Italian Supercar Ushers in a New Era for The Trident Brand

The Maserati MC20 (MC for Maserati Corse and 20 for 2020, the year of its debut) is an important vehicle for the Italian automaker. The newest MC20 succeeds the MC12 as Maserati’s halo supercar. And similar to what the MC12 did for Maserati back in 2004 – it marked the return of Maserati to professional racing after a 37-year hiatus – the MC20 heralds the return of the Trident brand to what it really does best: Racing.

Maserati must also prove its merits on the street, and that’s what the MC20 is born to do. Considering the MC20 is aiming straight at the hearts of Ferraris, McLarens, Corvettes, and Lamborghinis, consider us mightily impressed given Maserati came up with a gorgeous design minus the festering air scoops and winglets you’ll typically find on a modern supercar.

Genuine Italian Beauty

In the most genuine Italian way, Maserati’s newest MC20 supercar was born in Modena, Italy. The MC20 was designed entirely in Modena and will be built at the Viale Ciro Menotti plant. For the Maserati design team, the goal was to create the form of a supercar without littering the body with crude holes, cuts, and appendages. Granted, the MC20 still has a smallish rear wing to improve downforce, but the overall design is pure and clean. We like it a lot.

We’re still talking about a Maserati supercar, and we’re glad the MC20 retains a couple of outlandish design features. For starters, we like the butterfly doors, which not only look great but were included out of necessity to improve ingress and egress – something that not all supercars can brag about. And while some will roll their eyes upon seeing that gorgeous polycarbonate engine cover, we also like the louvers resembling Maserati’s trident logo.

Maserati MC20
The MC20’s design was completed in about two years with a team of Maserati Innovation Lab engineers, technical specialists from the Maserati Engine Lab, and designers from the Maserati Style Center. Photo: Maserati S.p.A.

Unleash The Fury of Netunno

The beating heart of the Maserati MC20 is a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 known as Netunno or Neptune, a befitting name for the newest engine to spearhead Maserati’s renaissance. As a brief history lesson, Maserati’s trident logo is based on the Fountain of Neptune in Piazza Maggiore at Bologna. Since 1920, the trident logo has graced every Maserati as a symbol of strength and vigor.

And boy, Maserati’s newest Netunno engine is nothing but vigorous. Producing 621 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 538 lb-ft. of torque, Maserati’s latest V6 is one of the most potent motors you’ll find in a modern supercar. It produces 207.6 horsepower per liter, and that’s a lot.

To put that into perspective, the Ferrari 488 Pista with its 3.9-liter V8 is good for 182 bhp/liter while the McLaren Senna musters 197.5 bhp/liter. If you think that’s crazy, the Bugatti Chiron with a quad-turbo 8.0-liter W16 motor is good for 185 bhp/liter, so we’re not exaggerating when we say Maserati is aiming for the jugular with its newest twin-turbo V6.

The darn thing can spin all the way to 8,000 rpm, benefiting from both port and direct injection; DOHC heads with 24 valves; a larger bore with oversquare cylinder dimensions; and two spark plugs in each cylinder. The engine has a passive pre-chamber ignition system similar to what you’ll find in a modern Formula 1 engine. Maserati calls it the MTC or Maserati Twin Combustion technology, and it uses one of the two spark plugs to ignite a separate air-fuel mixture inside an antechamber. This primary ignition improves engine efficiency, response, and power output.

Maserati MC20 Nettuno engine.
Key features of the Maserati Nettuno engine include a fully variable oil pump on a dry-sump system with scavenge pumps, an external oil tank, and a double overhead camshaft with variable valve timing. Photo: Maserati S.p.A.

How Fast Is The Maserati MC20?

With an engine producing one of the highest specific outputs per liter, the Maserati MC20 is an incredibly quick machine. According to Maserati, it eclipses 60 mph from a standstill in under 2.9 seconds, with a top speed above 202 mph. The twin-turbo V6 motor sends power to the rear wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch transaxle gearbox with a limited-slip differential.

This propensity for speed has a lot to do with the MC20’s innovative and lightweight construction. With a curb weight of under 3,300 lbs. (1,500 kg), the MC20 has an incredible power-to-weight ratio of 5.3 lbs./hp (2.33 kg/hp), thanks to a carbon fiber tub and carbon fiber body panels.

Will There Be An Electric Maserati MC20?

Yes, but you’ll have to wait until 2022 at the very least for the all-electric version of the Maserati MC20. The company has yet to divulge specific details regarding battery capacity and charging times, but Maserati said the electric MC20 will have a dual motor setup, all-wheel drive, and maybe around 235 miles of driving range. Oh, and it’ll be faster than its gasoline brethren, too.

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Simple & Ergonomic Interior

The 2021 Maserati MC20 has a minimalist interior that reflects the level of restraint applied to the bodywork. The driver gets a 10-inch digital instrument console while the passenger can fiddle with a separate 10-inch central display with Maserati Touch Control Plus. The carbon fiber center console houses the driving mode selector, the speed selection buttons, the power window buttons, and the multimedia control knob. The steering wheel has its fair share of buttons, including the ignition button and launch control.

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