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Maserati 3200 GT

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Fiat : Maserati 3200 GT

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Maserati 3200 GT

Photos: Maserati

The Maserati 3200 GT was styled by Giugiaro's Italdesign which had to address the far from easy task of reconciling a number of often conflicting constraints. When they were given the brief to design the new car it included the following:

  • lowest possible Cd and Cz coefficients;

  • a solution to the complex interior aerodynamics created by the radiating masses;

  • ample room for four people;

  • stable aerodynamic efficiency that would not be altered by load changes.

And as if all that were not enough, the Italdesign team was also asked to create a Maserati worthy of the most significant moments in the history of this famous brand.

Styling continuity with Maserati's glorious past is revealed in design elements like the nose with its traditional "Trident" and the way the upper section of the radiator bulges out to meet it in the best Maserati tradition.

The aerodynamics of the car under went rigorous inspection in a whole series of wind tunnel tests conducted at every stage of the development process (on the very first styling models and on the final styling model complete with theoretical internal air flows and finally on the first working prototype), which were followed by a series of tiny adjustments in the finishing and development stage.

The result is a car that effectively manages to balance conflicting demands; such as distinctive looks, complex interior aerodynamics requiring the cooling of as many as seven radiating masses, all at the front of the car; the need to service two engine bay air intakes and two front brake cooling lines; high performance in the presence of great variations in load and therefore set-up (given the seating for anything from one to four people and the capacious boot).

In the end, the Italdesign team achieved a Cd of 0.34 and practically constant Cz distribution in different load and driving conditions.

What's more this was achieved without introducing any special spoilers.

At a purely aesthetic level, the key features are the distinctive rear lighting clusters that make the Maserati 3200 GT instantly recognizable to anyone overtaken by it.

The part that caused the most trouble was the front section. In the end, it very much reflects all that is recognised in the Maserati tradition. On the way to that result, the design team examined various radiator grille dimensions, analysed the proportions of the grille in relation to the rest of the nose and thought about form and function before settling for the design we see today. Then after careful consideration, they opted for faired headlights as on the classic sports cars. In fact the new Maserati uses the same faired parabolic shapes remembered with such affection from sports coupe's of the past. Those cars, of course, had no bumpers and in an attempt to recreate that impression without ignoring today's stringent safety regulations, Italdesign has gone for the "soft nose" option. That inserts the radiator grille into a "deconstructed" front section. The proudly emphatic bonnet is yet another variation on the "retro" theme and here the line of the engine bay is concealed inside the bonnet itself in a way that highlights the curve of the wings. The bonnet, incidentally, also houses the two engine-cooling air vents.

In side view: the key features are the front and rear wings and the curvaceous line of the side that follows the upward line of the wing, as does the rear quarter-light, on the slightly raised tail.

Despite the hint of a tail-end in the rear window, the Maserati 3200 GT looks, in profile, like a hatchback coupe. However the overhead view with its tapered roof line clearly reveals the two-and-a-half box design. It all helps to underline the muscular quality of the 3200 GT's wings and in three-quarter view, the hint of a boot becomes an emphatic statement.

The tail itself involved a lot of meticulous wind tunnel analysis producing data that convinced the design team to go for a short rear highlighted by the lighting clusters. Unconventionally, the tail lights on the 3200 GT are enclosed inside two slender LED strips.

"We approached the design of the new 3200 GT with the classic Maseratis of the late 1960's as our inspiration," says Giorgetto Giugiaro,  the prime mover behind the look of this new model.

"Right from the start our intention was to take the Maserati image a step further by emphasising its muscular quality, while at the same time making it not just a real 2+2 but also giving it an executive hatchback look.

There were various pauses for thought between my original sketches and the final styling model and we made a whole series of changes and adjustments in the light of our wind tunnel tests."

"We believe we have done our part in creating a car that truly revives the sensations and emotions of the past while taking the revitalised Maserati company into the new Millennium in a manner worthy of its great tradition," added Giorgetto Giugiaro about the 3200 GT. "It is the first Maserati to abandon the boxy look we have all known for years in a return to the softer lines we remember from the famous Maseratis of the firm's Golden Past."


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