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



The Maserati title tends to conjure up visuals of lower-slung Italian coupes, but in fact the storied model has not available up a suitable sports motor vehicle due to the fact the minimal-production MC12 debuted again in 2004. The firm made its debut as an automaker in 1926 with the Tipo 26 race car and shortly went on to become a formidable competitor in motorsport, but the ensuring many years were tumultuous, and the firm transformed hands a amount of occasions before Fiat took ownership in 1993 and then handed the reins more than to the Fiat-owned Ferrari brand. 

Maserati would ostensibly become Ferrari’s luxury division when it took full ownership of the firm in 1999, and the yrs given that have seen Ferrari offer extra typical versions of its significant-winding powerplants to Maserati for use in cars like the Ghibli sedan and Levante sport-utility. But underneath the larger Fiat-Chrysler banner, Maserati’s types also inherited loads of hand-me-down components from in other places in the group’s portfolio, and glacially-paced enhancement efforts have extra to the brand’s recent struggles to uphold its racy reputation. 

The introduction of the MC20 marks an fully new chapter for Maserati, which is now component of Stellantis. A true thoroughly clean-sheet style and design, the two-seater is underpinned by an all-new carbon fiber monocoque chassis that was designed in-house and is created in Modena, Italy. Double wishbone-design 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 come as a result of a lot more than two thousand several hours 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 get started to get really exciting. Determination will come from Maserati’s 3.-liter, twin-turbocharged “Nettuno” V6 engine, an all-new electrical power plant that was also made in-house at Maserati. The new electrical power plant features on-demand twin-combustion know-how cribbed from Formula 1, which places a combustion chamber between the central spark plug and the standard combustion chamber to give a a lot more precise melt away, in flip bettering the engine’s effectiveness as properly as its efficiency. 

[Related: Maserati’s new luxury SUV transforms from hot rod to off-roading beast]

The consequence is just one of the most electrical power-dense engines in the automotive marketplace nowadays, and peak output figures of 621 horsepower and 538 pound-ft of torque presents this 3,330-pound coupe a best-in-course electricity-to-pounds ratio amongst rivals that hail from brands like Lamborghini, Porsche, and McLaren. That bodes very well for the here and now, but Maserati also wisely took the lengthy perspective when producing the MC20 system, which was intended from the outset to assist an all-electric variant. The EV is because of to strike the streets in a couple years’ time. 

inside a Maserati supercar
Inside of the MC20. Maserati

Behind the wheel

Settling in at the helm, it is quickly obvious that the MC20 is targeting all those searching for a rapidly grand-touring sports car like the 911 Turbo S instead than a stripped-down observe toy. Absent is the Maserati interior switchgear of previous products that could frequently trace its origins back to autos like the Dodge Durango. Rather, the MC20 features a wholly bespoke cockpit swathed in carbon fiber, alcantara, and brushed steel. 

A substantial resolution 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster offers the requisite authentic-time data and overall performance facts, while a 10.25-inch touchscreen show with wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility handles the infotainment obligations with sharp graphics and snappy response. Along the center tunnel are controls for travel modes (Moist, GT, Activity, and Corsa), as nicely as suspension stiffness, gearbox modes, the windows and door locks, and physical controls for the audio procedure. Meanwhile the flat-bottomed steering wheel houses the ignition and start management buttons as perfectly as cruise handle and media changes. The structure is uncluttered, intuitively made, and posh. And in contrast to most mid-engine sportscars, the MC20 is remarkably simple to get in and out of—thanks to the monocoque’s fairly svelte facet sills, the butterfly doorways, and the generous quantity of headroom for that. 

[Related: Anyone can drive a supercar, but truly tapping its potential is another matter]

The motor will come to lifestyle with a lively growl that swiftly retreats into the track record. Maserati has completed a fine task of producing this new V6 sound correctly unique but, like several engines of nowadays, its temperament is masked by the inherent muffling impact of its turbochargers. Switching from GT mode above to both Sport or Corsa mode will open up an exhaust valve for far more aural drama, but it’s nevertheless a very little as well peaceful for our preferences. Even on boil, street and wind noise will usually overpower the engine’s soundtrack, which can make it tough to nail upshift timing when manually running the cogs with the paddles. 

Fortunately the twin-clutch transmission is properly-programmed adequate to be left by yourself in most circumstances. Left in GT mode, it performs in the track record to quietly deliver around-seamless shifts in normal driving situations. This also puts the suspension dampers in their most compliant placing, which is sportscar-agency but nonetheless agreeable for normal 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 daily usability is also appreciably bolstered by its digital rear-see mirror, which shows a true-time feed from a digital camera mounted on the rear deck of the car or truck. Conventional rear-look at mirrors in mid-engine cars and trucks normally present a glimpse of sunlight out the rear glass and not substantially else, but the digital mirror’s unencumbered check out of the exterior world behind you will make it easy to look at your blind spots when jockeying for posture on LA’s ruthless freeway techniques. Additionally, the MC20 even offers two storage compartments—one at the nose of the car or truck, and one more, more substantial room just at the rear of the motor bay at the rear. It’s nearly practical! 

Of training course it really should come as no shock 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 electrical power, and blisteringly speedy acceleration are all on the menu, as is exact reaction from the brief-ratio steering rack. Specially formulated Bridgestone Potenza Sport summer season tires present up plenty of grip for back highway blasts with out the trade-off in noise and harshness that monitor-targeted rubber frequently comes with, but we’d hope to see the latter on additional hardcore iterations of the MC20 that are probable to appear down the line. 

These quickly, winding stretches of street gave us a probability to sample the MC20’s Activity and Corsa modes. The former’s tuning is suitable for the job (as the identify indicates, Corsa is most effective suited for hot lap pacing on a shut system), but we truly want that the MC20 also presented a personalized driving method that permitted would-be entrepreneurs to combine and match the vehicle’s several adjustable parameters to their desire. Irrespective, the MC20 is a thrilling dance associate out in the hills and a incredibly civil device all around town. But then yet again, a starting up cost of $212,000 ($256,050 as-analyzed) tends to established some superior expectations. 

Fortunately, Maserati also has programs that prolong outside of quarter-million dollar supercars like the MC20. The not long ago-declared Grecale activity-utility, for occasion, is aimed squarely at Porsche Macan prospective buyers. The crossover will arrive packing a whole lot of technological innovation which is showcased in the MC20 (which includes the Nettuno V6 in better trim concentrations), and it will also possible perform a basic purpose in the brand’s transition to electrified powertrains. 

In the meantime, perfectly-heeled sportscar purchasers who are seeking to savor the instant while also steering clear of the common suspects would be clever to hold the MC20 on their limited checklist.  


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