Complete Maserati Shamal lineup, specs, economy, dimensions

1990 Maserati Shamal - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1989 - 1995 Maserati Shamal CoupeShamal1 Trim 326 Hp

The Maserati Shamal was a two-door 2+2 coupe grand tourer available from 1990 to 1996. With only 369 units produced, it is another limited and exclusive run from the well-known Italian automaker. The model code is Tipo AM339. Maserati recently resurrected the Shamal with a 2020 restored concept known as Project Rekall. It featured a cyberpunk theme but remained a concept edition only. Keeping in line with the Maserati tradition of using wind names, the Shamal is a hot summer wind that blows in areas of Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

Maserati Shamal: Design Challenges During a Difficult Period

The Shamal was designed in collaboration between Maserati’s design team and Marcello Gandini, who was also behind the design of various Lamborghini models. It was first unveiled in 1989 when then President and Owner of Maserati, Alejandro de Tomaso showed it to the press. Although de Tomaso had taken the automaker from the verge of bankruptcy when he first acquired the company, this was the final model that would be released under his ownership as it had acquired significant debt and was once again plagued by financial strains. It would eventually end up in the majority ownership of the Fiat group. The financial burdens led to the Shamal development being rather limited, and instead of creating a wholly new vehicle from scratch, the design team had to do their best to utilize existing components to create a new model. The result is a vehicle that shares the nearly identical wheelbase, doors, and interior from the Biturbo model. Most exterior panels were wholly new, however. Gandini brought in a new element with an additional front spoiler under the front windshield, and also added his signature touch in the slanted rear wheel arch that is shared with the Lamborghini Countach. While it brings a stylistic touch to the Shamal, some might see the design as a bit of a forced entry on a car that might not fit it so well. It uses an all-steel unibody construction with MacPherson struts in the front suspension and semi-trailing arms in the rear. Koni adaptive suspension was used and developed alongside of the Maserati development team. 

Engine and Specifications

The engine is a twin-turbocharged 3.2L V8 engine with two overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder. While a slightly different design, much of the engine came from the Biturbo model and is similar to it but with an extra bank of cylinders added, making it a V8 instead of the Biturbo’s V6. Marelli IAM electric ignition and fuel injection were used. The Shamal was capable of producing 322 horsepower at 6,000 RPM with 318 lb ft of torque at 3,000 RPM. A 6-speed manual transmission from Getrag was used in combination with a limited-slip differential to ensure that the tires wouldn’t let the power get out of control. The top speed is reported to be 168 mph (270 km/h) with a 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) time of 5.3 seconds, quite respectable for a vehicle from the era. The large B and C pillar arrangements are functional and hide the robust roll cage underneath, although the do have a pronounced impact on the overall look of the vehicle. Turning to the interior, the usual Maserati touches of stylish wood and leather are featured throughout. The luxurious leather seats sit beside the burled elm gear lever, while the iconic Maserati oval clock sits in the center of the dashboard and acts as the focal point of the interior. Keeping options to a minimum, the exterior was available only in two color choices of red or black originally, but later years came with more options. Lights were scattered across the front grille with two on each end, indicators built in to the bumper frame, and another four lights under that.