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

The Maserati title tends to conjure up visuals of very low-slung Italian coupes, but in actuality the storied brand name has not made available up a correct athletics automobile considering that the limited-output MC12 debuted back in 2004. The firm designed its debut as an automaker in 1926 with the Tipo 26 race car and quickly went on to grow to be a formidable competitor in motorsport, but the making certain a long time ended up tumultuous, and the company modified fingers a variety of occasions just before Fiat took ownership in 1993 and then handed the reins over to the Fiat-owned Ferrari model. 

Maserati would ostensibly come to be Ferrari’s luxurious division when it took complete possession of the organization in 1999, and the decades due to the fact have witnessed Ferrari offer additional standard versions of its higher-winding powerplants to Maserati for use in motor vehicles like the Ghibli sedan and Levante activity-utility. But beneath the more substantial Fiat-Chrysler banner, Maserati’s designs also inherited a lot of hand-me-down hardware from elsewhere in the group’s portfolio, and glacially-paced progress efforts have extra to the brand’s recent struggles to uphold its racy status. 

The introduction of the MC20 marks an solely new chapter for Maserati, which is now aspect of Stellantis. A real clear-sheet style, the two-seater is underpinned by an all-new carbon fiber monocoque chassis that was formulated in-property and is developed in Modena, Italy. Double wishbone-design and style suspension setups at the front and rear of the auto backlink up with the chassis by way of aluminum subframes, and the streamlined carbon fiber bodywork and aerodynamics come as a outcome of a lot more than two thousand hours of screening in the Dallara Wind Tunnel, along with comprehensive computational fluid dynamics simulation. 

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

The Nettuno engine

The powertrain is where by points start off to get really attention-grabbing. Motivation arrives from Maserati’s 3.-liter, twin-turbocharged “Nettuno” V6 engine, an all-new electric power plant that was also formulated in-property at Maserati. The new energy plant offers on-desire twin-combustion technological innovation cribbed from Components 1, which puts a combustion chamber amongst the central spark plug and the typical combustion chamber to supply a much more precise burn, in transform increasing the engine’s effectiveness as properly as its efficiency. 

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

The final result is just one of the most power-dense engines in the automotive field today, and peak output numbers of 621 horsepower and 538 pound-ft of torque provides this 3,330-pound coupe a best-in-class power-to-excess weight ratio among rivals that hail from brands like Lamborghini, Porsche, and McLaren. That bodes nicely for the here and now, but Maserati also properly took the extended look at when producing the MC20 system, which was made from the outset to guidance an all-electrical variant. The EV is due to hit the streets in a several years’ time. 

inside a Maserati supercar
Inside of the MC20. Maserati

Driving the wheel

Settling in at the helm, it is promptly obvious that the MC20 is concentrating on those people hunting for a quickly grand-touring sporting activities motor vehicle like the 911 Turbo S relatively than a stripped-down track toy. Long gone is the Maserati inside switchgear of earlier types that could frequently trace its origins back again to cars like the Dodge Durango. Alternatively, the MC20 boasts a wholly bespoke cockpit swathed in carbon fiber, alcantara, and brushed steel. 

A substantial resolution 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster offers the requisite actual-time info and performance information, whilst a 10.25-inch touchscreen exhibit with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Car compatibility handles the infotainment responsibilities with sharp graphics and snappy response. Alongside the middle tunnel are controls for drive modes (Damp, GT, Sport, and Corsa), as very well as suspension stiffness, gearbox modes, the home windows and doorway locks, and actual physical controls for the audio system. In the meantime the flat-bottomed steering wheel residences the ignition and launch command buttons as nicely as cruise management and media adjustments. The format is uncluttered, intuitively built, and posh. And contrary to most mid-engine sportscars, the MC20 is shockingly simple to get in and out of—thanks to the monocoque’s comparatively svelte side 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 engine will come to everyday living with a energetic growl that rapidly retreats into the history. Maserati has performed a wonderful occupation of earning this new V6 sound effectively unique but, like lots of engines of today, its identity is masked by the inherent muffling impact of its turbochargers. Switching from GT method more than to either Sport or Corsa mode will open up an exhaust valve for extra aural drama, but it’s however a very little far too silent for our tastes. Even on boil, highway and wind noise will typically overpower the engine’s soundtrack, which can make it complicated to nail upshift timing when manually managing the cogs with the paddles. 

The good thing is the dual-clutch transmission is perfectly-programmed plenty of to be left alone in most situations. Left in GT mode, it will work in the history to quietly deliver around-seamless shifts in normal driving cases. This also puts the suspension dampers in their most compliant setting, which is sportscar-agency but even now agreeable for typical 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-watch mirror 

The MC20’s daily usability is also appreciably bolstered by its electronic rear-see mirror, which shows a actual-time feed from a camera mounted on the rear deck of the car or truck. Standard rear-check out mirrors in mid-motor autos generally present a glimpse of sunlight out the rear glass and not much else, but the digital mirror’s unencumbered watch of the outside earth behind you makes it easy to verify your blind spots when jockeying for place on LA’s ruthless freeway methods. Additionally, the MC20 even features two storage compartments—one at the nose of the car or truck, and a further, larger sized house just guiding the engine bay at the rear. It is nearly simple! 

Of system it must arrive as no shock that the MC20 definitely shines out on the twisting tarmac that drapes the Angeles Nationwide Forest about an hour north-east of downtown. Surefooted equilibrium, self confidence-inspiring stopping energy, and blisteringly rapid acceleration are all on the menu, as is precise reaction from the brief-ratio steering rack. Specifically developed Bridgestone Potenza Activity summer season tires offer up loads of grip for back street blasts with no the trade-off in noise and harshness that keep track of-targeted rubber typically comes with, but we’d expect to see the latter on extra hardcore iterations of the MC20 that are likely to come down the line. 

These speedy, winding stretches of street gave us a opportunity to sample the MC20’s Sport and Corsa modes. The former’s tuning is suitable for the job (as the name indicates, Corsa is greatest suited for incredibly hot lap pacing on a closed course), but we actually wish that the MC20 also provided a customized driving mode that allowed would-be entrepreneurs to mix and match the vehicle’s several adjustable parameters to their preference. No matter, the MC20 is a thrilling dance partner out in the hills and a shockingly civil machine around city. But then once more, a setting up selling price of $212,000 ($256,050 as-tested) tends to established some substantial expectations. 

Luckily, Maserati also has strategies that prolong outside of quarter-million greenback supercars like the MC20. The recently-introduced Grecale activity-utility, for occasion, is aimed squarely at Porsche Macan buyers. The crossover will occur packing a good deal of technology that is showcased in the MC20 (such as the Nettuno V6 in greater trim concentrations), and it will also most likely enjoy a elementary purpose in the brand’s transition to electrified powertrains. 

In the meantime, very well-heeled sportscar potential buyers who are hunting to savor the moment even though also steering apparent of the standard suspects would be intelligent to keep the MC20 on their short record.