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

Raymond S. Hughes

The Maserati identify tends to conjure up illustrations or photos of low-slung Italian coupes, but in fact the storied manufacturer has not presented up a suitable sporting activities car or truck because the restricted-creation MC12 debuted again in 2004. The firm manufactured its debut as an automaker in 1926 with the Tipo 26 race automobile and before long went on to develop into a formidable competitor in motorsport, but the making sure a long time were being tumultuous, and the firm transformed hands a number of instances prior to Fiat took possession in 1993 and then handed the reins over to the Fiat-owned Ferrari manufacturer. 

Maserati would ostensibly turn into Ferrari’s luxurious division when it took comprehensive possession of the company in 1999, and the yrs since have found Ferrari supply additional regular versions of its higher-winding powerplants to Maserati for use in vehicles like the Ghibli sedan and Levante activity-utility. But under the greater Fiat-Chrysler banner, Maserati’s products also inherited plenty of hand-me-down components from somewhere else in the group’s portfolio, and glacially-paced progress initiatives have additional to the brand’s new struggles to uphold its racy standing. 

The introduction of the MC20 marks an totally new chapter for Maserati, which is now component of Stellantis. A real clean up-sheet layout, the two-seater is underpinned by an all-new carbon fiber monocoque chassis that was produced in-residence and is constructed in Modena, Italy. Double wishbone-design suspension setups at the entrance and rear of the motor vehicle url up with the chassis by way of aluminum subframes, and the streamlined carbon fiber bodywork and aerodynamics come as a end result of far more than two thousand hours 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 wherever points start to get genuinely intriguing. Determination comes from Maserati’s 3.-liter, twin-turbocharged “Nettuno” V6 engine, an all-new power plant that was also produced in-household at Maserati. The new energy plant offers on-demand twin-combustion technology cribbed from Method 1, which puts a combustion chamber amongst the central spark plug and the conventional combustion chamber to give a a lot more precise melt away, in flip strengthening the engine’s performance as effectively as its overall performance. 

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

The final result is just one of the most electricity-dense engines in the automotive field currently, and peak output numbers of 621 horsepower and 538 pound-ft of torque offers this 3,330-pound coupe a finest-in-course ability-to-weight ratio among rivals that hail from makes like Lamborghini, Porsche, and McLaren. That bodes well for the here and now, but Maserati also wisely took the prolonged watch when establishing the MC20 system, which was made from the outset to assistance an all-electric powered variant. The EV is due to hit the streets in a number of years’ time. 

inside a Maserati supercar
Within the MC20. Maserati

Behind the wheel

Settling in at the helm, it’s instantly clear that the MC20 is concentrating on individuals looking for a rapid grand-touring sports vehicle like the 911 Turbo S relatively than a stripped-down observe toy. Gone is the Maserati interior switchgear of past styles that could frequently trace its origins again to cars like the Dodge Durango. As an alternative, the MC20 offers a wholly bespoke cockpit swathed in carbon fiber, alcantara, and brushed steel. 

A superior resolution 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster supplies the requisite genuine-time info and functionality details, while a 10.25-inch touchscreen screen with wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Car compatibility handles the infotainment duties with sharp graphics and snappy response. Alongside the heart tunnel are controls for travel modes (Damp, GT, Activity, and Corsa), as very well as suspension stiffness, gearbox modes, the windows and door locks, and physical controls for the audio program. Meanwhile the flat-bottomed steering wheel residences the ignition and launch control buttons as nicely as cruise regulate and media changes. The layout is uncluttered, intuitively created, and posh. And as opposed to most mid-engine sportscars, the MC20 is amazingly simple to get in and out of—thanks to the monocoque’s relatively svelte side sills, the butterfly doors, and the generous amount of headroom for that. 

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

The motor will come to lifetime with a energetic growl that quickly retreats into the background. Maserati has completed a good job of earning this new V6 seem effectively unique but, like numerous engines of right now, its persona is masked by the inherent muffling result of its turbochargers. Switching from GT manner over to possibly Activity or Corsa mode will open up an exhaust valve for additional aural drama, but it’s even now a tiny way too peaceful for our tastes. Even on boil, street and wind sounds will generally overpower the engine’s soundtrack, which can make it tricky to nail upshift timing when manually controlling the cogs with the paddles. 

Fortunately the twin-clutch transmission is well-programmed more than enough to be left on your own in most scenarios. Still left in GT manner, it operates in the background to quietly produce close to-seamless shifts in typical driving scenarios. This also places the suspension dampers in their most compliant placing, which is sportscar-business but still agreeable for regular 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 electronic rear-perspective mirror 

The MC20’s each day usability is also noticeably bolstered by its electronic rear-check out mirror, which displays a real-time feed from a camera mounted on the rear deck of the auto. Classic rear-watch mirrors in mid-engine autos commonly give a glimpse of daylight out the rear glass and not much else, but the digital mirror’s unencumbered see of the outside environment guiding you can make it effortless to examine your blind spots when jockeying for position on LA’s ruthless freeway units. Furthermore, the MC20 even features two storage compartments—one at the nose of the automobile, and a different, much larger house just powering the engine bay at the rear. It’s just about useful! 

Of study course it really should occur as no surprise that the MC20 actually shines out on the twisting tarmac that drapes the Angeles National Forest about an hour north-east of downtown. Surefooted equilibrium, self esteem-inspiring halting electrical power, and blisteringly fast acceleration are all on the menu, as is exact reaction from the speedy-ratio steering rack. Specially made Bridgestone Potenza Sport summer time tires supply up a good deal of grip for back again road blasts devoid of the trade-off in noise and harshness that track-focused rubber often arrives with, but we’d count on to see the latter on more hardcore iterations of the MC20 that are very likely to come down the line. 

These quick, winding stretches of highway gave us a chance to sample the MC20’s Sport and Corsa modes. The former’s tuning is perfect for the task (as the identify implies, Corsa is best suited for sizzling lap pacing on a shut training course), but we truly desire that the MC20 also offered a custom made driving method that authorized would-be owners to combine and match the vehicle’s several adjustable parameters to their choice. Irrespective, the MC20 is a thrilling dance companion out in the hills and a incredibly civil device all around city. But then once again, a setting up selling price of $212,000 ($256,050 as-tested) tends to set some superior anticipations. 

Thankfully, Maserati also has plans that extend outside of quarter-million greenback supercars like the MC20. The recently-announced Grecale sport-utility, for instance, is aimed squarely at Porsche Macan purchasers. The crossover will appear packing a lot of technological innovation that is showcased in the MC20 (together with the Nettuno V6 in bigger trim amounts), and it will also very likely participate in a elementary job in the brand’s changeover to electrified powertrains. 

In the meantime, perfectly-heeled sportscar potential buyers who are on the lookout to savor the second when also steering very clear of the regular suspects would be smart to hold the MC20 on their limited record.  

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