Maserati’s final major introduction while under Citroën’s control, the Khamsin (named after a hot Sahara Desert wind) debuted at the 1972 Turin Show and entered production in 1974. Styled and built at Bertone, the Khamsin’s attractive, unitary construction, 2+2 hatchback body was of all steel construction. The front-engined Khamsin featured state-of-the-art, all independent, double-wishbone suspension similar to that of the mid-engined Bora and Merak which, combined with a 50/50 front/rear weight distribution, endowed the Khamsin with near perfect balance; and if its grip level was ultimately inferior to the Bora’s, then the Khamsin’s conventional layout made it easier to control close to the limit.
Citroën’s hydraulic technology (as found in the Maserati-engined Citroën SM) was employed to power the brakes and steering – the latter, in particular, being rated as highly effective by testers – and also to raise the concealed headlamps. The power unit was a longer-stroke, 4.9-litre version of Maserati’s familiar quad-cam V8 developing 320bhp at a lowly 5,500rpm and a lusty 354lb/ft of torque at 4,000rpm. A five-speed ZF manual gearbox or three-speed Borg-Warner automatic transmission were options, and when equipped with the former the Khamsin was good for around 240km/h (150mph). Although seemingly less exotic than the mid-engined Bora supercar, the Khamsin was Maserati’s biggest-engined and most expensive offering at the time of its introduction, and thus could justifiably claim to be its top-of-the-range model. By virtue of its front-engined layout, the Khamsin offered greater practicality, providing a roomier and more comfortable interior and superior luggage carrying capacity.
‘Just as it scores in terms of accommodation compared with a mid-engined car, so the Khamsin is generally quieter,’ observed Autocar magazine. ‘There is an exciting noise of cams in motion when the car is accelerating hard, but this is presumably no more than the enthusiastic owner would demand.
There is very little of that tiring noise that nags away at the occupants when cruising at a high steady speed. In these circumstances the engine noise dies away to a whisper and wind noise never becomes apparent.’ A mere 430 examples of this most exclusive and consummate Grand Routier had been made when production ceased in 1982.
This manual transmission matching numbers Khamsin was delivered in the US but has been painstakingly converted back to European specification by a well know Maserati specialist. In stunning condition and retaining the original Tobacco coloured interior, it is supplied with a Maserati Classiche certificate and has always been maintained by Maserati specialists.