A Maserati is always envisioned as a graceful GT sports car slicing through Italian roads and being touted as the ‘cooler cousin’ to a Ferrari. However, despite having a rich history, an enviable catalog of great cars, or even possessing a flair, which is hard to match for any car-maker, Maserati has never quite gotten out of the shadows of Ferrari. Its latest product range has stylish but somewhat flawed cars, and while something like a Levante SUV fills up the coffers, a brand like Maserati needs a halo car, and its sports car line-up was getting aged. A Maserati should be more than just a pair of diesel luxury saloons or SUVs, and a bonafide supercar was something that was lacking in the line-up. Yes, we saw various gorgeous concept cars. Still, now finally, something has come up to bring cheer to all and also answer critics who were busy writing an epitaph for this Italian luxury car-maker.
The thing is, Maserati has had a troubled past with the brand changing hands numerous times, and it needed a firm hand to guide it in these uncertain times. Enter the new ‘Stellantis’ merger between heavyweights FCA and the PSA group, where Maserati is going to be finally the center of attention. Thus getting out of the clutches of Ferrari (Ferrari will still supply engines to Maserati till some more time before it is stopped) has helped Maserati see aspirations to take on McLaren and Porsche successfully. And no other car is a better show of intent than a brand new sports car. The MC20 is brand new, and by that, we mean there are no Ferrari fingerprints on it. It is the start of a new chapter at Maserati with a new production line, new design language, new engine, and architecture- the works. The MC20 heralds a new future and, by the looks of things, is a welcome return to form for the famous trident badge.
The MC20 is a supercar that aims straight at the likes of McLaren, Ferrari, and Porsche. It is an Italian supercar with its distinct personality and dipped in technology. In other words, it is not the slightly flaky Italian old-school cars that we have seen from Maserati. This is all-new, and you can see the seriousness right from the all carbon fiber body. It is light at just 1500 kgs, while carbon fiber and composites have also helped Maserati nail the slippery but very stylish shape. It has elements of the MC12 hyper-car, which Maserati made years ago, but the design is fresh yet emotive to the extent that you know it is a Maserati without checking out the badge on the grille.
It is low and wide with the typical mid-engined layout, but it is also svelte and layered with a beautiful yet straightforward textured design theme. The wheels are pushed to the edges while the tail-lamps mimic the supercars of yore. The design is simple yet stunning, with a bit more of emotion smeared all over it. The butterfly doors, for example, add the necessary supercar drama. At the same time, inside, it is a culture shock for many since it’s is a driver-focused cabin and not the typical Maserati interior. There are two 10 inch screens, and the steering wheel or even the center console is not littered with buttons since having a minimalistic driver-focused environment was always the agenda. That said, there is leather and carbon fiber, while it has a 6-speaker audio system along with the gadgets that you would need. It even forgoes a traditional rearview mirror for a digital one!
The heart of the matter though, is the engine. In the MC20, there is no traditional V8 poking out as in place is a 3-liter, 6-cylinder twin-turbo engine called as “Nettuno”. It is brand new and made by Maserati with F1 technology in it. At 630 bhp, it is currently the most powerful 6-cylinder motor in the world. Performance numbers are savage with a 0 to 100 km/h time in less than 2.9 seconds and a 325 km/h. The gearbox is an 8-speed dual-clutch. There are 4 driving modes, while the suspension is also adjustable.
For those disappointed that there is no form of hybridization, fret not as there is an all-electric version planned right after this along with a convertible too. This seems like a well planned and executed move.
The MC20 then on paper at-least signals the starting of a bright new future for Maserati, and it is bursting at the seams with its ambition and enthusiasm. The MC20 looks desirable with the right mix of modern-day technology and having the right design language befitting a Maserati. It borrows from the past but along with taking what is needed from the present. This quite possibly the most desirable and important car Maserati has ever made, and this is no hyperbole. It is a bold intent, and while aiming Ferrari, Porsche, Mclaren, and Lamborghini is indeed ambitious, the MC20 has what it takes to stand out in this cut-throat supercar market. This time, Maserati is serious.