The name Masrati tends to enchant images of low-slung Italian coupes, but in reality the multi-storey brand has not offered a proper sports car since the limited-production MC12 debuted in 2004. The company debuted as an automaker with the 1926 Tipo 26 race car and soon became a strong competitor in motorsport, but decades of assurance were rife, and the company changed hands several times before taking ownership of Fiat in 1993 and then handing over the reins to Fiat – owned. Ferrari brand.
When it took full ownership of the company in 1999, Maserati apparently became Ferrari’s luxury division, and in the years that followed Ferrari offered more conventional versions of its high-winding powerplants for use in vehicles such as the Maserati Ghibli sedan and Levante Sport-utility. . But under the larger Fiat-Chrysler banner, Maserati’s models have inherited plenty of hand-me-down hardware from elsewhere in the group’s portfolio, and glacier-speed development efforts have added to the brand’s recent reputation.
The introduction of the MC20 marks a completely new chapter for Masrati, now part of Stalantis. A truly clean-sheet design, the two-seater is underpinned by a brand new carbon fiber monocoque chassis developed in-house and built in Modena, Italy. Double Wishbone-style suspension setups on the front and rear of the car link to the chassis via an aluminum subframe, and more than 2,000 hours of testing in the Dalara wind tunnel results in smooth carbon fiber bodywork and aerodynamics. , Including comprehensive computational fluid dynamics simulations.
Powertrain is where things start to get really interesting. The inspiration comes from Maserati’s 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged “Nettuno” V6 engine, a brand new power plant that was also built in-house in Masrati. The new power plant boasts of Forbidden 1’s Cribd on-demand twin-combustion technology, which places a combustion chamber between the central spark plug and the conventional combustion chamber to provide more precise burning, resulting in improved engine efficiency as well as performance. .
[Related: Maserati’s new luxury SUV transforms from hot rod to off-roading beast]
The result is one of the most power-intensive engines in the automotive industry today, and the maximum output number of 621 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque gives this 3,330-pound coupe the best-in-class power-to-weight ratio. Competitors for brands such as Lamborghini, Porsche, and McLaren. This indicates good for the present and for the present, but the month also took a wise long view when building the MC20 platform, which was designed from the beginning to support an all-electric variant. EVT will hit the streets in a few years.
Behind the wheel
Fixed in the lead, it was immediately clear that the MC20 was looking for a fast Grand-Touring sports car like the 911 Turbo S instead of a stripe-down track toy. The Maserati of past models has gone into internal switchgear which can often find its source in vehicles like the Dodge Durango. Instead, the MC20 boasts a complete basepack cockpit equipped with carbon fiber, alcantara and brushed steel.
A high-resolution 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster provides the necessary real-time data and performance information, while a 10.25-inch touchscreen display wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto handle infotainment responsibilities with consistent graphics and sleek responsiveness. There are controls for drive modes (weight, GT, Sport and Corsa) along the center tunnel, as well as physical controls for suspension rigidity, gearbox mode, window and door locks, and audio systems. The flat-bottomed steering wheel, meanwhile, has ignition and launch control buttons, as well as cruise control and media adjustments. The layout is chaotic, intuitively designed and nice. And unlike most mid-engine sportscars, the MC20 is surprisingly easy to get in and out ধ thanks to Monocock’s relatively smooth side seals, butterfly doors, and plenty of headroom.
[Related: Anyone can drive a supercar, but truly tapping its potential is another matter]
The engine comes to life with a lively roar that quickly returns to the background. Maserati has done a fine job of properly externally sounding like this new V6 but, like many engines today, its personality is masked by the underlying muffling effect of its turbocharger. Switching from GT mode to Sport or Corsa mode will open an exhaust valve for more audible drama, but it’s still a bit quiet for our tastes. Even the sound of boils, road and wind often overwhelms the soundtrack of the engine, which can make it difficult to nail upshift timing when manually manipulating cogs with paddles.
Fortunately the dual-clutch transmission is well-programmed enough to be alone in most situations. Left in GT mode, it works in the background to provide quiet near-non-stop transfers under normal driving conditions. This puts the suspension dampers in their most compact setting, a sportscar-firm but still agrees for regular use, even on pockmarked streets in Los Angeles.
A digital rear-view mirror
The MC20’s everyday usability is also significantly enhanced by its digital rear-view mirror, which displays a real-time feed from a camera mounted on the rear of the car. Traditional rear-view mirrors for mid-engine cars usually give a glimpse of sunlight outside the rearview glass and nothing else, but digital mirrors make it easy to check your blind spots while jogging for your position. LA’s ruthless freeway system. Also, the MC20 even boasts two storage compartments — one on the nose of the car, and the other, the large space just behind the rear engine bay. It’s almost practical!
Of course, it’s no surprise that the MC20 is really glowing on a twisted tarmac that covers the Angeles National Forest about an hour northeast of the city center. Guaranteed foot balance, confident-motivated stopping power, and blisteringly fast acceleration are all on the menu, such as precise feedback from a fast-paced steering rack. Specially developed Bridgestone Potenza Sport summer tires Track-focused rubber often provides plenty of grip to explode on the back road without the noise and harshness one might expect to see in the next hardcore repetition of the MC20. That line is likely to come down.
These fast, winding roads give us the opportunity to sample the MC20’s sport and corsa mode. The former tuning is ideal for work (as the name implies, the Corsa is best suited for hot lap pacing in a closed course), but we really want the MC20 to also offer a custom driving mode that allows owners to mix and match various adjustable parameters of the vehicle to their liking. However, the MC20 is a thrilling dance partner in the mountains and an amazing civil machine around town. But then again, the starting price of $ 212,000 ($ 256,050-tested) sets some high expectations.
Fortunately, Maserati also has plans that extend beyond the quarter-million-dollar supercar, like the MC20. The recently announced Greckel Sport-utility, for example, targets buyers of Porsche McCann. The crossover will bring the MC20 (including the Nettuno V6 at a higher trim level) a lot of technology packs and will probably play a key role in transforming the brand into an electric powertrain.
In the meantime, it would be wise to keep the MC20 on a short list of well-heeled sportscar buyers who want to enjoy the moment and stay away from the common skeptics.