With the MC20, Maserati steps onto the super sports car stage with style and performance… And good news for South Africans is that this racy number will be released in our country early in 2021.
According to Maserati, the MC20 is "built to stun" and "can storm round the track but also perform superlatively on the road".
V6 Nettuno engine: Sporty soul of the Maserati MC20
The MC20's aerodynamic efficiency and good looks conceal an uncompromisingly sporty soul, with the new 463 kW V6 Nettuno engine that delivers 0-100 km/h acceleration in under 2.9 seconds and a top speed of more than 325km/h.
The patented engine which is built entirely in-house, benefits from the MTC (Maserati Twin Combustion) technology — the innovative combustion system developed by the brand, evolved from the pre-chamber technology used on Formula 1 powertrains.
The MC20 was designed in Modena and will be built at the site where the marque's models have been born for the past 80 years. A new production line has been created at Viale Ciro Menotti, in the area where the GranTurismo and GranCabrio cars used to be assembled, and completed with a completely new painting plant.
Best in class: Weight/power ratio
The MC20 is particularly light — under 1 500kg — and thanks to its power output of 463 kW it is best in class in weight/power ratio. This light weight was achieved without sacrificing anything in terms of comfort.
The entire chassis is in carbon fibre and composites, with the benefits of lighter weight, faster tool-go times and greater stylistic freedom in the design of forms. Carbon fibre enables the creation of shapes impossible with press-formed metal, for example the butterfly doors.
More than 2 000 man-hours in the Dallara Wind Tunnel and more than a thousand CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations have enabled the creation of a car with refined aerodynamics which is also a genuine work of art.
Conceptually, the MC20's aerodynamic design divides the car into two parts: An upper part where stylistic considerations predominate and a more technical lower part, colour-coded in black and carbon fibre respectively.
The front air ducts have been optimised to ensure efficient air distribution across the radiators and the car's floor and upper part.
The floor is completely encased and was the subject of complex design analyses to maximise the car's aerodynamic efficiency.
Its front incorporates an elaborate system of vortex generators, rendered even more effective by the distinctive hump shape of the floor, which gradually rises in the centre, in the area level with the wheels, to increase the air flow to these devices, before reconnecting to the chassis bed.
The incorporation of this highly racing-derived feature implied a special conformation for the carbon fibre monocoque, the wheel arch and the doors, as was also the previously case on the MC12.
Through this integration of technical factors with aesthetic demands, the MC20 generates a high aerodynamic load with an excellent drag, enabling it to reach top speeds over 325 km/h and continue to hug the ground in all conditions of use.
A monocoque for three
The monocoque, in composite material, is a concentrate of technology and performance. The design of the carbon fibre monocoque has been achieved through the partnership between Maserati and Dallara, both leaders in the design and construction of racing sports cars.
The monocoque has been developed from the outset for all three types of car to be produced in the coming years: The coupé, the convertible and the future electric version.
The monocoque's architecture and geometry are the same for all three versions, but differ in the distribution of the carbon fibres and layers.
97% of the car's development was performed virtually, using the system known as Virtual Vehicle Dynamics Development, developed by Maserati itself and based on a very complex mathematical model called Virtual Car, into which every conceivable parameter is entered.
According to MC20 engineers, it can even take what the driver had for breakfast into account…
Naturally, the final tuning takes place on the track and on the Apennine mountain roads above Modena, which have always been the Maserati proving grounds.