Maserati’s MC20: A powerful engine in a new supercar

The Maserati identify tends to conjure up visuals of reduced-slung Italian coupes, but in fact the storied model hasn’t offered up a correct sports vehicle considering that the confined-production MC12 debuted again in 2004. The corporation built its debut as an automaker in 1926 with the Tipo 26 race motor vehicle and before long went on to turn out to be a formidable competitor in motorsport, but the making sure decades had been tumultuous, and the organization transformed fingers a selection of times prior to Fiat took possession in 1993 and then handed the reins above to the Fiat-owned Ferrari brand. 

Maserati would ostensibly turn out to be Ferrari’s luxury division when it took whole ownership of the corporation in 1999, and the many years given that have observed Ferrari present more traditional variations of its substantial-winding powerplants to Maserati for use in autos like the Ghibli sedan and Levante activity-utility. But under the bigger Fiat-Chrysler banner, Maserati’s versions also inherited loads of hand-me-down hardware from elsewhere in the group’s portfolio, and glacially-paced growth initiatives have extra to the brand’s latest struggles to uphold its racy reputation. 

The introduction of the MC20 marks an solely new chapter for Maserati, which is now part of Stellantis. A accurate thoroughly clean-sheet structure, the two-seater is underpinned by an all-new carbon fiber monocoque chassis that was made in-property and is constructed in Modena, Italy. Double wishbone-type suspension setups at the entrance and rear of the car or truck hyperlink up with the chassis by way of aluminum subframes, and the streamlined carbon fiber bodywork and aerodynamics arrive as a end result of extra than two thousand hrs of tests in the Dallara Wind Tunnel, along with considerable computational fluid dynamics simulation. 

A unique new ‘Nettuno’ engine powers this $212,000 Maserati
The MC20. Maserati

The Nettuno motor

The powertrain is where by things start to get definitely attention-grabbing. Enthusiasm arrives from Maserati’s 3.-liter, twin-turbocharged “Nettuno” V6 engine, an all-new electric power plant that was also designed in-house at Maserati. The new power plant offers on-demand from customers twin-combustion know-how cribbed from Formula 1, which places a combustion chamber in between the central spark plug and the typical combustion chamber to provide a more precise burn up, in convert improving the engine’s performance as very well as its functionality. 

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The result is 1 of the most ability-dense engines in the automotive business currently, and peak output numbers of 621 horsepower and 538 pound-ft of torque provides this 3,330-pound coupe a very best-in-course ability-to-excess weight ratio amongst rivals that hail from brand names like Lamborghini, Porsche, and McLaren. That bodes perfectly for the here and now, but Maserati also correctly took the lengthy perspective when producing the MC20 system, which was intended from the outset to support an all-electric powered variant. The EV is because of to strike the streets in a number of years’ time. 

inside a Maserati supercar
Inside of the MC20. Maserati

Guiding the wheel

Settling in at the helm, it is instantly clear that the MC20 is focusing on those searching for a quickly grand-touring sports activities car like the 911 Turbo S instead than a stripped-down observe toy. Absent is the Maserati interior switchgear of earlier models that could generally trace its origins again to cars like the Dodge Durango. Instead, the MC20 boasts a wholly bespoke cockpit swathed in carbon fiber, alcantara, and brushed metal. 

A significant resolution 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster provides the requisite actual-time facts and functionality info, while a 10.25-inch touchscreen exhibit with wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle compatibility handles the infotainment obligations with sharp graphics and snappy reaction. Alongside the center tunnel are controls for drive modes (Wet, GT, Activity, and Corsa), as nicely as suspension stiffness, gearbox modes, the home windows and doorway locks, and physical controls for the audio method. Meanwhile the flat-bottomed steering wheel homes the ignition and launch management buttons as effectively as cruise handle and media adjustments. The format is uncluttered, intuitively intended, and posh. And unlike most mid-engine sportscars, the MC20 is shockingly straightforward to get in and out of—thanks to the monocoque’s somewhat svelte aspect sills, the butterfly doorways, and the generous quantity of headroom for that. 

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The engine arrives to lifetime with a energetic growl that quickly retreats into the background. Maserati has completed a high-quality task of creating this new V6 seem effectively unique but, like many engines of right now, its personality is masked by the inherent muffling impact of its turbochargers. Switching from GT mode over to either Sport or Corsa method will open up up an exhaust valve for more aural drama, but it is nevertheless a tiny much too peaceful for our tastes. Even on boil, road and wind sound will frequently overpower the engine’s soundtrack, which can make it complicated to nail upshift timing when manually managing the cogs with the paddles. 

Fortuitously the dual-clutch transmission is perfectly-programmed enough to be still left alone in most scenarios. Still left in GT manner, it works in the qualifications to quietly produce near-seamless shifts in usual driving scenarios. This also places the suspension dampers in their most compliant placing, which is sportscar-organization but even now agreeable for typical use even on the pockmarked streets of Los Angeles. 

A unique new ‘Nettuno’ engine powers this $212,000 Maserati
The Maserati MC20. Bradley Iger

A digital rear-see mirror 

The MC20’s day-to-day usability is also substantially bolstered by its digital rear-look at mirror, which displays a actual-time feed from a camera mounted on the rear deck of the car or truck. Standard rear-look at mirrors in mid-engine automobiles generally supply a glimpse of sunlight out the rear glass and not a lot else, but the electronic mirror’s unencumbered perspective of the exterior earth guiding you will make it easy to check out your blind spots when jockeying for situation on LA’s ruthless freeway units. Plus, the MC20 even features two storage compartments—one at the nose of the motor vehicle, and one more, bigger space just driving the engine bay at the rear. It is nearly practical! 

Of class it must occur as no surprise that the MC20 actually shines out on the twisting tarmac that drapes the Angeles Nationwide Forest about an hour north-east of downtown. Surefooted stability, self confidence-inspiring stopping electric power, and blisteringly speedy acceleration are all on the menu, as is exact response from the swift-ratio steering rack. Specially made Bridgestone Potenza Sport summer season tires supply up lots of grip for back again road blasts without the trade-off in noise and harshness that track-centered rubber often will come with, but we’d anticipate to see the latter on additional hardcore iterations of the MC20 that are most likely to arrive down the line. 

These fast, winding stretches of street gave us a chance to sample the MC20’s Activity and Corsa modes. The former’s tuning is great for the work (as the name implies, Corsa is ideal suited for scorching lap pacing on a shut system), but we seriously would like that the MC20 also supplied a personalized driving manner that authorized would-be house owners to mix and match the vehicle’s different adjustable parameters to their choice. Irrespective, the MC20 is a thrilling dance husband or wife out in the hills and a shockingly civil machine close to city. But then yet again, a starting off price of $212,000 ($256,050 as-analyzed) tends to set some high expectations. 

Luckily, Maserati also has options that lengthen further than quarter-million dollar supercars like the MC20. The lately-declared Grecale sport-utility, for occasion, is aimed squarely at Porsche Macan customers. The crossover will arrive packing a great deal of know-how which is showcased in the MC20 (such as the Nettuno V6 in larger trim amounts), and it will also likely enjoy a basic job in the brand’s changeover to electrified powertrains. 

In the meantime, effectively-heeled sportscar customers who are looking to savor the moment though also steering clear of the typical suspects would be smart to continue to keep the MC20 on their short checklist.