The Merak was Maserati’s answer to the oil crisis, which affected the sales of cars with large-displacement engines. This sibling of the Bora used a modified version of the type C.114 engine, which Maserati had engineered for Citroën. This smaller V6 engine made it possible to equip the Merak with two small rear seats, unlike the strictly two-seat Bora. The Merak used even more Citroën components than its larger relative, such as the single-spoke steering wheel, but many of these parts were replaced on later versions with more sporting components. In 1976, a lighter and more powerful version was presented, the Merak SS. While Maserati already had a more economical alternative to the Bora in the V6 Merak, new company chairman Alejandro De Tomaso felt a version equipped with a smaller engine was called for to reinvigorate sales. Italian legislation imposed heavy taxation on cars with engines larger than two liters, and thus the Merak 2000GT was born. The combination of its sensational Italdesign body and more economical drivetrain made the Merak a best-seller, with about 1,830 made between 1972 and 1983.
|Data sheet||Merak||Merak SS||Merak 2000|
|Model code||Tipo AM122||Tipo AM122/A||Tipo AM122/D|
|Body type||2-door, 2+2 mid-engine coupé||2-door, 2+2 mid-engine coupé||2-door, 2+2 mid-engine coupé|
|Production years||1972 - 1975||1976 - 1982||1980 - 1982|
|Chassis||Steel platform chassis||Steel platform chassis||Steel platform chassis|
|Engine configuration||90° V6, double overhead camshaft||90° V6, double overhead camshaft||90° V6, double overhead camshaft|
|Maximum power||190hp @ 6,000rpm||220hp @ 6,500rpm||159hp @ 7,100rpm|