Two seats, mid-engined layout and a sub-3 second 0 to 100kph time. Just about every new supercar has those three elements. However, not every new supercar bears the badge of the trident. The last time Maserati made a supercar, it was a road-going version of its racecar (for homologation purposes) and it was based on the Ferrari Enzo. Since then, the Italian brand seems to have fallen behind the times with an ageing model lineup and the only NEW car has been the Levante SUV. It keeps the brand alive but that’s not why the automotive world has so much love for the Maserati name. The company seems to have finally acknowledged that and is embracing its exciting side once again and leading the change will be the new Maserati Corse 2020, or MC20 for short.
While the naming might be even less creative than Ferrari, the MC20 is here to bring the Maserati badge back to the supercar scene. Not only that, but the Italian carmaker also has plans to take it racing and it has been built accordingly. The MC20 has a kerb weight less than 1,500kg thanks to the carbon fibre tub and extensive use of the lightweight material for various body panels.
Maserati has opted for a clean design that is keeping in line with the brand history with some elements reminiscent of the MC12 too. The sculpted bonnet channels air from the front towards to top surface of the car and then towards the intakes above the rear haunches. It utilises underbody aerodynamics so that it can generate sufficient grip and doesn’t need dramatic fins and wings. This allows for a discreet rear spoiler that sits flush with the sculpted rear end. The Modena outfit borrowed the Dallara Wind Tunnel for its aero simulations to test out its design. They actually clocked in more than 2000 man-hours of wind tunnel testing while developing the MC20 and many more for the track and road tests for fine-tuning the driving dynamics.
The MC20 is powered by Maserati’s brand-new Nettuno engine which was detailed ahead of the supercar itself. It’s a clever twin-turbo V6 with F1-inspired tech and sends 630hp and 730Nm to the rear wheels via an 8-speed twin-clutch transmission. Maserati claims that the powerful engine and lightweight design is good enough for a 0-100kph time of 2.9 seconds, onto 200kph in 8.8 seconds and topping out at 325kph. The entire car and engine will be made at Maserati’s own plant at Modena. They also confirmed that there will be a convertible version as well as an all-electric version of the MC20 in the future. It has race-inspired double-wishbone suspension and adjustable dampers to enjoy the car on a track day as well as on a road trip.
Apart from its aerodynamically sculpted shape, the Maserati MC20 features some brilliantly Italian styling details. It’s the first in the brand’s lineup to feature butterfly doors which certainly add to its supercar presence. But the best detail, in my opinion, is how they integrated the trident design into the engine cover flanked by the brand’s iconic triple vents usually seen on the front half of its GT cars.
Most of Maserati’s lineup is shot down for its outdated technology and dated cabins. Since the MC20 is meant to take the brand forward, it had to offer a modern cabin experience that would make it easier to live with and that’s what the brand has done. It has two 10-inch digital displays and is equipped with connected car technology for the multimedia system that can also receive over-the-air updates. There’s plenty of visible carbon fibre and the upholstery uses luxurious materials while the seats feature a multi-layered laser-etched design which lends it a detailed dual-tone appearance. Of course, the cabin will be customisable as per each customer’s tastes in terms of the colours and materials on offer. The controls look modern and old-school at the same time. The central console has a prominent dial that integrates drive and damper mode selection which also looks like an old-school ignition slot for a car key. Speaking of modes, the MC20’s list includes GT, Wet, Sport, Corsa and a brown-pants mode called ESC off. The steering wheel also has the usual controls for cruise control, telephony and cycling through the digital instrument cluster but the two most important functions get their dedicated buttons – engine start and launch control. Modern and yet old-school. Overall, it looks like a nice place to be for gentle cruises too. It is somewhat practical too with a 100-litre boot behind the engine.
Usually, I’d draw this kind of unveil news to a close here. However, I saw some interesting reports online regarding the true origins of the MC20. To recap, Maserati had unveiled a new GT concept in 2013 called the Alfieri which bears a striking resemblance to the recently launched Ferrari Roma. During the same period, there were rumours of a new baby Ferrari sports car that would sit under the V8-line as well as a new Alfa Romeo sports car to supersede the 4C. There were spy shots too of a new supercar being tested by either of those Italian brands since nobody expected Maserati to enter this space at that time. Also, the Nettuno is said to have F1-derived technology and yet Maserati has no presence in the current or recent F1 scene whatsoever. Some theories stipulate a model shuffle between the three Italian brands that are all within the collective umbrella of the FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automotive). This still leaves Alfa Romeo with the possibility to expand its lineup soon. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
The MC20 was globally unveiled at Maserati’s “MMXX: Time To Be Audacious” event in Modena. It was a gala occasion with a stunning lineup of Maserati’s other models in attendance comprising of the Ghibli, Quattroporte and Levante. The carmaker also announced some of its future models such as the already unveiled Ghibli hybrid and a new SUV that will bear the name Grecale. Maserati also reiterated that the next-gen GranTurismo and GranCabrio will all-electric and will likely arrive ahead of the MC20 electric.
What do you make of the new Maserati MC20? Are you a fan of its looks? Who all do you think would be the closest rivals to it? Share your thoughts and answers in the comments below the gallery. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Auto Loons for more cool updates from the car world.