1972 / 1974
It shared the engine with the Bora as well as its styling elements, but the big difference was under the bonnet: the Merak was powered by a 3-litre V6 whose origins can be traced back to the Citroën SM-Maserati. Maserati’s excellent reputation as a manufacturer had excited the interest of Citroën, who commissioned the design of the type C.114 2.7-litre V6 in 1967 and took control of the company the following year. The engine was remarkably compact, making it possible to have a five-speed gearbox. It lent itself perfectly to being fitted in the middle of the Merak, providing a more accessible alternative to the Bora. Being 250 kg lighter than the Bora, the Merak could reach a top speed of 240 km/h. Its name does not refer to a wind, as was customary at the time, but rather to a star in the Big Dipper constellation. The styling was derived from the general shape and proportions of the Bora, but the fastback shape was cut vertically just behind the seats and ‘above’ the rear boot lid to create a continuous silhouette. This innovative visual trick was once again the work of Giorgetto Giugiaro.