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

The Maserati name tends to conjure up illustrations or photos of minimal-slung Italian coupes, but in truth the storied brand hasn’t provided up a correct sports activities motor vehicle because the limited-output MC12 debuted back in 2004. The organization made its debut as an automaker in 1926 with the Tipo 26 race vehicle and before long went on to turn into a formidable competitor in motorsport, but the making certain many years were being tumultuous, and the business altered fingers a variety of occasions in advance of Fiat took possession in 1993 and then handed the reins more than to the Fiat-owned Ferrari model. 

Maserati would ostensibly develop into Ferrari’s luxurious division when it took total ownership of the business in 1999, and the several years given that have viewed Ferrari offer extra regular variations of its significant-winding powerplants to Maserati for use in autos like the Ghibli sedan and Levante activity-utility. But beneath the more substantial Fiat-Chrysler banner, Maserati’s versions also inherited plenty of hand-me-down hardware from somewhere else in the group’s portfolio, and glacially-paced progress attempts have extra to the brand’s modern struggles to uphold its racy popularity. 

The introduction of the MC20 marks an solely new chapter for Maserati, which is now aspect of Stellantis. A real clean up-sheet structure, the two-seater is underpinned by an all-new carbon fiber monocoque chassis that was designed in-home and is built in Modena, Italy. Double wishbone-fashion suspension setups at the entrance and rear of the vehicle connection up with the chassis by way of aluminum subframes, and the streamlined carbon fiber bodywork and aerodynamics occur as a outcome of a lot more than two thousand hrs of tests in the Dallara Wind Tunnel, alongside with in depth computational fluid dynamics simulation. 

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

The Nettuno engine

The powertrain is wherever factors start to get seriously intriguing. Determination will come from Maserati’s 3.-liter, twin-turbocharged “Nettuno” V6 engine, an all-new ability plant that was also designed in-residence at Maserati. The new energy plant features on-demand twin-combustion technology cribbed from Components 1, which places a combustion chamber amongst the central spark plug and the common combustion chamber to supply a additional exact burn, in change improving upon the engine’s efficiency as effectively as its performance. 

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The outcome is just one of the most power-dense engines in the automotive marketplace today, and peak output figures of 621 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque offers this 3,330-pound coupe a very best-in-course power-to-body weight ratio among rivals that hail from makes like Lamborghini, Porsche, and McLaren. That bodes nicely for the below and now, but Maserati also properly took the extensive look at when building the MC20 system, which was made from the outset to aid an all-electrical variant. The EV is because of to hit the streets in a handful of years’ time. 

inside a Maserati supercar
Within the MC20. Maserati

Powering the wheel

Settling in at the helm, it is right away clear that the MC20 is focusing on those people seeking for a fast grand-touring sports car or truck like the 911 Turbo S instead than a stripped-down monitor toy. Gone is the Maserati interior switchgear of past versions that could typically trace its origins back again to cars like the Dodge Durango. Rather, the MC20 offers a wholly bespoke cockpit swathed in carbon fiber, alcantara, and brushed steel. 

A large resolution 10.25-inch electronic gauge cluster provides the requisite serious-time data and performance info, although a 10.25-inch touchscreen display with wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile compatibility handles the infotainment responsibilities with sharp graphics and snappy reaction. Along the middle tunnel are controls for push modes (Wet, GT, Sport, and Corsa), as nicely as suspension stiffness, gearbox modes, the windows and doorway locks, and bodily controls for the audio technique. Meanwhile the flat-bottomed steering wheel properties the ignition and launch handle buttons as very well as cruise command and media changes. The structure is uncluttered, intuitively created, and posh. And not like most mid-motor sportscars, the MC20 is incredibly effortless to get in and out of—thanks to the monocoque’s reasonably svelte aspect sills, the butterfly doorways, and the generous amount of headroom for that. 

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

The motor comes to lifetime with a energetic growl that speedily retreats into the background. Maserati has done a fine job of creating this new V6 audio effectively unique but, like numerous engines of these days, its temperament is masked by the inherent muffling impact of its turbochargers. Switching from GT method above to both Sport or Corsa mode will open up up an exhaust valve for much more aural drama, but it’s still a little far too silent for our preferences. Even on boil, street and wind sounds will frequently overpower the engine’s soundtrack, which can make it complicated to nail upshift timing when manually taking care of the cogs with the paddles. 

The good thing is the twin-clutch transmission is well-programmed enough to be still left by yourself in most scenarios. Still left in GT method, it functions in the history to quietly deliver close to-seamless shifts in regular driving predicaments. This also puts the suspension dampers in their most compliant environment, which is sportscar-company but even now 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-check out mirror 

The MC20’s daily usability is also significantly bolstered by its digital rear-view mirror, which shows a genuine-time feed from a camera mounted on the rear deck of the automobile. Traditional rear-watch mirrors in mid-engine automobiles ordinarily offer you a glimpse of sunlight out the rear glass and not a lot else, but the electronic mirror’s unencumbered view of the outside the house globe driving you can make it easy to look at your blind spots when jockeying for position on LA’s ruthless freeway techniques. Additionally, the MC20 even offers two storage compartments—one at the nose of the car, and a further, greater house just driving the motor bay at the rear. It’s practically practical! 

Of study course it should appear as no shock that the MC20 certainly shines out on the twisting tarmac that drapes the Angeles Nationwide Forest about an hour north-east of downtown. Surefooted equilibrium, assurance-inspiring stopping power, and blisteringly fast acceleration are all on the menu, as is precise reaction from the swift-ratio steering rack. Specifically produced Bridgestone Potenza Activity summer tires offer up a great deal of grip for back again road blasts without having the trade-off in sounds and harshness that track-concentrated rubber usually will come with, but we’d anticipate to see the latter on much more hardcore iterations of the MC20 that are very likely to occur down the line. 

These quick, winding stretches of road gave us a prospect to sample the MC20’s Sport and Corsa modes. The former’s tuning is great for the task (as the title implies, Corsa is best suited for incredibly hot lap pacing on a shut course), but we seriously would like that the MC20 also offered a personalized driving mode that allowed would-be house owners to mix and match the vehicle’s various adjustable parameters to their choice. No matter, the MC20 is a thrilling dance partner out in the hills and a amazingly civil equipment all-around town. But then once more, a beginning price tag of $212,000 ($256,050 as-analyzed) tends to set some large expectations. 

Thankfully, Maserati also has strategies that extend beyond quarter-million greenback supercars like the MC20. The recently-announced Grecale sport-utility, for occasion, is aimed squarely at Porsche Macan customers. The crossover will come packing a large amount of technological know-how that’s showcased in the MC20 (like the Nettuno V6 in increased trim degrees), and it will also very likely participate in a fundamental purpose in the brand’s changeover to electrified powertrains. 

In the meantime, very well-heeled sportscar buyers who are hunting to savor the second whilst also steering apparent of the normal suspects would be sensible to hold the MC20 on their brief record.