The Maserati Indy was a two-door 2+2 grand tourer coupe available from 1969 to 1975. It is a front engine vehicle with rear-wheel drive. It is known as the Tipo AM116 model.
The name is a nod to the 1939 Indianapolis 500 victory from Maserati, and the engine was based on the same one found in the 1956 450S race car, although redesign and retuned to be most reliable for regular road use.
Maserati Indy Design and Introduction
Two coach builders with preexisting Maserati relationships designed proposals to use in the Indy. The one produced by Vignale, who has previously designed the Maserati 3500 GT Spyder, Mexico, and Sebring, was selected as the winning design. It was the first Maserati produced under the relatively new Citroën ownership and was unveiled at the Salone dell’Automobile di Torino in 1968. The design featured prominent glass windows in the rear, showcasing the ability to comfortably seat four people in the still-sporty looking vehicle.The rear passenger area is reported to be plenty spacious, while the hatch in the rear leads to about 18 cubic feet of space for luggage flanked by the fuel tanks, battery, and spare tire with tool kit. Leaving such expansive room in the rear of the vehicle led to a slightly hatchback looking design, losing the attractive low, long profile previously featured in the Ghibli. But Maserati did not want to compromise on comfort for all four passengers. These were an exclusive vehicle, with 1,102 total units produced over the seven year production period. As a two-door grand tourer, this was another example from Maserati of their ability to blend ultimate performance with a stylish yet comfortable grand tourer design. The collector market has not treated the Indy as kindly as other Maseratis from similar eras. While an Indy is fairly good shape can still fetch a respectable figure around $50,000 to $70,000, its comparable Ghibli cousin will go for around five times that price.
Engine and Performance
The 1969 Maserati Indy came with a 4.2L V8 engine which produced 260 horsepower at 5,500 RPM and had a top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h). It had four twin-choke down-draught Weber carburetors. 436 units of the Maserati Indy featured this base option engine. In 1970, a larger 4.7L V8 model was available as an option, with 290 horsepower at 5,200 RPM and a higher top speed of 161 mph (260 km/h). 367 units were produced of this model. A 4.9L V8 was released in 1972, bumping up horsepower to an impressive 320 with a top speed of 165 mph (265 km/h). Just 299 units of the Indy 4.9 were produced. The standard transmission featured a ZF 5-speed manual gearbox, although a 3-speed Borg-Warner automatic transmission was available as an option for those who didn’t mind the change in feeling. The chassis was a steel semi-monocoque with a front subframe to support the engine and suspension. This design was the ideal combination of weight savings and performance, but also allowed for incredible handling and road feel. The headlights were pop-up in design and had a manual back-up system in case of failure. Inside, the Maserati Indy featured a three-spoke adjustable Nardi steering wheel. The compact dashboard featured the usual speedometer, tachometer, oil temperature, oil pressure, water temperature, fuel level, and amp meter gauges, while the passenger side housed a large analog clock with a glove box underneath. In addition to the engine changes, 1970 also Brough in a chrome door sill and redesigned front seats with adjustable headrests and a grab handle under the passenger glove box. In 1971, two new versions produced specifically for the North American market were released, known as the Indy America with prominent hood grilles, featuring the 4.9L engine that was also found in the Ghibli SS. The wheel size was bumped up from 14-inch to 15-inch and air conditioning was added in 1973.