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

The Maserati name tends to conjure up photos of very low-slung Italian coupes, but in reality the storied model has not presented up a appropriate sports activities automobile due to the fact the constrained-output MC12 debuted back in 2004. The business made its debut as an automaker in 1926 with the Tipo 26 race auto and soon went on to become a formidable competitor in motorsport, but the making certain a long time had been tumultuous, and the enterprise transformed palms a number of occasions right before Fiat took possession in 1993 and then handed the reins over to the Fiat-owned Ferrari brand name. 

Maserati would ostensibly turn out to be Ferrari’s luxury division when it took full ownership of the business in 1999, and the several years since have witnessed Ferrari offer more standard versions of its higher-winding powerplants to Maserati for use in vehicles like the Ghibli sedan and Levante activity-utility. But underneath the more substantial Fiat-Chrysler banner, Maserati’s designs also inherited lots of hand-me-down hardware from elsewhere in the group’s portfolio, and glacially-paced growth efforts have included to the brand’s current struggles to uphold its racy standing. 

The introduction of the MC20 marks an fully new chapter for Maserati, which is now portion of Stellantis. A true clear-sheet design, the two-seater is underpinned by an all-new carbon fiber monocoque chassis that was produced in-household and is developed in Modena, Italy. Double wishbone-design and style suspension setups at the front and rear of the car url up with the chassis by way of aluminum subframes, and the streamlined carbon fiber bodywork and aerodynamics occur as a outcome of additional than two thousand hrs of screening in the Dallara Wind Tunnel, together with intensive computational fluid dynamics simulation. 

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

The Nettuno motor

The powertrain is exactly where issues commence to get actually interesting. Drive will come from Maserati’s 3.-liter, twin-turbocharged “Nettuno” V6 engine, an all-new energy plant that was also produced in-residence at Maserati. The new electric power plant boasts on-desire twin-combustion technology cribbed from Formulation 1, which puts a combustion chamber among the central spark plug and the typical combustion chamber to supply a additional specific burn up, in change improving upon the engine’s performance as well as its functionality. 

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

The final result is one particular of the most electricity-dense engines in the automotive business these days, and peak output figures of 621 horsepower and 538 pound-toes of torque gives this 3,330-pound coupe a greatest-in-course electric power-to-body weight ratio among rivals that hail from brands like Lamborghini, Porsche, and McLaren. That bodes nicely for the right here and now, but Maserati also correctly took the extensive view when establishing the MC20 platform, which was built from the outset to support an all-electric variant. The EV is thanks to hit the streets in a few years’ time. 

inside a Maserati supercar
Within the MC20. Maserati

At the rear of the wheel

Settling in at the helm, it’s straight away clear that the MC20 is concentrating on those on the lookout for a quick grand-touring sports activities motor vehicle like the 911 Turbo S rather than a stripped-down monitor toy. Gone is the Maserati inside switchgear of past products that could normally trace its origins back to cars like the Dodge Durango. Instead, the MC20 offers a wholly bespoke cockpit swathed in carbon fiber, alcantara, and brushed metal. 

A significant resolution 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster gives the requisite authentic-time details and performance facts, though a 10.25-inch touchscreen show with wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility handles the infotainment obligations with sharp graphics and snappy reaction. Alongside the center tunnel are controls for travel modes (Damp, GT, Sport, and Corsa), as properly as suspension stiffness, gearbox modes, the windows and door locks, and bodily controls for the audio process. In the meantime the flat-bottomed steering wheel homes the ignition and start command buttons as very well as cruise manage and media adjustments. The layout is uncluttered, intuitively designed, and posh. And unlike most mid-engine sportscars, the MC20 is shockingly effortless to get in and out of—thanks to the monocoque’s rather svelte side sills, the butterfly doors, and the generous quantity of headroom for that. 

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

The motor arrives to daily life with a lively growl that promptly retreats into the track record. Maserati has done a high-quality position of building this new V6 audio appropriately unique but, like a lot of engines of right now, its character is masked by the inherent muffling impact of its turbochargers. Switching from GT mode above to possibly Activity or Corsa method will open up up an exhaust valve for much more aural drama, but it is however a tiny way too tranquil for our preferences. Even on boil, highway and wind sounds will normally overpower the engine’s soundtrack, which can make it challenging to nail upshift timing when manually controlling the cogs with the paddles. 

Fortunately the twin-clutch transmission is properly-programmed plenty of to be left on your own in most predicaments. Still left in GT mode, it will work in the background to quietly produce in close proximity to-seamless shifts in ordinary driving predicaments. This also puts the suspension dampers in their most compliant placing, which is sportscar-company but however agreeable for common 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-view mirror 

The MC20’s day-to-day usability is also significantly bolstered by its digital rear-see mirror, which shows a genuine-time feed from a digicam mounted on the rear deck of the auto. Common rear-check out mirrors in mid-engine automobiles generally provide a glimpse of daylight out the rear glass and not a great deal else, but the electronic mirror’s unencumbered check out of the exterior world driving you will make it effortless to check your blind spots when jockeying for place on LA’s ruthless freeway methods. Moreover, the MC20 even boasts two storage compartments—one at the nose of the car, and a different, much larger place just behind the motor bay at the rear. It is virtually practical! 

Of study course it need to come as no surprise that the MC20 certainly shines out on the twisting tarmac that drapes the Angeles Nationwide Forest about an hour north-east of downtown. Surefooted stability, assurance-inspiring stopping electrical power, and blisteringly swift acceleration are all on the menu, as is exact response from the quick-ratio steering rack. Specially made Bridgestone Potenza Activity summer tires present up a good deal of grip for back highway blasts without the need of the trade-off in sounds and harshness that observe-targeted rubber typically will come with, but we’d expect to see the latter on much more hardcore iterations of the MC20 that are possible to arrive down the line. 

These rapidly, winding stretches of street gave us a probability to sample the MC20’s Sport and Corsa modes. The former’s tuning is great for the position (as the title indicates, Corsa is very best suited for warm lap pacing on a shut program), but we really desire that the MC20 also supplied a customized driving method that authorized would-be homeowners to blend and match the vehicle’s various adjustable parameters to their choice. No matter, the MC20 is a thrilling dance companion out in the hills and a incredibly civil equipment all over city. But then all over again, a commencing cost of $212,000 ($256,050 as-examined) tends to set some substantial anticipations. 

Fortunately, Maserati also has designs that prolong further than quarter-million greenback supercars like the MC20. The lately-introduced Grecale sport-utility, for occasion, is aimed squarely at Porsche Macan customers. The crossover will appear packing a large amount of technologies that’s showcased in the MC20 (which includes the Nettuno V6 in larger trim amounts), and it will also very likely play a elementary purpose in the brand’s changeover to electrified powertrains. 

In the meantime, nicely-heeled sportscar buyers who are seeking to savor the second when also steering clear of the regular suspects would be sensible to maintain the MC20 on their small checklist.