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  Maserati Bora

  Article Image gallery (14) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1971 - 1978
Numbers built:524 (289 4.7 litre and 235 4.9 litre)
Introduced at:1971 Geneva Motor Show
Internal name:AM 117
Designed by:Giugiaro / Italdesign
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:November 16, 2011
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Click here to download printer friendly versionThe Bora's mid-mounted engine was Maserati's familiar twin-cam V8, which had originally been developed for the company's great sports racers of the 1950s. In the Bora specification, the all-aluminium engine displaced just over 4.7 litre and featured single spark ignition. Breathing through four Weber carburettors, it produced around 310 hp. This power was transferred to the rear wheels by a five-speed manual gearbox. The very potent engine and slippery body enabled the Bora to achieve speeds of up to 280 km/h.

Although introduced early in 1971, Bora production did not start in earnest until the end of the year. Compared to its rivals, the new Maserati was remarkably comfortable and quiet, and at the same time had very competitive performance figures and characteristics. As the first cars rolled off the line, development continued and in addition to the earlier changes, a slightly larger version of the V8 was added as an option in 1975. At 4.9 litre, it produced both a little more and torque, and, most importantly, was already homologated in the United States.

At the end of 1972, Maserati's French importer Thepenier requested a competition version to race in the Tour de France and at Le Mans. Two cars, fitted with a dry-sump, high compression version of the 4.9 litre V8, were prepared by the relatively small staff in Modena. Built to Group 4 regulations, the car was immediately competitive but its career was cut short due to homologation problems as well as financial issues. When properly sorted, the Bora could have formed a real threat for the Ferrari Daytonas and Porsche 911s.

Production of the Bora lasted until 1978 but like many other high performance vehicles, the mid-engined Maserati struggled in the era dominated by various oil-crises. Eventually a combined 524 examples were built of both engine variants. Today these relatively understated machines are still very affordable, especially considering the prices of the often inferior contemporaries. Unfortunately Maserati never really replaced the Bora, leaving the supercar market to Ferrari and Lamborghini.

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  Article Image gallery (14) Specifications