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Monday, February 1, 2021

The '90s Gandini-designed Maserati Chubasco car prototype

Once again, We're back to one of the famous Italian automotive manufacturers, Maserati, which is known to have a line of great cars that had ever been colored the automotive world from the past to this day. As we all know, recently the Modena-based auto manufacturer has shocked the world's automotive by launching its newest supercar called the Maserati MC20.
The Maserati Chubasco Prototipo was built to be the car of every enthusiast’s dreams and was shaped by a pure passion for fast cars using the most sophisticated technologies the early Nineties had to offer. (Picture from http://bit.ly/36dlyCf)
Besides launching the latest supercar which is said to have promising performance so that it said able to thrill the hearts of its competitors neither on the roads and circuits. However in its business journey, the Italian automotive company has also produced many great cars that are adapted to the times when it was launched.

As in the 1950s when Maserati triumphed on the 24-Hours of Le Mans endurance racing circuit through a line of legendary racing cars based on the Maserati 450S to the Maserati 450S Costin-Zagato Coupe. Likewise, what happened four decades later, namely in the 1990s, the Modena-based company also launched several concept cars and one of them is the Maserati Chubasco which in our opinion is very thick with the design and technology of the nineties so that it deserves to be one of the iconic cars of the era.
The Maserati Chubasco designed by Marcello Gandini and featured three front intakes to channel air under the door and out through the rear bodywork. (Picture from http://bit.ly/36dlyCf)
As is well known, since 1975, Maserati has been acquired by Alejandro de Tomaso, and while in the '90s, the company (supported by large government investments) began to move away from its traditional production line of the exclusive high-performance cars. Initially, the Italian company relied on its future on the 1980s Bitubo models to compete with BMW, Mercedes-Benz and other premium car brands. The model was also projected as the firm's spearheading to re-enter the lucrative North American auto-market at the time.
The Maserati Chubasco Prototipo is very thick with the design and technology of the nineties so that it deserves to be one of the iconic cars of the era. (Picture from http://bit.ly/3sW4Elo)
Although at first it seemed to be going well, where sales figures for the Bitubo model were quite good, entering the mid to late 1980s the situation reversed and became even worse for lacking a flagship befitted the marque's heritage. That's why, in the early 1990s, the Italian company took steps to create a new supercar model that lived up to the marque's legacy. So then was born the Maserati Chubasco, the car's name is taken from the name of the fierce storm that occurred in Central and South America.
Maserati Chubasco Prototipo is built on a chassis structure consisting of an aluminum honeycomb central backbone with a ribbed light alloy subframe to carry the suspension and engine. (Picture from http://bit.ly/3iMescY)
Then a prototype was introduced by Maserati at a press conference in December 1990. It unveiled alongside the new Biturbo-based Shamal and two-litre Racing, the Chubasco was a completely new mid-engined two-seat sports coupe and as many as 450 units planned to be produced by those Italian company. And theoretically, the Chubasco could potentially be pitched a half-price rival to the Lamborghini Diablo and Ferrari Testarossa.

The Maserati Chubasco is built on a chassis structure consisting of an aluminum honeycomb central backbone with a ribbed light alloy subframe to carry the suspension and engine. Meanwhile, Marcello Gandini was responsible to its handsome designed bodywork and is mounted to the chassis with dampers that absorb vibrations and protect the cockpit from noise.
The Maserati Chubasco Prototipo is a mid-engined sports coupe with an uprated version of the 3.2 liter 32-valve 90° V8 Shamal's engine coupled with the six-speed manual transmission system. (Picture from http://bit.ly/3sW2LVQ)
The bodywork design pays close attention to airflow by creating three front intakes to channel air under the door and out through the rear bodywork. In addition to cooling the engine, it is also intended to enhance the ground-effect produced by a flat underside and rear venturi.

Besides it having an electric hard top that slides backwards over the engine, the Maserati Chubasco is also equipped with a pair of scissor doors like those of Lamborghini cars as its passenger-driver access to enter-exit the cabin. To add a finishing touch, body-coloured aero discs covered the split-rim five spoke wheels.
The Chubasco uses an uprated version of the 3.2 liter 32-valve 90° V8 Shamal's engine later also equipped with a dry-sumped, twin turbocharged and with dual overhead camshafts, so the engine is capable of delivering up to 430 bhp at 6,500 rpm (but no other technical details were released). Those engine power is then channeled to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission system with double plate clutch and limited slip differential.

Despite being very well received, the Chubasco program was later canceled by Fiat (which in January 1990 had acquired around 50% of Maserati shares) because it was considered too expensive to produce. Although only one unit was ever made as a prototype, the Chubasco chassis layout is still used as the basis for the Barchetta one-make racing car launched in 1992 and later became De Tomaso Guara in 1993. Today the Maserati Chubasco Prototipo sat on display at the Panini Museo near Modena, Italy.
The replica of Kaneda's futuristic motorbike built by Masashi Teshima and adopted from the 1988 classic Japanese sci-fi anime film titled 'Akira'. (Picture from http://bit.ly/3sW2LVQ)
Apart from everything and it has absolutely nothing to do with one another. It's just our eyes wild imagination that the Maserati Chubasco concept car looks like has a similarity or design connection with a Shotaro Kaneda motorcycle red-cherry futuristic bike adopted from the 1988 classic Japanese sci-fi anime film titled 'Akira'. Did you see what we've seen? *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CARTHROTTLE | SUPERCARNOSTALGIA | WIKIPEDIA]
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