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


The Maserati identify tends to conjure up photographs of low-slung Italian coupes, but in fact the storied model hasn’t available up a correct sporting activities vehicle given that the confined-manufacturing MC12 debuted back in 2004. The company built its debut as an automaker in 1926 with the Tipo 26 race automobile and shortly went on to develop into a formidable competitor in motorsport, but the making certain many years had been tumultuous, and the company altered fingers a selection of periods in advance of Fiat took possession in 1993 and then handed the reins above to the Fiat-owned Ferrari brand. 

Maserati would ostensibly develop into Ferrari’s luxurious division when it took entire ownership of the enterprise in 1999, and the several years considering that have noticed Ferrari present much more common variations of its substantial-winding powerplants to Maserati for use in vehicles like the Ghibli sedan and Levante activity-utility. But less than the larger sized Fiat-Chrysler banner, Maserati’s styles also inherited a good deal of hand-me-down hardware from elsewhere in the group’s portfolio, and glacially-paced improvement attempts have extra to the brand’s current struggles to uphold its racy standing. 

The introduction of the MC20 marks an solely new chapter for Maserati, which is now section of Stellantis. A true clean-sheet design and style, the two-seater is underpinned by an all-new carbon fiber monocoque chassis that was formulated in-residence and is developed in Modena, Italy. Double wishbone-design suspension setups at the front and rear of the auto website link up with the chassis by way of aluminum subframes, and the streamlined carbon fiber bodywork and aerodynamics come as a outcome of extra than two thousand several hours of screening in the Dallara Wind Tunnel, along 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 where items start out to get seriously intriguing. Determination comes from Maserati’s 3.-liter, twin-turbocharged “Nettuno” V6 motor, an all-new electricity plant that was also formulated in-household at Maserati. The new electrical power plant offers on-demand from customers twin-combustion technologies cribbed from Method 1, which places a combustion chamber involving the central spark plug and the conventional combustion chamber to provide a much more specific burn, in flip improving upon the engine’s effectiveness as very well as its functionality. 

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

The final result is a single of the most ability-dense engines in the automotive business now, and peak output numbers of 621 horsepower and 538 pound-toes of torque gives this 3,330-pound coupe a finest-in-course energy-to-pounds ratio among rivals that hail from manufacturers like Lamborghini, Porsche, and McLaren. That bodes effectively for the in this article and now, but Maserati also wisely took the extended view when creating the MC20 platform, which was made from the outset to aid an all-electrical variant. The EV is due to hit the streets in a number of years’ time. 

inside a Maserati supercar
Inside the MC20. Maserati

At the rear of the wheel

Settling in at the helm, it’s straight away evident that the MC20 is targeting those people looking for a quick grand-touring sports car or truck like the 911 Turbo S instead than a stripped-down monitor toy. Long gone is the Maserati inside switchgear of previous versions that could often trace its origins back to vehicles like the Dodge Durango. Alternatively, the MC20 offers a wholly bespoke cockpit swathed in carbon fiber, alcantara, and brushed metal. 

A large resolution 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster offers the requisite serious-time information and effectiveness data, whilst a 10.25-inch touchscreen exhibit with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility handles the infotainment obligations with sharp graphics and snappy reaction. Along the heart tunnel are controls for drive modes (Soaked, GT, Sport, and Corsa), as properly as suspension stiffness, gearbox modes, the home windows and door locks, and physical controls for the audio system. Meanwhile the flat-bottomed steering wheel properties the ignition and start regulate buttons as effectively as cruise control and media changes. The layout is uncluttered, intuitively created, and posh. And in contrast to most mid-motor sportscars, the MC20 is surprisingly effortless to get in and out of—thanks to the monocoque’s somewhat svelte facet sills, the butterfly doorways, and the generous amount of money of headroom for that. 

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

The motor will come to life with a energetic growl that swiftly retreats into the history. Maserati has done a high-quality position of producing this new V6 sound thoroughly unique but, like lots of engines of these days, its identity is masked by the inherent muffling influence of its turbochargers. Switching from GT manner more than to possibly Sport or Corsa manner will open up an exhaust valve for far more aural drama, but it’s still a minimal also tranquil for our tastes. Even on boil, road and wind noise will often overpower the engine’s soundtrack, which can make it hard to nail upshift timing when manually running the cogs with the paddles. 

Thankfully the dual-clutch transmission is perfectly-programmed enough to be still left by yourself in most scenarios. Left in GT mode, it operates in the background to quietly produce close to-seamless shifts in ordinary driving predicaments. This also places the suspension dampers in their most compliant setting, which is sportscar-organization but even now agreeable for frequent 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-see mirror 

The MC20’s everyday usability is also substantially bolstered by its electronic rear-see mirror, which shows a authentic-time feed from a camera mounted on the rear deck of the auto. Classic rear-perspective mirrors in mid-motor autos ordinarily offer you a glimpse of sunlight out the rear glass and not a lot else, but the digital mirror’s unencumbered check out of the outside the house world behind you tends to make it effortless to look at your blind spots when jockeying for situation on LA’s ruthless freeway methods. As well as, the MC20 even boasts two storage compartments—one at the nose of the automobile, and a different, much larger house just driving the engine bay at the rear. It’s practically realistic! 

Of study course it must arrive 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 balance, self-assurance-inspiring halting electric power, and blisteringly brief acceleration are all on the menu, as is exact reaction from the brief-ratio steering rack. Specifically created Bridgestone Potenza Sport summer time tires present up a good deal of grip for again road blasts without the need of the trade-off in sound and harshness that observe-centered rubber often comes with, but we’d assume to see the latter on far more hardcore iterations of the MC20 that are likely to arrive down the line. 

These fast, winding stretches of highway gave us a possibility to sample the MC20’s Sport and Corsa modes. The former’s tuning is ideal for the position (as the title implies, Corsa is best suited for very hot lap pacing on a closed program), but we truly wish that the MC20 also made available a customized driving method that authorized would-be house owners to blend and match the vehicle’s several adjustable parameters to their preference. No matter, the MC20 is a thrilling dance associate out in the hills and a surprisingly civil equipment around city. But then yet again, a commencing cost of $212,000 ($256,050 as-tested) tends to set some large anticipations. 

Luckily, Maserati also has options that extend beyond quarter-million greenback supercars like the MC20. The a short while ago-announced Grecale activity-utility, for instance, is aimed squarely at Porsche Macan customers. The crossover will come packing a whole lot of technological know-how that’s showcased in the MC20 (which include the Nettuno V6 in bigger trim ranges), and it will also most likely perform a fundamental function in the brand’s transition to electrified powertrains. 

In the meantime, well-heeled sportscar potential buyers who are seeking to savor the second even though also steering apparent of the normal suspects would be wise to maintain the MC20 on their shorter checklist.  


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