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Robert Bowen
Robert Bowen
12/3/08 11:43 a.m.

Italian cars seem to fall into two distinct categories, with fun but quirky Fiats and Alfa Romeos inhabiting one group and all-out exotics such as Lamborghinis and Ferraris comprising the other. In the competitive 1980s, though, at least one Italian carmaker attempted to straddle the line between mass production and handmade exotic.

The carmaker was Maserati, and the company’s bread-and-butter model during the time was the Biturbo (pronounced Bee-turbo), the first truly mass-produced car from a manufacturer previously known for fast, expensive GT machines.

More than twenty years after its U.S. introduction, the Biturbo remains a unique car, combining above-average performance and handling with the cachet of an Italian exotic. The car offers Ferrari-like design and performance at a price comparable to an old Corolla.

A nice Biturbo has the potential to offer a lot of bang for the buck, and it is certainly hard to beat the Biturbo’s pedigree, performance and looks. In fact, the price-to-performance ratio of Biturbos on the current market makes it easy to overlook some of the car’s more glaring faults.

And who can resist the allure of a car that features a large, elaborate Swiss clock in the center of the dash?

Read the rest of the story

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Digital Editor
6/6/19 10:00 a.m.

With the $2000 Challenge coming up, is anyone brave enough to prep one in time for October?

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
6/6/19 10:15 a.m.

A lot of things have been said about the Biturbo here, but I don't recall if THIS has been said:

The worst part of a Biturbo is actually the interior. 

There, i said it! 

Stampie
Stampie PowerDork
6/6/19 10:21 a.m.

In reply to Vigo :

Heathen!  You need that plush interior so you can enjoy making all the vroom vroom noises. 

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Digital Editor
6/6/19 10:21 a.m.
Vigo said:

A lot of things have been said about the Biturbo here, but I don't recall if THIS has been said:

The worst part of a Biturbo is actually the interior. 

There, i said it! 

But it looks so comfy!

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/6/19 10:24 a.m.

Funny. I had never considered pronounced Bee-turbo. I have always said/read as Buy-turbo. 

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
6/6/19 10:44 a.m.
John Welsh said:

Funny. I had never considered pronounced Bee-turbo. I have always said/read as Buy-turbo. 

If pronouncing it buy-turbo is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Digital Editor
6/6/19 1:19 p.m.

I can thank this very article back in `06 for correcting my pronunciation to 'bee'. 

LanEvo
LanEvo Dork
6/6/19 3:52 p.m.

^^^ if you want to be anal about it, a true Italian would pronounce the word turbo differently as well. In the USA, we say it like “terbow.” In Italy its more like “tour-boh.” 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
6/6/19 3:59 p.m.
Stampie said:

In reply to Vigo :

Heathen!  You need that plush interior so you can enjoy making all the vroom vroom noises while its sitting, broken in your driveway

You forgot a part. I completed it for you.

Stampie
Stampie PowerDork
6/6/19 4:36 p.m.

In reply to irish44j :

That was just a given. 

Daylan C
Daylan C UltraDork
6/6/19 5:04 p.m.

So have we still not had a biturbo at the challenge?

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
6/6/19 7:52 p.m.

I always thought a VQ35 would be the perfect engine replacement for these

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Digital Editor
6/6/19 8:33 p.m.
LanEvo
LanEvo Dork
6/7/19 2:17 a.m.

I’ve never been much a fan of the regular BiTurbo, but I have a serious weakness for the later Ghibli II in “Cup” and “GT/R” form.

Boxed fenders, blocky body cladding, deep front/rear valences, raised decklid, larger 3-piece wheels, blackout trim, wild colors, etc. They even had a bit of competition history in the mid-‘90s.

It’s like an E30 M3 compared to a 318i.

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Digital Editor
6/7/19 8:14 a.m.

Wasn't there a thread on here of someone who does track a Biturbo?

chandler
chandler PowerDork
6/7/19 9:24 a.m.
mad_machine said:

I always thought a VQ35 would be the perfect engine replacement for these

Guy in Cleveland did a 1UZFE swap pretty well.

aw614
aw614 Reader
6/7/19 9:36 a.m.
Jordan Rimpela said:

Wasn't there a thread on here of someone who does track a Biturbo?

Oh yeah I recall seeing the post a few months ago, I can't seem to find it, but found a picture of the 1uz converted one

 

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/since-i-know-theres-a-lot-of-maserati-biturbo-fans-in-here/142849/page1/

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) UberDork
6/7/19 9:40 a.m.

I still sorely regret not trying harder to win the barn-find Spyder that showed up at auction here 7-8 years ago, it was in ridiculous shape and seemed to run and drive well. Have been looking for another for a while and can NEVER find them.

Old_Town
Old_Town New Reader
6/7/19 11:19 a.m.

Italian Bee-Turbo? Is his cousin Bee-Straight Cubes from Detroit?

 

 

m4ff3w
m4ff3w UberDork
6/7/19 11:57 p.m.
Jordan Rimpela said:
Vigo said:

A lot of things have been said about the Biturbo here, but I don't recall if THIS has been said:

The worst part of a Biturbo is actually the interior. 

There, i said it! 

But it looks so comfy!

 

And it is!  I miss mine.

m4ff3w
m4ff3w UberDork
6/7/19 11:59 p.m.
Vigo said:

A lot of things have been said about the Biturbo here, but I don't recall if THIS has been said:

The worst part of a Biturbo is actually the interior. 

There, i said it! 

Adam... you know better than that....

 

The worst part about the BiTrouble is the space between the timing belt cover and the crank pulley :(

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
6/8/19 7:49 a.m.

I am certainly brave enough. I just need the stupid part to come from someone with more money than me.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
6/8/19 7:59 a.m.
irish44j said:
Stampie said:

In reply to Vigo :

Heathen!  You need that plush interior so you can enjoy making all the vroom vroom noises while its sitting, broken in your driveway

You forgot a part. I completed it for you.

Everybody knowed what he meaned.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
6/8/19 8:03 a.m.
m4ff3w said:
Vigo said:

A lot of things have been said about the Biturbo here, but I don't recall if THIS has been said:

The worst part of a Biturbo is actually the interior. 

There, i said it! 

Adam... you know better than that....

 

The worst part about the BiTrouble is the space between the timing belt cover and the crank pulley :(

This is an interesting comment.  For one, without deeper thought, it brings to mind the usual comment of "the trouble is the space between the front bumper and the rear bumper" (or similar).  But then I realized, the space between the timing belt cover and the CRANK PULLEY?  Not the flywheel (aka "the whole engine")?

 

Then i noticed the frowny-face, and realized who was posting this, and I think I have an answer to my unasked question on why you no longer have a Biturbo.

 

Not sure what it is with Italian design and a casual disregard for timing belts.  The only time I have ever witnessed a Fiat single-cam engine in the flesh was in a Yugo, and I was mortified at how the timing cover was little more than a fingerguard.  And then noticed that the timing belt interval was only 12,000 miles.

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