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Maserati goes nuclear with MC20 supercar. Image by Maserati.

Maserati goes nuclear with MC20 supercar
Maserati resets itself with a 630hp supercar and an electric future - will this twin-pronged assault on the market work?
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What's all this about?

Maserati, flying the standard for the massive Fiat-Chrysler Automotive (FCA) and Peugeot-Citroen Group (PSA) conglomerate that will be called Stellantis. This is because, in 2016, Ferrari went its separate ways from the rest of FCA with a share flotation and so it is no longer part of the giant Italian outfit, meaning it is no longer associated with either Maser or Alfa Romeo. That means that FCA/Stellantis/whatever they're going to be called now has a supercar-shaped hole at the top of its tree. Luckily, the Trident is going to fill the gap with this thing. It's called the MC20.

It looks pretty neat, but haven't we had MC Maseratis before?

Your memory is good. You're thinking of the MC12 Stradale, of 2004 and '05, of which just 50 were built and which was based on the Ferrari Enzo's underpinnings. Little more than a thinly disguised racer to which you could affix some number plates, it's a glorious high point in Maserati's back catalogue but not really representative of what this exalted marque has made for road-going consumption over the years. The MC20 aims to change all of that.

Go on, then, what are the key technical points?

Righty-ho. This is a carbon-tubbed, carbon-bodied, sub-1,500kg, mid-engined monster. It is powered by an all-new Maserati 3.0-litre biturbo V6 called 'Nettuno' (yes, Neptune, the Roman god of the sea and the bloke who is often seen with a trident...), which is not to be confused with the V6 engine found in the current Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglios. It is said to employ 'genuine F1 technology' in its design and, perhaps more pertinently, it develops 630hp and 730Nm, which it flings at the back wheels alone through an eight-speed gearbox.

Fast, is it?

And then some. It'll apparently run 0-62mph in less than 2.9 seconds, despite only being two-wheel drive, and it can achieve 0-124mph in sub-8.8 seconds, before running on to somewhere north of 203mph. Final figures are yet to be homologated but this should certainly put the fear of god (Neptune, maybe?) up Maserati's rivals. Not least because its aerodynamic bodywork, which features a flat-floored underbody (a production Maser first, that MC12 not counting as it was a limited-build hyper-special), can generate up to 100kg of downforce at 150mph. You've also got some fancy butterfly doors for the maximum kerbside-posing effect (they were chosen for other, more noble reasons, but come on - they look cool, right?) and a smart, attractive two-seat interior, albeit one that clearly borrows a lot of switchgear and the *cough* steering wheel and paddles *cough* from the aforementioned 510hp Alfas. Not only that, but there will be a fully electric version of the MC20 for 2022, following the launch of the V6 model in Q2 of 2021.


Yup. The architecture underneath the MC20 supports a three-motor, 800-volt electrical system that is said to have 'more power and torque' than even the Nettuno-powered version, although Maserati wouldn't confirm precisely how much. Nevertheless, the MC20 EV will be part of a broader electrification strategy for the Modenese company, which will go under the 'Folgore' brand - that's the Italian word for 'lightning', if you're wondering. Maserati itself recognises that it has an ageing product portfolio but with Ferrari out of the picture, it can now push boundaries in exotic automotive markets. In 2021, there will be a mild-hybrid version of the marque's best-selling model, the Levante SUV, while in 2022 we'll get the replacement for the ancient GranTurismo and GranCabrio cars. This will be both ICE- and BEV-powered, as will the Levante's forthcoming baby brother. Yes, there's a smaller Maser SUV on the cards, going under the name of Grecale. This will land in 2022 and will be both regular and electric. The saloons, meanwhile, in the form of the Ghibli and the Quattroporte, will soldier on for now. There should be a plug-in hybrid version of the Ghibli in the interim but the QP won't get any electrification until its new replacement turns up in either 2023 or 2024. At any rate, Maserati says it will have the 'youngest product line-up' of any manufacturer by 2025, which is some claim.

All sounds very promising. But, for now, can we finish with the MC20?

Sure enough. If you want one of these mega-rapid Masers, you'll need to find 185,000 to purchase one. That places it below a Ferrari F8 Tributo, about on a par with a McLaren 600LT and a little beyond a Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD. Time will tell whether customers will head for Maserati, ahead of these sorts of competitor marques, but it's going to be a lot of fun finding out just how well the MC20 drives. We can't wait.

Matt Robinson - 10 Sep 2020

Maserati MC20 Reveal. Image by Maserati.Maserati MC20 Reveal. Image by Maserati.Maserati MC20 Reveal. Image by Maserati.Maserati MC20 Reveal. Image by Maserati.Maserati MC20 Reveal. Image by Maserati.

Maserati MC20 Reveal. Image by Maserati.Maserati MC20 Reveal. Image by Maserati.Maserati MC20 Reveal. Image by Maserati.Maserati MC20 Reveal. Image by Maserati.Maserati MC20 Reveal. Image by Maserati.    - Maserati road tests
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