1985 Maserati Biturbo: E for Enhanced?

1985 Maserati Bi Turbo E

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

Barn Finds reader Charles H. flagged this very special Maserati Biturbo E, listed here on craigslist in South Carolina. Most of these 80s Maseratis we see are rough projects, subjected to years of neglect due to stagnant values, poor reliability and expensive parts prices. But like every car, there are people who do cherish them and try to keep special variants on the road. Right off the bat, you can identify this Biturbo as one of 500 limited edition models due to its two-tone paint job. Now, let’s learn a bit more about this Biturbo “E” edition, shall we?

1985 Maserati Bi Turbo E Engine

Unlike so many special editions, the Biturbo E actually packed some impressive mechanical upgrades, straight from the factory. The E cars featured a 2.5 liter V6 with twin turbochargers, yielding 205 b.h.p. and 260 ft. lbs. of torque with liquid-to-air intercoolers. The car also enjoyed a lower ride height thanks to more aggressive suspension components, including enhanced stabilizer bars and wider wheels and tires.

1985 Maserati Bi Turbo E Interior

The Biturbo interiors are perhaps one of the best reasons to own one of these automobiles. In this case, the opulent leather interior actually isn’t completely tattered like so many examples we see. The Nardi steering wheel is a nice upgrade (and standard on the E models), but the next owner must replace the shift knob with a proper burled-wood Maserati unit. The backseat looks as good if not better, and it’s nice to see none of the wood trim is peeling off. The A/C even works, according to the seller. And on the outside, the standard-issue factory fog lights are still attached, which were optional on lesser models.

1985 Maserati Bi Turbo

The Biturbo sports almost identical tail lights to my early-model BMW 3-Series, and that’s exactly what Maserati was trying to achieve: a better, faster and more luxurious alternative to the classic Bimmer. Unfortunately, quality woes got in their way, while the BMW marched on thanks to being far easier to live with. Still, I don’t doubt these cars will someday soon rise in value, especially well-maintained special editions like this one. I actually wouldn’t mind owning one of these for a time, if for no other reason than to say I once had a Maserati in the fleet. What about you?

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Comments

  1. randy

    A person could put it in between their 77 Pinto, and their ’80 T-bird.

    And wait, and wait, and wait to see their investments appreciate. I worked with a lot of techs back then that hated these cars.

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  2. RayT Member

    Jeff, it’s not difficult to keep ANY Biturbo “off the road.” Heck, they’ll do it on their own with little or no outside help.

    While they were in production/on sale, I had three or four of ’em in my driveway at various times. They are one part of my shady past I do not miss: fun at first, but definitely outwearing their welcome well before I had to return them.

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    • Olaf E

      Ray, have to agree. I had one too (bought it new) and never before and never after this car I’ve owned a car that spent more time with the dealer than it did with me.

      Still, I still miss this one…

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  3. Mr. TKD

    Twin turbos and only 205 horsepower? Wow.

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    • Mike G

      Pretty easy to get more hp by increasing boost. I’ve gotten over 300 on my ’89 with some other mods.

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      • Jonny the Boy

        Impressive! From what I recall, there was no equalization between the turbos. So it was possible for one bank of cylinders to get a different charge than the other. It seems to me that it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to equalize the pressure difference with balance tubes, like is often done with dual carbs. Have you done a mod such as this?

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    • Pete

      Remember this was 82. 205hp from 2.5 litre was pretty good then. And due to the choice of two small turbos the turbo leg was less than in any other installation at the time.

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  4. HeadMaster1

    I loved these when they were new. 205hp may not seem like much now, but in 84 when the BMW 318i and 325 barely had 140hp this was an outright rocket. Turbo cars were everywhere, but twin-turbo, was very exotic. And lets face it, if you grew up listening to Joe Walsh, you had to find if 185mph could really be done, I’ve never owned one of these, but I did end up having 2 Quattroportes from the same era…..The Q-ports were a work of art, and actually pretty reliable…..Pic of my 84 attached, with 17″ Fitipaldi Rims, door handles shaved, and painted Ferrari Red…….Yes, I still have long hair, LOL

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  5. MountainMan

    As a kid growing up just north of Atlanta I would ride my bike to the maserati/ ferrari dealer and check these and the qports out that were in the large indoor showroom…wanted one every since

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  6. Jason Houston

    And we’re s’posed to think this ugly beast is some kind of collector car?

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  7. Charles H.

    No Jason Houston, we’re supposed to think that you most likely will have something smart to say about every post!

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  8. alfred

    there are quite a few of these cars for sale around my area. I never cared for the body style

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