Automotive

Published on September 11th, 2020 | by Joshua Chin

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Maserati Unveils New 630hp MC20 V6 Supercar

Will this mark the resurgence of Maserati in the supercar sector?

These days, Maserati is often more associated with sporty sedans and luxury SUVs. Long gone are the days where Maserati is remembered for its supercars, considering that the only thing in its lineup currently that can even be vaguely considered to be of that caliber is probably the antiquated V8 GT Maserati GranTurismo. 

However Maserati is attempting to change this image and is looking to hark back to the glory days as a prestigious supercar manufacturer with a rich racing history. And the trident marque aims to enter this new era of Maserati with its latest all-original supercar, that is the Maserati MC20. 

The latest in Maserati’s lineup, the MC20 (where MC for Maserati Corse and 20 for 2020) is meant to be the dawn of the new era for Maserati. Although supposedly just designed and developed in a lightning fast 24 months, on paper at least this new mid-engined Maserati supercar seems to be a proper thoroughbred supercar. Just what Maserati needs to lead the charge into the next chapter for the Italian marque. 

Headlining the MC20 will perhaps be the new Nettuno V6 nestled in the middle of the supercar. After a 20 year hiatus from producing its own engines and instead relying on Ferrari V8s, Maserati has finally returned to the engine-making business with this all-new and technologically advanced V6. Featuring Maserati’s Twin-Combustion technology, the twin-turbocharged Nettuno V6 in the MC20 is meant to contain 630 rampaging Italian stallions and a whopping 730 Nm of torque. Netting a century sprint time of under 2.9 seconds and a top speed exceeding 325 km/h. 

This blisteringly 0-100km/h time is also thanks in part to the MC20’s low kerb-weight of less than 1500 kg, thanks to extensive use of carbon fibre. The low weight also translates to a best in class power-to-weight ratio of 2.33 kg/hp. 

On the exterior front, Maserati seemed to have done a competent job too. Its short, sleek profile might remind some of the reborn Alpine A110, but Maserati assures us that the design for the MC20 has instead been inspired by the MC12 hypercar of the early 2000s. The design cues from the hypercar can certainly be seen from the front with its long slim lights and large, gaping grille with its equally large trident emblem. 

Round the back though, there are more than a hint of Maserati GranTurismo, which is no bad thing in itself as the GranTurismo was and is still a stunner to look at. That being said, the overall package just seems a tad too bland and conservative, especially for what is to be Maserati’s flagship supercar to herald in a new era for the brand. 

Stepping inside the cockpit through those gorgeous butterfly doors and the interior that greets you is also a tad on the bland side. There are bits of carbon fibre and Alcantara everywhere in the interior, but it lacks the flair and flamboyance one expects from a supercar. 

In addition to that, perhaps in the quest for simplicity, the number of buttons are purposefully sparse in this already bare cabin. Besides the barrage of buttons on the Ferrari-esque steering wheel, the only other buttons seem to be on a control panel near the driver’s door. The button-operated gear selector and a rotary drive-mode selector knob on the central tunnel completes the tactile switchgear in the MC20’s cockpit. In place of buttons are two 10 inch screens, the first being the digital instrument cluster and the other being Maserati’s Touch Control Plus infotainment system. 

To be built completely in Italy, at least the new MC20 will have proper Italian heritage. Convertible and possibly even all-electric variants of the MC20 are also in the works. No word on prices yet, however orders for this latest chapter in Maserati’s history are open now. 

It might not be as flamboyant as its other Italian rivals, but as possibly an everyday supercar Maserati seemed to have nailed it. That said, this statement will only become fact as real world tests of the MC20 materialise. 

PRESS RELEASE: Maserati enters the new Era with MC20, the new super sports car that combines performance, sportiness and luxury in the unique Maserati style. MC20 was presented to the world in Modena on 9 September during the “MMXX: Time to be audacious” event.

The new MC20 (MC for Maserati Corse and 20 for 2020, the year of its world première and the start of the Brand’s new Era) is the Maserati everyone was waiting for. It is a car with incredible aerodynamic efficiency, which conceals a sporty soul, with the new Nettuno engine, a 630 horsepower V6 with torque of 730 Nm that delivers 0-100 km/h acceleration in under 2,9 seconds and a top speed over 325 km an hour. An engine that signals Maserati’s return to producing its own power units after a hiatus of more than 20 years.

The MC20 is an extremely lightweight car under 1,500 kg (kerb weight), and thanks to its power output of 630 hp it comes out best in class in weight/power ratio, at just 2.33 kg/hp. This record is achieved through the use of choice quality materials, exploiting all the potentials of carbon fibre without any sacrifices with regard to comfort.

Nettuno, the first engine in this new chapter of the Trident’s history, is the MC20’s twin turbo V6, a technologic gem already awarded an international patent, which puts the MTC (Maserati Twin Combustion) technology, the ground-breaking combustion system developed in-house, onto the world’s roads.

Overall, this revolutionary project has resulted in a car that epitomises Italian excellence. In fact, MC20 was designed in Modena and will be built at the Viale Ciro Menotti plant, where the Trident’s models have been built for more than 80 years. The new production line, created in the spaces where the GranTurismo and GranCabrio models were assembled until November 2019, is now ready for action in the historic plant. The site also features a new paintshop incorporating innovative, environment-friendly technologies. Nettuno will also be built in Modena, at the newly established Maserati Engine Lab.

The MC20 design was produced in about 24 months, with the involvement from the outset, in an innovative approach, of a team of Maserati Innovation Lab engineers, technical specialists from the Maserati Engine Lab and designers from the Maserati Style Centre.

The Virtual Vehicle Dynamics Development system, which includes the use of one of the world’s most advanced dynamic simulators, was developed in-house by the Maserati Innovation Lab and is based on a complex mathematical model called Virtual Car. This method allowed performance of 97% of dynamic tests, optimising development times. The car was then fine-tuned in the best Maserati tradition with exhaustive track and road test-driving sessions in the most widely varying conditions of use.

The guiding theme of the MC20’S design was the Brand’s historic identity, with all the elegance, performance and comfort integral to its genetic make-up. The focus on performance led to the conception of a car with a distinct personality, with unmistakable forms that render it unique.

The butterfly doors are not only stunningly beautiful but also functional, as they improve the car’s ergonomics and enable optimal access to and from the cabin.

The aerodynamics were designed through over two thousand man-hours in the Dallara Wind Tunnel and more than a thousand CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations, which enabled the creation of a genuine work of art. The resulting car has a sleek line, with no mobile appendages but just a discreet rear spoiler that improves downforce without detracting from the MC20’s beauty. The CX is more under 0,38.

The MC20 is designed to enable coupé and convertible versions and for full electric power.

Once inside the cabin, the driver is always central, and nothing must distract them from the sporting driving experience. Every component has a purpose, and is completely driver-oriented. Simple forms, very few sharp edges and minimal distractions. Two 10 inch screens: one for the cockpit and the other for the Maserati Touch Control Plus (MTC Plus MIA). Simplicity is also the keynote of the carbon fibre-clad central console, with just a few features: the wireless smartphone charger, the driving mode selector (GT, Wet, Sport, Corsa and a fifth, ESC Off, which deactivates the control functions), two speed selection buttons, the power window controls, the Multimedia System controls, and a handy storage compartment underneath the armrest. All the other controls are on the steering wheel, with the ignition button on the left and the launch control on the right.

The new MC20 will be connected at all times with the Maserati Connect program. The full range of services includes connected navigation, Alexa and Wifi Hotspot and can also be managed through the Maserati Connect smartphone or smartwatch App.

For the launch, Maserati has also developed six new colours to characterise MC20: Bianco Audace, Giallo Genio, Rosso Vincente, Blu Infinito, Nero Enigma and Grigio Mistero. Each of them has been conceived, designed and developed exclusively for this car and they all convey important themes: a strong reference to Made in Italy, to Italian identity and to the land, as well as one linked to Maserati tradition.

Both visually and conceptually, there are strong references to the MC12, the car that marked Maserati’s racing comeback in 2004. In the same way as its predecessor, MC20, with its explicitly racing soul clear from its name alone, announces the intention to return to the world of racing.

The production launch is scheduled for the end the current year with orders to be accepted from the 9th September after the world Première.

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About the Author

Automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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