Examined: 2022 Maserati MC20 Marks a Return to Glory

The 2022 Maserati MC20 is just not 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 observe would possibly 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 would possibly name an entry-level unique, with a base worth of $215,995 and a listing 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 coming into a golden period for six-pot efficiency, offered you have got not less than a pair hundred grand to spend.

HIGHS: Makes 207.6 horsepower per liter, model-specific engine and inside, appears 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 provides 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 related 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 inner combustion. And it isn’t 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 indignant blat from the exhaust and the distinctive sound of combustion. There is no Alfa-style howl right here. At regular throttle, the Nettuno points a type of pissed-off gurgle that just about seems like detonation, which is presumably these intelligent—and patented—twin combustion chambers at work. Simply if 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} automobile’s passing energy seems like getting rear-ended by a dump truck, however that is actually what it seems like if you abruptly mat the accelerator on the transfer within the MC20. The transmission downshifts immediately and violently, and then you definitely’re in your approach to license-losing speeds. In our 50-to-70-mph acceleration check, the MC20 required solely 2.4 seconds. The feeling is that there isn’t any slack within the system—till you hit the brakes and discover that the pedal goes many of the approach to the ground earlier than the pads actually chunk into the optionally available $10,000 carbon-ceramic rotors. Since this can be a brake-by-wire system, we might counsel Maserati sacrifices a few of that straightforward modulation within the title 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 automobile 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 doubtless been higher if the automobile weighed wherever 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 whole lot of weight for a rear-wheel-drive automobile with a carbon-fiber tub and a tiny V-6. Maybe Dallara, which provides the bathtub, must squeeze out a couple of 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 would possibly’ve been an early manufacturing anomaly.

Regardless of the scales say, the MC20 definitely would not really feel heavy. It affords 4 drive modes—GT, Sport, and Corsa, plus a Moist mode—and the primary three run the gamut from aggressive to completely delinquent. A button in the midst 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 greatest left to precise tracks (amongst different issues, it opens the lively exhaust always) until you must 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 luggage and a entrance one about giant sufficient for the proprietor’s guide and a few gentle contraband, this isn’t a GT automobile. 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 may be, but it surely appears 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. Thankfully, the mirror additionally has a Video mode, for when you must 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 snug for multi-hour stints, and the ten.3-inch touchscreen is a effective conduit for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Our check automobile was handled to minimal inside finery aside from a $4000 Sonus Faber sound system and upgraded leather-based and Alcantara ($1000), but it surely nonetheless appeared prime 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 appropriately for a automobile that prices an as-tested $260,045. But Maserati guarantees that the MC20 is not an summary halo automobile however a portent for the extra attainable fashions as effectively. We definitely 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, but it surely’s definitely trying good for Maserati, which is now free to construct automobiles like this. If Ferrari would not prefer it—they usually in all probability do not—effectively, too dangerous 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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