A “natural evolution” from the MC12 is how this new beast of a car has been described. The MC20 is a step forward and a glimpse into the future for the Italian luxury car manufacturer. But does it earn its evolutionary description?
The new two-seater with a mid-mounted 463kW/730Nm 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 was developed by The Maserati Innovation Lab. This is huge, as Maserati haven’t developed and manufactured an engine of their own for 20 years! All their previous engines were built by Ferrari. So how has this worked out?
The MC20 has been fitted with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission with a 90-degree Nettuno V6 that can launch the driver from 0-100km/h in just 2.9 seconds for a top speed of over 325km/h. It’s also dry-sumped with an 11:1 compression ratio and a combination of port and direct injection. It seems Maserati have delivered their first proper supercar since the Bora in 1971. And the V6 isn’t even the fast one.
There will be three variants of the MC20 – the V6 coupe, a Spyder with retractable hardtop roof, and an all-wheel-drive, completely electric version. This electric model is the one people are very excited about.
The electric supercar will have a powertrain that can deliver over 700bhp in comparison with the petrol version’s 621bhp. The acceleration leaves the petrol engine behind with the ability to reach 0-100km/h in just two seconds! It will have triple motor setup with one on the front axle and the other two in the rear. As a result, the car will have to be heavier due to the stiffness required to accommodate the electric powertrain making it 80kg to 100kg heavier than the petrol version.
The MC20’s ‘model responsible,’ Luigi Sciaretta, said to Top Gear that while the electric variant might be different to drive, “we are confident that we can compensate the performance losses that we have due to the weight, thanks to torque vectoring.”
Sciaretta also said that 90 percent of the development work was done on a simulator at the ‘Innovation Lab’ which he knew was a gamble, but the results speak for themselves. A major advantage of this process is the speed in which the car could be developed in, only taking two years to produce the first MC20. A car of the future made using tech of the future. No doubt not all cars will be made this way but if these are the stunning results offered then we may see more manufacturers taking inspiration from Maserati.
The MC20’s design also just seemed to evolve naturally for the team. Design boss, Klaus Busse, stated that the car “designed itself.” What he means is that their goal was to design a purer, cleaner silhouette not troubled with “visual noise” which includes things like air intakes. Electric cars don’t have to worry about engine cooling anywhere near as much as traditional petrol engines do. This gives the design team an easier time if they are trying to design a cleaner silhouette. “We entered the project almost assuming that the car will be all about air intakes,” said Busse, “and we realised with some clever packaging, it doesn’t have to be that way.”
“We found a way of creating something unique in the market, which speaks ‘Maserati’, and that does not build on unnecessary details,” said Busse. It looks like they have achieved exactly that, and all eyes will be focused on the 2022 release of the electric MC20. The supercar of the future is coming.
The V6 MC20 is available now for $438,000 AUD.