Maserati's Project Rekall Is Preying On My Nostalgia, And It's Working

If you haven’t noticed, stodgy old brands are doing everything in their power to excite the youths. In fact, BMW has been so committed to this strategy that the company felt it necessary to piss off the only people old and rich enough to afford its products. How bold! No one had ever been brave enough to try it before!


Well, Maserati also wants to get the kids a-Fleeting and TikTokin’ so it has launched a social media campaign of its own. The major difference is that this stunt already looks to be pretty dang successful, because — I mean, just look at it:

What you see there is the Project Rekall. Maserati is taking the Shamal — a boxy coupe based on the Biturbo and manufactured from 1990 to 1996 — and restoring it in the image of Blade Runner. Or, to be more precise, millennial Blade Runner, Cyberpunk 2077.

I’m of two minds on this one. First, this aesthetic has already been played out, and Maserati is undeniably late to it. The Instagram post contains the words ModenaCity-One and speaks of “joining the resistance.” I am so tired.

But then, the cynic in me is being gagged by another part of my brain that sees the Rekall and thinks, “Yes, that’s good. More of this, please.” Carlo Borromeo, the designer behind the also-brilliant Lancia Delta Futurista, was reportedly consulted for this restomod, according to Classic Driver.

The original Maserati Shamal, for reference. Look at that wheel arch!
The original Maserati Shamal, for reference. Look at that wheel arch!
Photo: Maserati

The Shamal was already, in my opinion, one of the best coupe designs of the 90s. I love its boxy-yet-tapered profile, stubby rear end, nonsensical rear wheel arches and weird diffuser-looking contraption ahead of the front window. It’s a very tidy-yet-functional little thing, though it needed to get even colder and edgier for the streets of — sigh — ModenaCity-One.

And so you’ll notice some sharper creases on Project Rekall, in addition to a more aggressive splitter, pointier side mirrors and of course, the vintage LCD instrument panel inside. The rakish arches have been ditched in favor of flat, level cuts. And the exterior LEDs! There are so many LEDs.


Overall, the Shamal was the perfect Maserati to receive this transformation, and although it appears the company is still in the planning stages, things seem to be headed in the right direction. In fact, maybe we need more sci-fi one-offs like Project Rekall, if for no other reason that to wash away the everlasting image of the Cybertruck from our collective memory.

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. 2017 Fiesta ST. Wishes NASCAR was more like Daytona USA.


Calling a concept “Rekall” is all fine and dandy.

Just don't call the production model that, unless you really want to tempt fate.