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?

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