2022 Maserati MC20: A 621 Horsepower Tip of the Spear Supercar
The Trident crew’s new V6 features serious performance, and convertible and EV variants are both set to follow.
Sixteen years after the debut of the hardcore Maserati MC12, the famed Italian brand has revealed its fastest car yet: the mid-engine MC20 supercar. Built around a new carbon fiber monocoque allowing for a cabriolet and a full electric version to follow after 2022, the coupé features Maserati's brand new Nettuno motor, a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 featuring dual combustion chambers for 621 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque available from 3,000 to 5,500 rpm. While we saw a lot of it in a leak last night, there's plenty more to learn today.
"MC20" stands for Maserati Corse 2020, hinting at the brand's comeback to racing. Maserati won't go into specifics about that just yet, but it will say that the road car spent over two thousand man-hours in the Dallara Wind Tunnel, completing more than a thousand CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations as well to achieve a drag figure of 0.38 Cx.
If it does go racing, it will do so with a powerful heart. Featuring dry-sump lubrication and twin-injection operating between 87 and 5,076 psi depending on demand, Maserati's 90° new DOHC V6 comes with a 11:1 compression ratio, a bore of 88mm, a stroke of 82 mm, side-mounted turbochargers, and most importantly, a pre-chamber combustion system with twin-spark plugs.
This Formula 1-derived solution uses an extra combustion chamber that is set between the central electrode and the traditional combustion chamber, connected by a series of holes. Using twin-spark ignition, the standard spark plug acts as a support to ensure constant combustion when the engine is operating at a level that doesn’t need the pre-chamber to kick in. The Nettuno V6 redlines at 8,000 rpm, which is quite impressive for a turbo six-cylinder.
It's also the first genuine Maserati engine built in Modena since 1998. Production of each takes about 25 hours, or just over three working days.
Weighing in under 3,306 pounds, the MC20 packs an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission that uses its top two gears for emissions and economy reasons only. The supercar can manage a zero to 60 mph run in just 2.9 seconds, a 0-120 mph sprint in less than 8.8 seconds, and a top speed of 202 mph.
Despite its clean lines and modest active spoiler at the back, the MC20 should also produce sufficient levels of downforce through ground effects. Maserati's supercar features a completely encased floor that raises in the center to accelerate airflow, aided by vortex generators at the front and a large diffuser at the rear, made ultra-efficient by its channels of different depths and vertical fins.
Developed by the Maserati Innovation Lab and Dallara, the car's equally fresh carbon fiber monocoque allows not only for butterfly doors, but also for modifications to suit the requirements of the MC20's upcoming cabriolet and electric variants. The monocoque’s architecture and geometry will be the same for all three versions, yet different structural characteristics will be achieved for each model. While the coupé focuses on being as light as possible, the convertible demands greater torsional rigidity. As you'd expect, the electric package will have more overall strength and enhanced protection for the battery area.
Proudly exposing as much of that carbon monocoque as possible, all MC20s will be built at Maserati's historic plant on Viale Ciro Menotti, in the center of Modena.
To make its supercar handle accordingly, Maserati went for a short spindle semi-virtual double-wishbone suspension layout both front and rear. That means the system comes with two bottom links, and just one at the top. Active shock absorbers, standard anti-roll bars and an optional front lift system complete the package, while behind the DCT, the MC20 features either a mechanical differential, or an available electric one.
The brake rotors and their colorful monoblock calipers come from Brembo, which supplies Maserati with 390 x 36 mm CCM (carbon ceramic) discs with six-piston calipers for the front axle, and 360 x 28 mm discs with four-piston calipers for the rear of the MC20.
The trident in the rear glass is a nice touch too.
Maserati cooked up six new exterior colors for its new supercar: Bianco Audace is the launch shade. It's a warm white with a bluish tint, merging the racing colors of the Birdcage—white and dark blue. Giallo Genio is a metallic paint combining dark blue and yellow. Rosso Vincente evokes the red of the Tipo 26, the first racing Maserati. Blu Infinito is a simple and bright blue that should remind you of the MC12's looks. Nero Enigma is a very deep black. Finally, the Grigio Mistero's dark grey is straight off 2014's Alfieri concept. If you ask me, Giallo Genio sounds fantastic, even if Rosso Vincente MC20s will be faster by law.
Inside the two-seater cockpit, it's a fairly minimalistic vibe with a dark Alcantara upholstery to avoid reflections in the windscreen, and a thick carbon fiber steering wheel designed with input from Andrea Bertolini, Maserati Corse test driver and former World Champion in the MC12. Only the most essential controls made it to the wheel, including the Start and Launch Control buttons, and the paddles for the DCT. These get a dark aluminum finish as standard, but can also be ordered in carbon fiber.
The similarly carbon fiber central tunnel features just a few switches as well, with Maserati arguing that the MC20's most luxurious detail is its driving mode selector. Inspired by a watch and positioned in the center, the driving mode selector is a mechanical device with a touch of Maserati's dark blue. Something reminding drivers of luxury watches was necessary, since, for the first time in ages, the MC20 does not have the trademark Maserati analog clock on its instrument cluster.
Supplied by fellow Italian Sabelt, the MC20's seats combine composite structural shells with power adjustments and a lumbar system. Wrapped in a combination of laser engraved leather and Alcantara, they offer the best of both words in regards to performance and comfort.
The premium touches don't stop there, as the MC20's cabin also features a 695-watt, 12-speaker Sonus faber sound system that's unique to Maserati. Once the driver decides to let that twin-turbo V6 sing its song instead, the MC20 offers five color-coded driving modes: WET (green); GT (blue); SPORT (red); CORSA (yellow); ESC OFF (orange.)
GT mode is the default setting. Engine boost, pedal sensitivity and traction control at normal, exhaust valves only opened above 5,000 rpm, gear shifts relaxed, suspension soft.
WET limits boost while alerting all driving aids. In SPORT, boost still remains at normal, yet pedal sensitivity, gear shifts and the suspension settings get dialed up, with the exhausts opening at 3,500 rpm, and traction control staying in sport.
CORSA speaks for itself. Everything in race mode, exhaust open at all times, maximum boost, and launch control ready for action. Go ESP OFF from there, and the rest is up to you. This means Maserati finally has a car with a trident that pokes.
It'll be at North American dealers in 2022, followed by a cabriolet and a mysterious electric supercar. It may not seem as mind-blowing as the Enzo-in-a-dinner-jacket MC12, but it's a needed injection of excitement into a storied brand that's felt a bit stale as of late. New winds are blowing in Modena, it seems.
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