Although Maserati has long been (arguably) overshadowed by Ferrari, that time seems to be coming to an end with the unveiling of the 2021 Maserati MC20. A gorgeous supercar, the MC20 is not only built to absolutely dominate the road but has clear intentions for the racetrack as well. And while I’ve never been one to hang Maserati posters on my wall, I must admit that what I’ve seen of the MC20 is extraordinary. The impact of its design could truly change the way cars are made – an impact only made more extraordinary when one considers just how quickly this vehicle was developed.
Whether you’re already a fan of the Italian car company or you simply found your way here because your phone misunderstood your voice search for “Manicotti,” I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about this powerful new machine. Some of the details are still being kept under wraps, but the concrete specs and info we have are more than enough to whet even the most discerning of appetites. So join me as I take a look at the 2021 Maserati MC20 and what its remarkable performance and design could mean for the auto industry.
Maserati MC20 – Overall Design
Let’s kick things off with a look at the overall shape and design of the 2021 Maserati MC20. First off, it’s a mid-engine sports car that has clearly been made to put performance and speed at the forefront, as you’d expect from a Maserati. With a traditional front-engine car design, you end up with a lot of weight all at the nose of the vehicle, so you have to design it to compensate for that to get decent handling.
A mid-engine design, as you find in the 2021 Maserati MC20 or the newest Chevy Corvette, eliminates that problem and places the weight more toward the center of the vehicle. The engine is located just behind the cockpit, ahead of the rear axle. With the weight focused there, it’s easy to provide incredible handling and performance. This also works well with the MC20’s rear-wheel drive – having the weight closer to the driven wheels provides more grip when accelerating at tremendous speeds. How tremendous? Well…
Maserati MC20 – Engine and Performance
So far, there’s one official engine for the Maserati MC20, though we know that at least one more is in the works (we’ll talk about that in a moment). The MC20 is powered by a 3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 engine that has been completely designed and engineered in-house at Maserati. Although it’s a V6, it actually has 12 combustion chambers – there are six pre-chambers where combustion starts in the engine before moving to the main combustion chambers where the pistons generate power for the vehicle. This has been called Twin Combustion technology by Maserati and is similar to what’s seen in Formula 1 race cars.
This impressive engine delivers 621 hp and up to 538 lb-ft of torque. It also comes paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission for incredibly fast and responsive driving. Maserati says it can go from 0 to 62 mpg in less than 2.9 seconds and 0 to 124 mph in less than 8.8 seconds (that’s 0 to 100 km/h and 0 – 200 km/h if you’re wondering about the odd numbers). Finally, it has a top speed of 202 mph – in other words, it gives you everything you could want in a sports car.
Initially, this is the only engine that we’ve been told will be available. It will be quickly followed, however, by a battery-electric model – a first from Maserati – that will offer equally impressive performance. The EV version will have all-wheel drive with electric motors up front and back, rather than the standard model’s rear-wheel drive. According to Maserati, the instant torque of the electric motors will allow it to accelerate even faster than the V6 model.
Maserati MC20 – Exterior Form
From the outside, the 2021 Maserati MC20 is absolutely gorgeous and avoids a few of the pitfalls that you commonly see with mid-engine vehicles. With the engine located further back in the vehicle, airflow often becomes a sticking point for these models, and you end up with prominent intakes on the sides – usually on the doors. The MC20 has very minimal venting thanks to a design that puts vents on the front, with a couple more behind the doors. Overall, it looks stunning.
The entire exterior design is exquisite, and while it looks like a Maserati, it’s also something unmistakably new. It has a sleek profile with a pronounced nose and a gentle slope toward the rear end, with a large windshield that gives you a great view of the road ahead. And of course, it has butterfly doors that open upwards for when you want to make the showiest entrance possible. Thankfully, the rear end has a sleek look to it, too, since that’s what most people are going to see as the MC20 leaves them in its dust. Altogether, the Maserati MC20 is definitely going to turn heads on the road.
Maserati MC20 – Interior Design
Inside, the MC20 has a very minimal overall aesthetic, which seems appropriate for everything it has to offer. A sports car like this should really be all about the power of the engine, the way it connects you to the road, and the experience of driving. The low dashboard and large windshield of the MC20 make that a reality as you get an immersive view of the road in front of you with little to obstruct the scenery.
Controls on the center console are quite minimal, though you’ll find a few to take care of what you need. There’s a free-standing center infotainment display, as you’d expect, and the driver’s cluster has been replaced by an all-digital display that looks gorgeous and gives you exactly the information you need while driving. The wheel is simple, elegant, and absolutely yearns to be held as you drive. While it has a few convenient wheel-mounted controls, there is nothing obtrusive or in the way. This is a two-seater, so don’t expect it to be the Maserati for your growing family, but the interior has been designed with plenty of space for you and a passenger – there is lots of legroom and headroom even for tall drivers.
Changing the Way Cars are Made
Remarkable performance, gorgeous design, and Twin Combustion chambers aside, perhaps the most notable thing about the 2021 Maserati MC20 is how it was engineered. The entire process of designing and getting the MC20 ready for production took only 24 months from start to finish. This is in large part (if not entirely) thanks to the fact that much of the work was done on computers, using simulations to test designs and performance.
Computer design and simulations were used to an incredible extent in making the MC20, and this made the process of engineering it much faster than other modern vehicles. Even intricate details, like the feel of its suspension, were figured out on a computer, using simulations to make adjustments and see how they affected performance. And when they actually built the first test model, engineers at Maserati say it handled exactly as they expected based on the simulations.
If this holds true, and the MC20 can do everything they expect it to, this could revolutionize the way other manufacturers design and engineer their vehicles. Not only do these kinds of simulations make the process faster, but they reduce waste significantly. Without the need to build numerous tests vehicles and iterate on physical designs, the first test model can be the only test model. When all is said and done, this might be the most significant, lasting impact of the 2021 Maserati MC20.