Maserati’s new era marks the most transformative and exciting period in the marque’s history, and as headline acts go, the new MC20 – and the open top MC20 Cielo – have firmly signalled that Maserati’s defining characteristics won’t be sacrificed.
Revealed to the world in September 2020, the MC20’s arrival as Maserati’s new super sports car certainly made a splash. It’s not only a present-day successor to the legendary MC12, it’s also a preview of everything Maserati will do in its next-generation. Design, luxury, performance and technology will all play a key part in this.
There’s no end of beautiful supercars on sale right now, but the MC20 joins those ranks with a brief larger than just looking good: it sets the tone for the entire next-generation Maserati design language, and we’re already seeing this influence in the new GranTurismo coupe and Grecale SUV – both of which will be offered with full-electric power, just as the MC20 will in time.
The MC20 is the most expressive and extreme interpretation of the new design identity. Classic features such as the large oval grille emblazoned with the Maserati trident are joined by new touches such as the vertical headlights and thin, horizontal taillight signatures, while a touch of flair seldom seen in supercars these days is served up by the stunning butterfly doors. Those who want to go roofless can opt for the new Cielo variant for open-air thrills, too. It’s a supercar with a design brief to cover all tastes and desires.
“The MC20’s straight-line performance is incredible, yet it can be exploited through a wonderfully precise, agile, yet forgiving chassis.” – Auto Express
But despite all the drama on the outside, this is not an uncompromising car. The wild doors allow for easy access to the cabin, where it’s clear that this is a supercar built with every-day grand touring capabilities in mind.
It’s not flashy, or ostentatious, but functional. Only the best materials and interior technology will do, though the flashes of exposed carbon-fibre on the centre tunnel and steering wheel available in the Interior Carbon Fibre Pack are more than a nod to the lightweight, supercar construction under the surface, enabling the whole car to tip the scales at just 1,500kg.
“It’s not a typically anodyne V6 burr, but deep chested, snarly and only just on the right side of raucous. Initially, that seems at odds with the rest of the car, because the MC20 is outstandingly comfortable and refined.” – Evo
It’s not just the construction that enables that figure, but the choice of engine, too. Using cutting edge pre-chamber combustion used widely in Formula 1 engines, the revolutionary ‘Nettuno’ unit combines a compact size and light weight with a strong power output. It punches well above its weight, developing 630PS from its twin-turbocharged, 3.0-litre capacity across a 90-degree V6 configuration and producing the supercar exhaust note to match.
“This chassis can handle really rapid direction changes. Wind the lock on, it’s so fast it darts around in a way that no Porsche 911 can possibly hope to do” – Chris Harris, BBC Top Gear.
The consensus among the UK’s automotive press is that the new MC20 is one of the most flexible supercars on sale today, with a greater range of talents than many rivals. It’s a supercar you can drive every day, thanks to the strong bandwidth dialled into the modes selected on the drive mode wheel.
This spectrum ranges from the comfort and security of the GT mode the car defaults to, through the increasingly aggressive and hard-hitting Sport and Corsa configurations. And it’s not just the powertrain and gearbox – adaptive dampers allow the driver to change the profile of the car’s suspension between confidence inspiring firmness, or softer settings for long-distance comfort.
Of course, it all comes with the sort of level of personalisation any supercar buyer expects. A huge paint colour swatch includes lurid and wild tones such as Hyperblue and the pearlescent AI Aqua Rainbow colours along with more traditional tones. Liveries, painted brake calipers and more make for a dazzling number of exterior combinations, and there’s a number of carbon-fibre exterior parts that can be chosen individually or as part of the Exterior Carbon Pack.