New Maserati MC20 supercar leads Italian brand’s revival

Maserati has revealed the MC20 supercar, which will spearhead a bold multi-billion pound revival plan for the historic Italian marque that includes a return to its performance-focused and racing roots.

Initially being sold with a mid-mounted 621bhp V6, the new halo model will also offer electric power in the future. Convertible and motorsport versions are also on the cards.

The MC20 is the first supercar that Maserati has produced since the limited-run MC12 two-seater it launched in 2004. While that model was essentially a reworked Ferrari Enzo, the MC20 marks Maserati’s return to producing its very own sports cars, after parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) sold its stake in Ferrari back in 2016.

The sale of the Maranello firm meant that Maserati became FCA’s flagship premium performance brand.

FCA bosses have radically revamped the previously announced product plan for Maserati, approving a bold model line-up overhaul with a target to triple sales within three years with 13 new products and updates to three existing cars. All new models will be electrified from this point on, confirmed chief operating officer Davide Grasso at the MC20’s unveiling, adding that the brand is developing Level 3 autonomous capability for future cars.  

“The MC20 is more than a Supercar. It’s set the cornerstone to build Maserati for the future,” Grasso added.

Priced from £187,230 and arriving in the UK in the second quarter of 2021, the MC20 is designed to signify Maserati’s ‘new era’ by restoring its reputation for producing high-end supercars, boosting the prestige of its saloons and SUVs. It will also return Maserati to motorsport, although the company has yet to outline its plans in this area.

Following the overhaul of Maserati’s product plan, the MC20 was designed at the firm’s Modena base in around 24 months. It has direct design links to its MC12 predecessor, and Maserati claims that it’s also intended to reflect the brand’s history “with all the elegance, performance and comfort integral to its genetic make-up.”

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The early work on the MC20’s driving dynamics was undertaking using Maserati’s Virtual Vehicles Dynamics Development simulation software, which was developed by its Innovation Lab. Maserati said it used the system for 97% of dynamic tests, optimising the relatively short time before the final tuning was conducted with extensive road and track running in prototype form.

The MC20 is 1965mm wide, 1221mm tall and 4669mm long, with a wheelbase of 2700mm.

The two-seat interior is accessed through butterfly doors that Maserati chose because they give easy access and improve ergonomics.

The cabin takes a minimalist design to reduce distractions for the driver. There’s a 10in digital instrument display and a 10in screen for the multimedia system, while the carbonfibre-covered central console features only the driving mode selector, a wireless smartphone holder, infotainment controls and a small number of other features.

All of the key controls are located on the steering wheel, with dedicated ignition and launch control buttons.

The MC20 has a 100-litre boot, which is supplemented by a 50-litre secondary storage compartment at the front.

The MC20 will be built at Maserati’s historic Viale Ciro Menotti plant in Modena, on a new production line at the site previously used to build the Granturismo and Grancabrio.

The supercar’s production launch is scheduled for the end of this year, and Maserati is already accepting orders. The price is unconfirmed but expected to exceed £100,000.

Maserati has confirmed that the MC20 has been designed to allow for both coupé and convertible variants, the latter of which Autocar understands is due next year.

Significantly, it also says that the MC20 is designed “for full electric power”, although it has given no indication of when a BEV version will be offered or of its performance potential.

In a previous product plan, Maserati was to offer hybrid and electric versions of all its models, and EVs will prove vital in helping FCA to meet ever-stricter EU emissions targets.