MODENA, Italy — Maserati is challenging Ferrari and Lamborghini in the supercar class with the the 621-hp MC20, which it says offers a better power-to-weight ratio than its Italian rivals.
The MC20’s 3.0-liter V-6 turbocharged gasoline engine, built by Maserati, also produces 730 newton meters (538 foot pounds) of torque.
Production of the coupe version of the MC20, Maserati’s most powerful series model to date, is scheduled to start at the end of this year, with orders being taken starting Wednesday. Deliveries will start in 2021. A convertible version and a battery-electric version will reach the market in 2022.
Maserati has not announced prices. The MC20 is expected to compete against the Ferrari F8 Tributo, which starts at 236,000 euros ($279,000) in Italy, and the Lamborghini Huracan, which starts at 197,000 euros.
The coupe version of the MC20 with a conventional internal-combustion powertrain was shown Wednesday during an event at Maserati headquarters here.
MC stands for Maserati Corse (corsa is Italian for racing) and the 20 refers to 2020. The car has both visual and conceptual references to the MC12, which marked the automaker’s racing comeback in 2004. Maserati has said the MC20 will form the basis of a racing effort.
The MC20 is the first Maserati to use the new 3.0-liter V-6 engine, code-named Nettuno. Maserati says the MC20 can go from 0 to 100 kph in less than 2.9 seconds, with a top speed of more than 325 kph (203 mph). It has an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The MC20 weighs less than 1,500 kg (3,300 pounds), giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 2.41 kg/hp, which Maserati says is best in its class.
The MC20’s carbon-fiber monocoque structure was designed in partnership with Dallara, and it will form the basis for the convertible and full-electric versions as well, Maserati said.
The monocoque’s architecture and geometry are the same for all three versions, but differ in the distribution of the carbon fibers and layers, to provide different structural characteristics. The focus of the coupe will be on light weight and performance; the convertible demands greater torsional rigidity due to the absence of a roof; and the electric version will have more overall strength and enhanced protection for the battery area.
The MC20 design was inspired by the brand’s historic identity, Maserati said. It features butterfly doors, Maserati said “improve the car’s ergonomics and enable optimal access to and from the cabin.”
The MC20’s designers divided the car into two parts: an upper part where stylistic considerations predominate and a more technically focused lower part. In the car’s upper section, the aerodynamic features are integrated into the lines conceived by the designers, to achieve high efficiency without interfering with the sleek bodywork.
The Nettuno engine signals the company’s return to producing its own powerplants after a hiatus of more than 20 years. Maserati currently buys both V-8 and V-6 engines from Ferrari.
The procurement contract with Ferrari expires this year, and Maserati Executive Chairman Harald Wester announced in April 2019 that it would not be extended. A Maserati spokesman said the phase-out date for Ferrari-built engines will depend on the model.
The MC20 will be assembled in Modena, where the brand’s models have been built for more than 80 years. The new production line has replaced those of the GranTurismo and GranCabrio models, discontinued in November 2019. The site also has a new paint shop.
The Nettuno engine will also be built in Modena, at the newly established Maserati Engine Lab.