Examined: 2022 Maserati MC20 Marks a Return to Glory

The 2022 Maserati MC20 just isn’t associated to any Ferrari. Or, for that matter, to any Alfa Romeo, or Fiat, or Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep. It’s its personal machine, with its personal purpose-built engine and carbon-fiber monocoque, and it heralds a brand new period of independence for Maserati. Not from the Stellantis empire, thoughts you, however from its personal current muddled previous, when a Maserati’s exhaust notice may remind you of a Ferrari, however its instrument cluster would say Dodge Dart. The MC20 is a pair of dihedral doorways pointing skyward, towards Maserati’s newfound ambition.

The MC20 is what you may name an entry-level unique, with a base value of $215,995 and an inventory of choices that may push the value past $300K. It is powered by a 621-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 that Maserati boasts is the highest-output manufacturing six-cylinder on earth, conveniently forgetting the Porsche 911 Turbo S (640 horsepower), Ferrari 296 GTB (654 horsepower), and Ford GT (660 horsepower). The upcoming McLaren Artura hybrid additionally has a V-6, so it seems we’re getting into a golden period for six-pot efficiency, offered you’ve got at the very least a pair hundred grand to spend.

HIGHS: Makes 207.6 horsepower per liter, model-specific engine and inside, appears to be like completely righteous.

Nice engines ought to have their very own names, and Maserati obliged by dubbing its 3.0-liter “Nettuno,” which is Italian for Neptune. It makes use of a patented precombustion design that offers every cylinder two combustion chambers, every with its personal spark plug. It is a turbocharged, dry-sump design, oversquare and constructed to rev. The horsepower peak arrives at 7500 rpm and its 538 pound-feet of torque is offered by 3000 rpm. This ferocious little engine is linked to an eight-speed dual-clutch computerized transmission that drives the rear wheels. Whereas the McLaren and Ferrari V-6s are hybridized, Maserati plans to skip that step and supply the MC20 as a full electrical—its carbon tub is designed to accommodate coupe, convertible, and electrical variants. For now, although, the MC20 is pure inside combustion. And it is not shy about it.

From the driving force’s seat, this engine performs a singular soundtrack. There’s the heavy respiration from the turbos commingled with an offended blat from the exhaust and the distinctive sound of combustion. There isn’t any Alfa-style howl right here. At regular throttle, the Nettuno points a kind of pissed-off gurgle that nearly feels like detonation, which is presumably these intelligent—and patented—twin combustion chambers at work. Simply once you thought you’d heard all of the sounds an engine might make, right here comes Maserati with a brand new one.

Crack the throttle vast open and that gurgle is subsumed by plenty of different noises, just like the blood pooling in your ears as your physique is crushed into the Sabelt seat. The MC20 dispatches 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, a time that displays these preliminary moments when launch management is combating to maintain the rear 305/30ZR-20 Bridgestone Potenza Sport tires from going up in smoke. As soon as absolutely connected, these 621 horses absolutely assert themselves, with the quarter-mile passing in 11.0 seconds at 131 mph. It is cliché to say {that a} automotive’s passing energy seems like getting rear-ended by a dump truck, however that is actually what it seems like once you abruptly mat the accelerator on the transfer within the MC20. The transmission downshifts immediately and violently, and then you definitely’re in your technique to license-losing speeds. In our 50-to-70-mph acceleration check, the MC20 required solely 2.4 seconds. The feeling is that there is not any slack within the system—till you hit the brakes and discover that the pedal goes many of the technique to the ground earlier than the pads actually chew into the non-compulsory $10,000 carbon-ceramic rotors. Since this can be a brake-by-wire system, we would counsel Maserati sacrifices a few of that straightforward modulation within the identify of elevated immediacy.

LOWS: Weighs way over it ought to, brake-by-wire system wants a retune, it is a V-6—why?

As with its drag-strip efficiency, the MC20’s grip additionally befits a automotive that appears prefer it simply rolled off the grid at Circuit de la Sarthe, posting 1.08 g’s on the skidpad. However that quantity, in addition to these for acceleration and braking, would’ve seemingly been higher if the automotive weighed anyplace close to Maserati’s claimed weight of “lower than 3307” kilos. Our scales put the MC20 at 3757 kilos, a full 450 kilos past Maserati’s determine. Granted, the MC20 is a deceptively giant machine—at 183.8 inches lengthy, it is an inch and a half longer than a Chevrolet Corvette—however that is nonetheless a number of weight for a rear-wheel-drive automotive with a carbon-fiber tub and a tiny V-6. Maybe Dallara, which provides the bathtub, must squeeze out just a few extra gallons of resin earlier than hitting the ol’ autoclave. We’ll attempt to weigh one other MC20 in some unspecified time in the future to see if this one may’ve been an early manufacturing anomaly.

Regardless of the scales say, the MC20 actually does not really feel heavy. It presents 4 drive modes—GT, Sport, and Corsa, plus a Moist mode—and the primary three run the gamut from aggressive to totally delinquent. A button in the course of the rotary mode-selection dial permits the driving force to melt the suspension independently, so the powertrain may be in Sport mode whereas the suspension stays relaxed, which is ideal for attacking actual roads. Corsa mode might be finest left to precise tracks (amongst different issues, it opens the energetic exhaust always) except you have to entry launch management, which may be toggled from the steering wheel.

Whereas the MC20 has its sensible aspect, with a rear trunk match for a pair duffle baggage and a entrance one about giant sufficient for the proprietor’s handbook and a few mild contraband, this isn’t a GT automotive. The inside is elegant however austere, dedicated to the race-car vibe that is established the second you open the dihedral door. The roofline is low, with a single wiper sweeping the windshield—in all probability not as successfully as a pair of them is perhaps, nevertheless it appears to be like extraordinarily cool doing it. The view rearward can also be compromised by the low rake of the roof, with the tiny rear window casting reflections that trigger the rearview mirror to point out the view forward of you slightly than behind. Fortuitously, the mirror additionally has a Video mode, for when you have to know whether or not there are any police-spec Explorers in your bumper earlier than you leap to hyperspace.

The usual six-way energy sport seats are comfy for multi-hour stints, and the ten.3-inch touchscreen is a nice conduit for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Our check automotive was handled to minimal inside finery aside from a $4000 Sonus Faber sound system and upgraded leather-based and Alcantara ($1000), nevertheless it nonetheless regarded top quality—and, importantly, like nothing else within the Stellantis portfolio. No climbing in right here and saying, “Oh yeah, similar to that Jeep Compass I rented final 12 months.”

Which is accurately for a automotive that prices an as-tested $260,045. But Maserati guarantees that the MC20 is not an summary halo automotive however a portent for the extra attainable fashions as effectively. We actually hope so. It stays to be seen whether or not Fiat-Chrysler’s sale of Ferrari in 2016 will in the end be good for Maranello, nevertheless it’s actually wanting good for Maserati, which is now free to construct vehicles like this. If Ferrari does not prefer it—and so they in all probability do not—effectively, too unhealthy for them. However the MC20 is nice for the remainder of us.


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Patrick Moore

Patrick is our chief editor and he's very passionate about cars. He has a bachelor's degree in marketing and he studies journalism. His favorite brand is BMW and he drives an X5 series. When he's not writing for Vehiclenews.net, he enjoys spending time with his family and 9 years old son.

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