Maserati MC20 review
The MC20 is a real return to form for Maserati, and bears comparison with the very best supercars
Maserati hasn’t always hit the target on its first attempt, but with the MC20 it has come almost out of nowhere with one of the best supercars on sale - absolutely matching the best from Ferrari, McLaren and Lamborghini despite an 18-year hiatus in the supercar market.
From the way the MC20 looks to the drama of getting in, thumbing the starter button and pulling away, you’re not left in any doubt as to the car’s purpose. That it can retain this initial drama with savage performance and a pliant but hugely capable chassis is the icing on the cake. Available in both closed coupe and open-topped Cielo form, the MC20 is capable, charming, and very fast indeed.
About the Maserati MC20
Maserati’s last true supercar was the Ferrari Enzo-based MC12, but the Maserati MC20 is a very different prospect - and this time it’s a Maserati from the ground up, with an entirely new platform and a Maserati-designed engine. They’ve given it a character unlike any other supercar on sale.
Maserati worked with motorsport specialists Dallara on the MC20’s carbon fibre structure. As well as featuring double-wishbone suspension at each corner, the chassis is stiff enough that Maserati also offers an open-topped variant called the MC20 Cielo alongside the coupe. This open version does, however, feature changes under the skin, such as different carbon fibre weaves and thicknesses to ensure it drives no differently from the coupe. Maserati claims the monocoque chassis weighs only around 100kg.
Entry to either MC20 model is via impressive ‘butterfly’ doors, while the Cielo’s roof is a rigid folding unit rather than a soft top. It’s fully electric and does its stuff in around 12 seconds, at speeds of up to 31mph. The panel is clever too, changing between opaque or clear at the press of a button. The Cielo also features different suspension settings to the coupe, again to preserve the way it drives despite a little extra weight.
The engine meanwhile is a 3.0-litre, twin-turbo V6 that Maserati calls the ‘Nettuno’. It features both direct and indirect fuel injection, twin spark plugs per cylinder - something Maserati says is derived from F1 technology - and is attached to a standard dual-clutch transmission. The Nettuno is good for 621bhp and a brawny 730Nm of torque - and that’s enough to make this a true 200mph supercar. Optional carbon-ceramic brakes ensure it’ll repeatedly stop like one too.
Supercar buyers are spoiled for choice and there are plenty of other options that might tempt you away from an MC20. The most obvious is probably the latest supercar from Maserati’s long-time rival and sometime partner Ferrari, the 296 GTB. It too is available in both coupe and Spider forms and while it’s priced a shade higher, if you’re considering one you’ll most likely be considering the other. The same applies to the McLaren Artura, and if you appreciate the Maserati’s drama then a Lamborghini Huracan will probably appeal too.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe MC20 is a real return to form for Maserati, and bears comparison with the very best supercars
- 2Engines, performance and driveWildly fast and exciting to drive, Maserati has nailed the supercar brief with the MC20
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsThe MC20 is reasonably fuel-efficient for a 200mph car, but its 60-litre fuel tank will limit touring range
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe MC20 is dramatic to look at inside and out, but Maserati hasn’t forgotten the basics of ergonomics
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThere's good room for two, and factory luggage should make best use of the limited boot space
- 6Reliability and safetyHigh-end warranty and servicing options should reassure buyers, but reliability is as yet unknown