The Maserati Shamal (Tipo 339) is two-door coupé produced by Italian car manufacturer Maserati from 1990 to 1996. In keeping with an established Maserati tradition, it is named after a wind: shamal (Arabic for ‘north’), a hot summer wind that blows in large areas of Mesopotamia.
With its twin-turbocharged V8 the Shamal was Maserati's flagship grand tourer, topping the lineup of V6-engined Biturbo coupés in both performance and price (at 125 million Lire).
The Shamal was introduced on 14 December 1989 in Modena, when Maserati president and owner Alejandro de Tomaso showed it to the press. It was the last model announced under the De Tomaso ownership: in January 1990 half of Maserati was acquired by Fiat S.p.A.. Sales began in 1990. The final year of production for the Maserati Shamal was 1996; factory figures indicate that 369 examples were produced.
The Shamal was designed by Marcello Gandini, of Bertone fame. The Shamal shows its Biturbo heritage in the doors, interior, and basic bodyshell, which were carried over from the Biturbo. Gandini's styling signature is visible in the slanted profile of the rear wheel wheel arch, also present on the fourth generation Quattroporte IV and first seen on the Lamborghini Countach.
The center pillar wraps around the cabin as a roll bar and is always finished in black, a distinguishing characteristic of the Shamal. The name "Shamal" appears on either side of the central pillar in chrome lettering. The car has alloy wheels, a small rear spoiler and a blacked-out grille with chrome accents.
Another defining feature of the Shamal are its numerous headlamps in individual housings: outer round Carello low beams of the then-new projector type, inner rectangular high beams, combined turn signals and position lamps in the bumper, and two pairs of square lights in the lower grille—fog lamps and driving lamps.
The two-seat interior of the Shamal features extended leather seat cushions, temperature control and the famous Maserati oval clock, which is situated in the centre of the dashboard. The gear lever is finished in elm. While built for comfort as well as performance, the Shamal was not as luxuriously appointed as the similar Maserati Ghibli II.
The Shamal used a traditional front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout and an all-steel unibody construction. Suspension was by MacPherson struts upfront and semi-trailing arms at the rear. All Shamals were equipped with an adaptive suspension developed by Maserati together with Koni. The system varied the damping rates, based on road conditions and the level of comfort desired.
The Shamal was powered by an AM 479 3,217 cc square (bore and stroke 80 mm or 3.1 in) V8 engine, with two overhead camshafts per bank, and four valves per cylinder. It was twin-turbocharged with two IHI turbines and intercoolers, and equipped with a Marelli IAW integrated electronic ignition and fuel injection ECU per cylinder bank. The engine put out 325 PS (239 kW; 321 hp) at 6,000 rpm and 430 N·m (320 lb·ft) at 3,000 rpm. Power was sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed Getrag manual transmission and Maserati's Ranger limited-slip differential.
The manufacturer claimed a top speed of 270 km/h (170 mph) and a 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) acceleration time of 5.3 seconds.