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

Model Merak
Maserati internal code Tipo AM122
Production start 1972
Number Produced 630
Ignition single-plug, electronic ignition
Lubrication single oil pump
Transmission 5-speed + reverse synchromesh, rear wheel drive, single dry plate clutch, self-locking differential
Reduction 0,045428241
Gear ratios I=2.92; II=1.94; III=1.32; IV=0.94; V=0.73; R=3.15
Chassis steel platform chassis
Front suspension transversal deformable four-side with coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers and stabiliser bar
Rear suspension coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers and stabiliser bar
Brakes dual hydraulic high pressure circuit, second mechanical system on rear disks for parking
Brakes front 280 mm ventilated disks
Brakes rear 300 mm ventilated disks
Steering rack and pinion with hydraulic shock absorber
Cooling system front-mounted radiator
Length 170.67 inches (4,335 mm)
Width 69.60 inches (1,768 mm)
Height 44.64 inches (1,134 mm)
Wheelbase 102.36 inches (2,600 mm)
Front track 58 inches (1,474 mm)
Rear track 56.9 inches (1,447 mm)
Dry weight 3,086 lbs (1,420 Kg)
Kerb weight 3,791 lbs (1,720 Kg)
Tyres front 185/70 VR 15 X
Tyres rear 205/70 VR 15 X
Wheels light alloy, 7.50 x 15
Top speed 152 mph (245 kmh)
Bodywork two-door, 2+2 mid-engine coupé
Fuel tank 18.70 Imperial gallons (85 litres)
Range 600 km (372.9 miles)
Standing kilometre 0 to 1000 m. in 29 sec.
Production dates 1972-1974
First race
Engine 90° V6
Bore and stroke 91.6x75 mm
Total displacement 2965.5 cc
Displacements (unitary) 494.25 cc
Compression ratio 0,385428241
Maximum power 190 bhp at 6,000 rpm
Maximum torque 26 Kgm (189 lbs/ft) at 4,000 rpm
Timing gear two valves per cylinder, twin overhead camshafts per cylinder bank
Fuel feed naturally aspirated, three Weber 42 DCNF 31 and 32 carburettors
Fuel & lubricant N 98/100 RM