Lucid wasn’t the only automaker to whip up new car covers Wednesday night. Maserati also participated in the event, unveiling its new MC20 supercar to a socially distant audience in Modena, Italy. It’s the brand’s first supercar since the MC12, and it’s a mid-2000 car derived from the Ferrari Enzo. But unlike that car, the MC20 will not be limited to just 50 units, but will be a regular production model, with a number of different variants that will in time include an electric battery option.
The MC20’s electric details will have to wait another day, but that doesn’t mean the gasoline-powered car should be overlooked. In fact, it’s powered by 621 hp (463 kW), a 538 lb-ft (730 Nm) Nettuno 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that incorporates some smart new technologies that have so far only been found in Formula 1 cars.
In highly specialized racing cars, Ferrari and Mahl have dubbed their new technology “Ignition Aircraft”. For this production engine, Maserati calls it “Maserati Twin Combustion,” which is a very good description. The Nettuno engine can operate like a normal internal combustion gasoline engine, causing the fuel inside the cylinder to ignite. But it also has the ability to convert a small amount of fuel into an elementary chamber, and send the remainder of it to be better distributed into the cylinder through small holes along its wall. By burning this small amount of fuel first, the bulk of the gas can be burned more efficiently because it is more evenly distributed, thus enhancing the thermal efficiency. (In its F1 app, it was allowing internal combustion engines to reach 47 percent thermal efficiency, which you can read in our previous coverage.)
Maserati claims the engine is completely new and developed internally, although a deep dive from Bozi Tatarevic into the Road and Track shows that it is related to the Ferrari F154 V8 in many ways.
When the car is featured in the profile another Ferrari link suggests itself because it looks like there are a lot of similarities to the 458/488 / SF90 supercars. Then again, a lot of mid-engine supercars share similar design features, and a quick look at the MC20’s dimensions reveals the fact that the MC20’s wheelbase, at 2,700 mm, has a wheelbase 50 mm longer than Ferrari. Moreover, the notion that the MC20 is a mere 488 in tow is the fact that, unlike Ferraris, Maserati uses a carbon fiber chassis (like the MC12), which gives the car an overall weight of just under 3307 lbs (1,500 kg).
Whether you liked the way the MC20 looked would be a personal thing, but the opinions expressed by the Ars crew during the revelations included “cool dead drop.” The front of the car points directly to the MC12, and the taillights and an integrated rear spoiler are a shoutout for the GranTurismo (with front engine). But there are plenty of unique design details too – I’m particularly fond of the way the sandy Maserati logo appears in the rear window vents.
When the MC20 goes on sale in the US next year, expect its price to start at around $ 210,000, making it competitive with the McLaren 570S (and thus far cheaper than the more powerful mid-engined Ferrari V8). The convertible will follow in time, with the electric battery variable next.
Listing image from Maserati