Following on from the very limited volume of the Quattroporte II, the third generation was very welcome. Maserati had been plucked from the wreckage of the Citroen collapse by Alejandro De Tomaso and he took the model back to its core: rear-drive and power from a nice V8.
The Tipo AM330 started out as two design concepts by the great Giorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign. The Medici I and Medici II showed where the Quattroporte could go and the Medici II evolved into the Tipo AM330. Like the earlier models, it took a little while to get to market from being first presented to the world. In this case, the prototype starred at the 1976 Turin Motor Show and production started three yers later!
The Quattroporte III chassis was related to the Kyalami/De Tomaso Longchamp twins and like the Quattroporte I Series 2, the car came with two engine choices: a 4.1 litre V8 or the 4.9 litre seen in other models and the car started life with a Borg Warner automatic gearbox, however this was soon replaced by Chrysler’s Torqueflite box that was fitted to many low volume luxury European cars. A 5-speed manual ZF gearbox was also offered.
It looks like an oversized FIAT or Lancia and even has an Alfa Romeo feel to it - interesting as this was long before FIAT took control of the company, however, I think many vehicles designed during the late 70s and 80s looked very similar.
In 1986, after five years of production, another ultra luxury model was added: the Maserati Royale. This was to celebrate the company’s 60th anniversary and was a hand-built version of the AM330 wth more of everything included. The plan was to build 120, however by the time the AM330 finished production in 1990 only 53 had been built.
If you thought the Royale was exclusive, think again, Carrozzeria Pavesi built several armour plated vehicles and another Turin based coach-builder created a limousine version for even bigger bucks.
After the very low volume of the Quattroporte II, this model bounced back with over 2,100 of the AM330 built (excluding the Royale).