The Maserati Merak (Tipo AM122) is a mid-engined 2+2 sports car produced by Maserati from 1972 to 1983. The Merak was closely related to the Maserati Bora, sharing part of its structure and body panels, but was powered by a 3.0 L V6 in place of the Bora's 4.7 L V8. The extra cabin space gained by fitting a more compact powertrain was used for two small backseats making the Merak a 2+2. It was designed to compete with Ferrari's successful 308 GTB model.
The Maserati Merak was introduced at the 1972 Paris Auto Show, a year after the Bora. Both the Merak and the Bora were designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, who was also responsible for other cars like the Lotus Esprit. The Merak and the Bora share the front fenders and hood, though they have different bumpers and grills. The glassed in fastback of the Bora was replaced with a small vertical rear window and flying buttresses extending the roof line to the rear deck.
Having been designed during the Citroen ownership of Maserati (1968–1975) certain Citroen hydro-pneumatic systems were used in the Merak like they were in the Bora. The braking system and the clutch were both hydraulically assisted, and the pop-up headlights were hydraulically actuated. After 1976, when the French manufacturer gave up control of Maserati, the Citroen-derived parts were gradually replaced by more conventional systems.
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