Page 21 - Sample pages "Bugatti, The Italian Decade" by Gautam Sen
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                 investment group Mycom Setdco and the Indonesian group V’Power Corporation in 1994, though it never had the money to commercialise the P140.
Around the same time, Gandini also developed the design of the Cizeta; for the complete story see the Cizeta V16T, on pages 154-159.
The other supercar client that Gandini was very busy with during that period was Maserati. Alejandro de Tomaso, who had taken over the running of Maserati from Citroën, with ambitions to take the brand to a significantly wider audience, initially decided to develop a family of cars that would rival the runaway success of the BMW 3 Series.
Later, in the second half of the 1980s, de Tomaso changed direction to take Maserati back to the prestige end of the market. As an all-new car would take time to develop, the first step was to rework one of the existing models in the range to something special. The Maserati Karif, being the lightest, but with the most powerful engine, had the potential to evolve into a very exclusive halo machine. The first important move was to develop a new engine, a 3.2-litre (195 cu. in.) V8 with four valves per cylinder, plus twin turbocharging, for a maximum power of 325 bhp at 6,000 rpm.
De Tomaso turned to Gandini. The designer had to work with one hand tied behind his back. The door and all the inner skins, the roof and all structural parts had to remain the same – it was possible to change only the outer skin panels of the fenders, the bonnet, the boot, and the front and rear ends. The time available to execute all this was very short too; commissioned in spring 1989, the car had to be ready for launch later that year!
To channel the huge increase in power to the road, the new car needed chunkier tyres: 225/45 at the front and even fatter 245/45 16-inch at the rear. That gave Gandini the opportunity to flare the fenders out, and reshape the wheel arches, including his trademark asymmetric ones at the rear. A clamshell boot lid gave the profile a wedge-like look. Called the Shamal, the 270 km/h car was unveiled on 14 December 1989.
The Shamal was not the only new Gandini-designed Maserati announced on that day: two more cars were unveiled, with all three marking a clear return to high-performance and prestige. One was a facelift of the standard four-seater Biturbo coupe, badged the
THIS PAGE: Maserati’s response to the Diablo and the new Bugatti was the stillborn Chubasco, another Marcello Gandini design.
At no point did Alejandro de Tomaso ever complain about the Chubasco’s design being too Lambo-like.
(Marcello Gandini)

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