Maserati Merak

Maserati Merak SS

1972 to 1974

It shared the Bora’s mid-engine layout and some of its styling cues, but the big difference was under the bonnet: the Merak was powered by a 3 litre V6 which could trace its roots back to the Citroën SM-Maserati project. Maserati’s excellent reputation as a manufacturer had excited interest from Citroën, which had commissioned the design of the type C.114 2.7 litre V6 back in 1967 and the following year it took control of the company.

The engine was remarkable for its compactness, allowing a five-speed gearbox to be mounted ahead of it in the front-engined SM. It lent itself perfectly to being mounted amidships in the Merak, providing a more accessible alternative to the Bora. With cylinders bored out to 91.6 mm, the total displacement was 2,965 cc for this model and the output reached a more than respectable 190 hp at 6,000 rpm. Being 250 Kg lighter than the Bora, the Merak could achieve a top speed of 240 kph and handled superbly. Hydraulic brakes provided prodigious stopping power and were praised for their progressive response.

The name Merak did not refer to a wind, as was customary in this period, but rather to a star from the Great Bear constellation. The styling was derived from the general shape and proportions of the Bora, but the fastback shape was cut vertically right behind the seats and only 'flying buttresses' above the rear bootlid maintained a continuous silhouette. This innovative visual trick was once again the work of Giorgetto Giugiaro.

Technical specifications

Maserati internal codeTipo AM122
Production start1972
Number Produced630
Ignitionsingle-plug, electronic ignition
Lubricationsingle oil pump
Transmission5-speed + reverse synchromesh, rear wheel drive, single dry plate clutch, self-locking differential
Gear ratiosI=2.92; II=1.94; III=1.32; IV=0.94; V=0.73; R=3.15
Chassissteel platform chassis
Front suspensiontransversal deformable four-side with coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers and stabiliser bar
Rear suspensioncoil springs, telescopic shock absorbers and stabiliser bar
Brakesdual hydraulic high pressure circuit, second mechanical system on rear disks for parking
Brakes front280 mm ventilated disks
Brakes rear300 mm ventilated disks
Steeringrack and pinion with hydraulic shock absorber
Cooling systemfront-mounted radiator
Length170.67 inches (4,335 mm)
Width69.60 inches (1,768 mm)
Height44.64 inches (1,134 mm)
Wheelbase102.36 inches (2,600 mm)
Front track58 inches (1,474 mm)
Rear track56.9 inches (1,447 mm)
Dry weight3,086 lbs (1,420 Kg)
Kerb weight3,791 lbs (1,720 Kg)
Tyres front185/70 VR 15 X
Tyres rear205/70 VR 15 X
Wheelslight alloy, 7.50 x 15
Top speed152 mph (245 kmh)
Bodyworktwo-door, 2+2 mid-engine coupé
Fuel tank18.70 Imperial gallons (85 litres)
Range600 km (372.9 miles)
Standing kilometre0 to 1000 m. in 29 sec.
Production dates1972-1974
First race
Engine90° V6
Bore and stroke91.6x75 mm
Total displacement2965.5 cc
Displacements (unitary)494.25 cc
Compression ratio0,385428241
Maximum power190 bhp at 6,000 rpm
Maximum torque26 Kgm (189 lbs/ft) at 4,000 rpm
Timing geartwo valves per cylinder, twin overhead camshafts per cylinder bank
Fuel feednaturally aspirated, three Weber 42 DCNF 31 and 32 carburettors
Fuel & lubricantN 98/100 RM