BY TERESA GRECO
Italian motorsport engineering triumphs again. The first Maserati of its kind to be 100% made in Modena, Italy, the 2021 Maserati MC20 has been engineered to perfection, where every inch of the MC20 has been crafted for a one-of-a-kind driving experience. The first Maserati with butterfly doors, the MC20 is an epic return to its racing origins, from its name to its design.
The 2021 Maserati MC20 is the Italian automaker’s first new supercar in 16 years. This new mid-engined supercar is a state-of-the-art beast with endless potential. According to Maserati, the MC20 offers a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio, refined aerodynamics, state-of-the-art suspension tuning, and a luxurious interior equipped with the latest tech connectivity and other essential features.
Maserati developed and built its own engine without the help of Ferrari for the first time in more than two decades — ‘Nettuno’ is the outcome. A total of 621 horsepower and 538 lb-ft of torque is provided by the 90-degree, 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine. That power goes directly to the rear wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The MC20 supercar can reach 60 mph from a standstill in 2.9 seconds, in part due to this drivetrain, and to 124 mph in no more than 8.8 seconds. Strikingly, these figures are achieved without any electrical assistance, although in a few years, an all-electric MC20 will arrive.
Drivers can select up to four driving modes (GT, Wet, Sport, and Corsa) and settings for the throttle response, suspension, and gearbox. The suspension is a dual-wishbone setup front and rear, with a semi-virtual steering layout designed to reduce scrub angle and increase steering feel and response. The brakes are Brembo carbon ceramic units with six pistons at the front and four at the rear.
More than 1,000 CFD (computational fluid dynamics) simulations and more than 2,000 man-hours of tuning work in the Formula 1-spec Dallara wind tunnel are the product of the very straight lines of the Maserati MC20, with neither a giant wing hanging off the back nor a splitter protruding from the front. Maserati worked hard to hide the MC20’s gills and holes that have become too popular in modern supercar design. Viewed from the side on, there’s no obvious air intake. “Most mid-engine cars are designed around an air intake in front of the rear wheels, and on some, it’s becoming an excessive design detail,” says Klaus Busse, Maserati design chief, “We focused on creating a car that’s not all about holes.” The MC20 breathes through vents snuggled away on top of the rear fenders. Although they can’t be seen from every angle, there are also air vents on the hood and side to help cool the engine. Most of the car’s downforce is produced at the front by vortex generators, as well as a curved underside designed to create more downforce on the front axle. A diffuser with channels of various shapes and depths is over the rear axle to hold the rear of the car planted.
The collaboration with motorsport engineering company Dallara resulted in a carbon fiber structure with aluminum subframes for the suspension and powertrain, resulting in a 3,240-pound curb weight that is comparatively low (by current standards). Its carbon fiber monocoque chassis was designed to support three versions, the coupe and convertible body styles, and the electric version (making room for batteries in the same basic layout). There are also dynamic butterfly doors in the coupe, setting the scene and making it easier to get in and out. For now, consumers will have the option of six colours, but no matter the hue they select, the black roof remains.
Within the cabin, there’s a modern minimalistic yet luxurious-looking interior. There are two 10.25-inch high-resolution screens, one serving as the driver’s all-digital gauge cluster, while the other houses the Maserati Touch Control Plus infotainment system. The cabin delivers luxury fabrics with a sporty feel, including dark blue contrast-stitched black leather and Alcantara seats, aluminium pedals, and carbon fiber trim. The steering wheel is made of carbon fiber and micro-suede, and it sports massive gear-shift paddles. The incredibly sounding MC20 is the first Maserati to feature the optional 12-speaker Sonus faber high-premium audio system, the best Made in Italy sound.
The MC20, which stands for Maserati Corsa 2020, is a marriage of artistic design and aerodynamic sensibilities described as “100% Maserati.” 2021 Maserati MC20 demonstrates its ambitions to be a serious contender in the modern supercar market while still taking inspiration from its noteworthy past vehicles. Interested in one? Maserati is now taking orders for the 2021 MC20, with a starting price of $210,000 US.