efficient combustion for minimum fuel consumption. High torque figures (320 lb-ft @ 2800rpm) and a high power output (325-bhp @ 6000rpm) give the car optimum performance and great flexibility. The Weber/Marelli electronic fuel injection and ignition system was specifically designed to meet the most stringent antipollution standards. The engine is electronically protected against engine knock. A sophisticated system continually monitors the combustion chamber by reading the engine vibration variations and adjusts ignition advance and boost pressure to eliminate engine knock.

Suspension and Braking System

This is a sophisticated mechanism which uses a system of interacting levers to ensure that, not only do the wheels remain completely square relative to the road surface, but a state of constant parallelism is maintained between the lower suspension arm and the steering arm, whatever vertical movement the wheels experience. By maintaining the angle of convergence and with complete integrity of operation at speed, "Meccanica Attiva" offers enormous advantages to the car in cornering even on rough surfaces where there is less adhesion. The interactive lever system which links the steering arm to the steering box provides the further advantages of:
-steering response is almost instantaneous,
-steering precision is maximised,
-steering effort is minimised.

The braking system also benefits from this new suspension, particularly when optimum road holding is needed on bad or slippery roads. The efficiency of the braking system has been further enhanced with the introduction of floating calipers; these ensure maximum contact between pad and disc, whatever the remaining thickness of the pad. Following a technical study into the elimination of "brake fade" due to over-heating, ventilated discs are fitted to the Shamal to facilitate forced air circulation to the brakes especially in very strenuous conditions.

Electronic Active Suspension Control

In joint collaboration with Koni, Maserati have produced an electronically adjustable, active, 'intelligent' suspension system. Each shock absorber adjusts itself: when a wheel hits a bump in the road surface, it flashes a message in 300 milliseconds to the electronic unit, which updates the adjustment on each wheel. This produces an 'ideal suspension' based on road conditions, speed and the level of comfort required. There are four positions on the regulator, each of which correspond to differing shock-absorbtion-effects. The system totally controls shock-absorbtion at all piston speeds, in both the compression and expansion phases and produces a considerable improvement both in roadholding and in traction. The driver uses a button on the console, near the gear lever, to select the setting he requires from the shock absorber:-
1. Very soft for low speed and maximum comfort.
2. For speeds up to 100 mph.
3. The best setting for driveability, manageability, roadholding and comfort.
4. The perfect setting for drivers who like to maximise the sporting soul of the car.

The Ranger® Differential

Maserati has always been particularly conscious of the technical demands of a car with sporting characteristics and in 1984 introduced a very special differential 'Sensitork®' to the Biturbo range which dealt very effectively with the problem of optimising traction on the driving wheels. The new differential is called 'Ranger®' and consists of a series of central gears surrounded by six satellite helical gears positioned in a 'star' pattern. The basic advantage of this system is that all the gears work on a common axle, thus giving greater durability and reliability. In practice, the Maserati 'Ranger®' differential will, if required, allow the transfer of all available power to just one halfshaft, leaving zero torque on the other. Power distribution is therefore determined by the needs of the car. This leads to the automatic maximisation of traction in almost every situation, comparable to that available from Four Wheel Drive systems.

The Body Styling

The front end clearly shows the Shamal as a member of the Maserati family - a low, blacked-out grille which is trimmed with a hint of chrome and the distinctive Maserati trident at its centre - the only concession to tradition in a strictly sports/racing package. Headlights are compact: round high-performance low-beam units. The low-beam lights are polyelliptical shaped to produce very strong beams for enhanced visibility at high speeds. Fog and spot lights are recessed underneath the front bumper. An unusual feature is the ability to remove the engine from the front, rather than by using a hoist. After the front bumper is removed, the subframe with the attached intercoolers and radiator can be removed. The entire power unit can then be easily slipped forward. The bonnet features two air vents and a spoiler which improves wiper performance by dflecting air and water from the windscreen. The aerodynamic front end design lowers drag coefficient while maintaining the Maserati's traditional bold look. A high, continuous profile emphasizes the car's wedge styling. Centre pillars, highlighted in contrasting colour, give the monocoque assembly extraordinary structural rigidity. They also serve as a roll bar for increased structural safety. Between the front and rear wheels, a prominent mini-skirt improves roadholding and adds boldness to the shape of the car. The unusual design of the rear wheel arches typify the work of Marcello Gandini.

The rear end design is highlighted by a slightly lifted tail - a hint of a spoiler - which, along with the rear panel design, facilitates air flow. The bumper, partially flared and fitted with openings for the four exhaust pipes. The boot lid is slightly arched and features external hinges and gas springs for greater carrying capacity and ease of access. A wide, horizontal band encompasses and joins the tail light clusters, enhancing the styling treatment of the rear end.

The Interior

The Shamal's body design aggressively states its sporting heritage while the interior is consistent with the best of Maserati. Innovations include fully adjustable steering wheel with horn buttons inserted in the spokes. Extended seat cushions and high seat back supports hold the driver and passenger in perfect ergonomic position especially when travelling at high speed over winding roads. Standard equipment includes temperature control; analog clock (it's that clock again!); central door locking; electromagnetic control of the boot lid and inboard control for adjusting the dipped beam headlights.

The impressive list of standard equipment is designed for the maximum comfort of the Maserati driver and if you own one "Lucky you!"

Position Front
Cylinders No. 8V at 90º
Bore and stroke 80mm X 80mm
Cubic capacity 3217cc
Compression ratio 7.5:1
Maximum torque 44kgm/320lb-ft @ 2800rpm
Maximum power 240kW/326bhp @ 6000rpm
Turbochargers No 2 IHI watercooled
Intercoolers No 2 air to air
ENGINE BLOCK and cylinder heads in light alloy with removable wet liners.
Water cooling by centrifugal pump.
Forced lubrication with full-flow filtering and cooling.
No 4 overhead camshafts.
No 32 valves, 4 valves per cylinder (2 intake, 2 exhaust).
Injection and static ignition with microprocessor management.
Permanent overboost / 105 amps alternator / leaded fuel.
Catalytic emission control system with Lambda sonde.
Getrag manual 6 speed + reverse / Rear wheel drive.
Ranger® with multiple anchorage mounting / Ratio: 3.36.
Monocoque construction.
Independent on all 4 wheels with electronic active control.
FRONT: Mac Pherson strut with stabilising bar and dual effect hydraulic telescopic shock absorbers.
REAR: Tubular trailing arms, coil springs, oleodynamic shock absorbers, stabilizer bars.
STEERING: Power assisted rack and pinion steering.
Hydraulic, independent, power assisted twin circuit.
Front and rear ventilated discs with floating calipers.
Rear drum parking brakes.
Light Alloy:- Front - 8"J X 16"      Rear - 9"J X 16"
Front - 225/45 ZR 16      Rear - 245/45 ZR 16
2 door coupe, 4 seater, Sound proofed with Silent Travel®.
Maximum speed: 168mph / 270kph
Acceleration: 0-62mph 5.3secs
0-1000m 25.6secs
Wheelbase 2400mm
Front track 1512mm
Rear track 1550mm
Overall length 4100mm
Width 1850mm
Height 1300mm
Dry weight 1417kg
Fuel tank 80 litres
Boot area 420 cm³ approx
Turning circle 10.40m approx

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