Maserati MC20 article highlights:
- The 2022 Maserati MC20 is the brand’s first supercar since the MC12 of the early 2000s
- With a carbon-fiber chassis, in-house-designed twin-turbo V6 with F1 tech, and excellent dynamics, the MC20 is a delightful return to historic form for Maserati
- While it’s not perfect, this is a truly competitive offering from the Trident brand that lives up to its halo car aspirations
The last few years haven’t been terribly kind to Maserati, to say the least. However, the historic Italian brand is starting to renew itself. For one, it’s culling underperforming models like the Ghibli, which was really only good in Trofeo form. And two, it just released a supercar with a clean-sheet design, the 2022 Maserati MC20. It’s Maserati’s new halo car, its flagship—and it makes the brand’s future sparkle once more.
Maserati’s first supercar in years has all the right stuff
|2022 Maserati MC20|
|Engine||3.0-liter twin-turbocharged ‘Nettuno’ V6|
|Transmission||Eight-speed dual-clutch automatic|
|Curb weight||3306 lbs|
|0-60 mph time||2.9 seconds|
The last Maserati supercar, the MC12, wasn’t technically wholly its own design. Underneath its stylish carbon-fiber skin, it was basically a Ferrari Enzo. But that’s not the case with the 2022 MC20—you won’t find the Prancing Horse’s touch here. There is, however, plenty of supercar- and F1-level tech and engineering.
That tech starts in the engine bay. The 2022 Maserati MC20’s twin-turbo ‘Nettuno’ V6 is an in-house design with F1-style active and passive combustion chambers. Theoretically, that both boosts power and improves fuel efficiency. And as a bonus, it redlines at 8000 RPM.
That engine bolts in the middle of a carbon-fiber chassis designed with help from race car supplier Dallara. The Maserati MC20 has a carbon-fiber steering wheel, shift paddles, center console, and body panels, too. Also, its body houses multiple active aerodynamic features, including an active rear spoiler, rear diffuser, and front vortex generators. And it rides on adjustable dampers.
Besides carbon fiber, the 2022 Maserati MC20 also uses aluminum subframes to keep its curb weight relatively low. The optional carbon-ceramic brakes help with weight management, too, as does the somewhat minimalist interior. It’s upholstered in leather and Alcantara and houses Sabelt bucket seats, but buttons are few and far between, MotorTrend notes. The only physical controls are the window switches, transmission buttons, drive-mode and volume knobs, and the controls on the steering wheel.
However, the Maserati supercar does have a 10.25” center touchscreen and a 10.25” TFT gauge cluster, The Drive says. Plus, it runs on Android’s automotive OS and features wireless Apple CarPlay, navigation, WiFi, and Android Alexa. And while it comes standard with a six-speaker audio system, a 12-speaker Sonus Faber one is optional. So is an electronic limited-slip differential; a mechanical one is standard.
The 2022 Maserati MC20 sets the tone for the Trident brand’s future cars
Maserati doesn’t see the 2022 MC20 as just another supercar. This is the brand’s halo car, whose showroom presence is supposed to brighten customers’ perspectives of Maserati’s other vehicles. That seems like a tough sell at first glance, given that the MC20 doesn’t share much of anything with its showroom brethren. Well, at least it doesn’t now.
Well, at least it doesn’t yet. Although it’s unclear if Maserati plans to offer the Nettuno V6 in other cars, it can put its tech in other engines relatively easily, The Drive reports. Furthermore, you’ll see elements of the MC20’s design language in future models, Roadshow says. For example, the upcoming Grecale has similar headlights.
In addition, Maserati isn’t planning on offering the MC20 only as a coupe. There’s a convertible version, the MC20 Spyder, in the works, as well as a battery-powered version. In short, this supercar isn’t some side path in Maserati’s story: it’s a critical part of its future.
And luckily, that future seems bright.
Legacy restored: the 2022 Maserati MC20 is a supercar worthy of its heritage
As impressive as the 2022 Maserati MC20’s engine tech is, its exhaust note doesn’t quite match its cross-town rivals’ songs, MT says. And both the optional $10,000 carbon-ceramic brakes and standard Brembos could use more initial bite. Also, this is a modern Maserati supercar with no cupholders and the occasional infotainment bug.
These are the MC20’s weak points. But they don’t detract a bit from the driving experience. Nor do they make this anything other than an excellent supercar.
It might not sing an aria, but the MC20’s engine pulls hard at all RPMs in every gear. And no matter which mode you’re in, you can bounce the engine off the rev limiter, no problem. But when you do go to change gears, the DCT responds quickly and with “a satisfying kick,” Roadshow reports.
Speaking of kicking, that’s something the 2022 Maserati MC20 won’t do in terms of handling. It’s extremely planted and stable, turning into corners with aplomb and supremely well-tuned steering. There’s plenty of feedback and a satisfying amount of weight. And the carbon-fiber chassis gets better the harder you push it, MT notes.
Even more impressive, though, is how well the 2022 Maserati MC20 behaves on the road. You won’t mistake it for a Rolls-Royce, but for a supercar, it’s comfortable. The Sabelt seats are well-padded and the suspension soaks up bumps with little issue. This is a supercar that you could genuinely daily drive without complaining. It even has a standard digital rearview mirror linked to the backup camera to make up for its poor rear visibility. And of course, its doors do the traditional supercar butterfly dance.
Is it worth considering over other supercars?
As of this writing, you can’t buy a Maserati MC20, as 2022 production is sold out. And the 2023 order books aren’t open yet. But assuming you could buy one, is it worth getting over its rivals?
In terms of its fellow Italians, the MC20’s main rivals are the Ferrari Roma and Lamborghini Huracan, at least price-wise. But the Roma is more of a GT than a supercar per se, and it’s slightly pricier. As for the Huracan, its naturally-aspirated V10 sounds glorious, but it’s less powerful than the Nettuno V6. Plus, the Maserati is faster.
Arguably, the Ferrari 296 GTB is a closer match to the Maserati MC20 than the Roma. But while its hybrid powertrain gives it 33 more horsepower and eight more lb-ft of torque, it’s also about $100,000 more expensive. And it’s no faster to 60 mph.
There are other options, though, like the Porsche 911. For about the same price as the MC20, you could get the range-topping, 640-hp Turbo S, which sprints to 60 mph in 2.2 seconds. But you can’t get a Turbo with RWD. Also, the Maserati is lighter, which makes it feel nimbler, though Porsche’s steering is more accurate, MT muses.
Also, the Maserati MC20 will have to face the upcoming 2023 Corvette Z06. And while the Z06 doesn’t have a carbon-fiber chassis, it does have a mid-mounted 670-hp V8 with racing tech. But without driving the two back-to-back, it’s impossible to tell which is better.
However, while supercar shoppers have alternative options, Maserati’s version doesn’t feel like an afterthought. It’s a genuine contender, something that the other brands will have to worry about. Maserati is back, and the MC20 is leading the charge.
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