Maserati MC20 seen in less disguise ahead of September reveal

The upcoming Maserati MC20 sports car has been spotted testing on public roads ahead of its official debut on 9 September.

The disguised prototypes have provided the closest look yet at the upcoming model, with a sculpted body and low-slung stance that make it appear more purposeful than anything in Maserati’s current line-up. It is believed to be near-production bodywork underneath the camouflage, with significant air intakes around the rear wheel arch and a small lip spoiler at the rear, in addition to two centrally-mounted tailpipes.

The MC20 will become the first to use the company’s all-new bespoke V6 engine, named Mettuno (Neptune) in reference to the mythical character associated with the brand’s trident logo.

The twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol motor will produce 538lb ft and 621bhp – slightly more than the 2005 MC12 supercar, Maserati’s most powerful production model to date.

It’s said to pack “technological features derived from Formula 1, resulting in improved engine efficiency, increased performance and reduced consumption.” Features include a supercar-style dry sump, a ‘pre-chamber’ between the main combustion chamber and spark plug to enhance combustion, a secondary lateral spark plug that ensures constant ignition throughout the rev range and a twin-injection fuel system claimed to reduce noise, emissions and fuel consumption.

The MC20 will be the first to receive the new powerplant, but Maserati has hinted that the engine will subsequently become available in other models.

These latest images reveal slightly more than Maserati’s official development prototype pictures, which marked the passing of Sir Stirling Moss with a commemorative livery. The distinctive camouflage wrap was inspired by the paintwork of the brand’s historic Eldorado single-seater, which made its debut with Moss at the wheel at Monza in 1958.

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The MC20 had been widely expected to be a production version of the 2014 Alfieri concept, which Maserati committed to putting into production in 2018, but the Alfieri concept was a front-engined 2+2 coupé, very different from the mid-engined MC20.

There are no technical details yet on what will power other variants of the MC20. When Maserati released details of its updated business plan recently, it said it was upgrading the Modena production line to accommodate the car’s “electric powertrain”. It is likely to be some form of hybrid unit, but we’re expecting to see a fully electric version as well.

The new machine will be the first all-new Maserati released since 2015.