The Khamsin was introduced on the Bertone stand at the November 1972 Turin Auto Show. Designed by Marcello Gandini, it was Bertone’s first work for Maserati. In March 1973 the production model was shown at the Paris Motor Show. Regular production of the vehicle started only a year later, in 1974.
The Khamsin was developed under Citroens ownership for a clientele that demanded a front-engined grand tourer on the lines of the previous Ghibli, a more conventional proposition than the mid-engined Bora. In 1977 a mild facelift added three horizontal slats on the Khamsin’s nose to aid cooling. Inside it brought a restyled dashboard and a new padded steering wheel. One Khamsin was delivered to Luciano Benneton in 1981. Despite the many improvements over its predecessor, the Khamsin did not replicate its success, partly due to the ongoing fuel crisis that reduced demand for large-engined grand tourers. Production ended in 1982, with 435 vehicles made, barely a third of the Ghibli’s production total of 1295.