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1988→1993 Maserati Karif

1988→1993 Maserati Karif

1988→1993 Maserati Karif

Karif was the name of an African wind, chosen to respect the Maserati tradition of using wind names for the designation of its GT cars (Mistral, Ghibli, Khamsin, etc). The proportions were rather unusual for such a high-performance coupé. In fact it was the result of a no-nonsense approach: the Karif’s lines were derived closely from those of the Biturbo Spyder with a rigid roof welded on. The aim was to create a rigid body that would enhance the handling qualities of the shorter wheelbase model.

The colour and trim treatment followed the style of the Biturbo S range, thus with two-tone paint, blacked out chrome trim and an elegant interior clad in wood and leather. Though the car was equipped with occasional rear seats, it was basically a 2-seater but with a sense of airiness due to the large windows and thin posts.

Mechanically, the car was equipped with the most powerful version of the twin turbo V6 available at the time, of 2.8-litre capacity. Rated at 285 hp it was claimed to be good enough for a top speed of over 255kph, despite later versions being de-tuned by way of a catalytic exhaust. The relatively light overall weight combined with a 5-speed manual gearbox with special short ratios to add to the sense of performance. The Karif gained a reputation for being a demanding driver’s car, of which just 222 found their way in the hands of true enthusiasts.

Story by Maserati S.p.A.

In Detail

tags biturbo
submitted by Richard Owen
type Series Production Car
production years 1988 – 1993
built at Italy
production 221
engine 90° V6
position Front Longitudinal
aspiration Twin IHI Water-Cooled Turbos
valvetrain DOHC 3 Valves / Cyl
displacement 2790 cc / 170.3 in³
bore 94 mm / 3.7 in
stroke 67 mm / 2.64 in
compression 7.8:1
power 212.5 kw / 285.0 bhp @ 6000 rpm
specific output 102.15 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 218.39 bhp per tonne
torque 432.51 nm / 319.0 ft lbs @ 4000 rpm
body / frame Unitary Steel Monocoque
driven wheels RWD
front tires 205/50VR15
rear tires 225/50VR15
front brakes Vented Discs
front wheels F 38.1 x 17.8 cm / 15.0 x 7.0 in
rear wheels R 38.1 x 17.8 cm / 15.0 x 7.0 in
steering Rack & Pinion w/Power Assist
f suspension MacPherson Struts w/Telescopic Dampers, Coil Springs, Anti-Roll Bar
r suspension Semi-Trailing Arms w/Telescopic Dampers, Coil Springs, Anti-Roll Bar
curb weight 1305 kg / 2875 lbs
wheelbase 2400 mm / 94.5 in
front track 1500 mm / 59.1 in
rear track 1475 mm / 58.1 in
length 4043 mm / 159.2 in
width 1714 mm / 67.5 in
height 1310 mm / 51.6 in
transmission 5-Speed Manual
top speed ~255 kph / 158.4 mph
0 – 100 kph ~4.8 seconds