It’s over six years since Maserati revealed its gorgeous Alfieri concept. A production version was supposedly greenlit, but as we waited patiently for such a thing to emerge…nada. In 2020, however, the Italian brand has finally pulled the trigger on an all-new sports car.
Dubbed the MC20, it’s mid-engined and looks very different to the clean-looking Alfieri. It’s a much more aggressive design, with a nose inspired by the Ferrari Enzo-derived MC12, prominent brake ducts behind the front wheels, and a chunky rear diffuser. The doors are of the dihedral variety, not only because that looks awesome, but also to help make ingress and egress easier.
It may look fairly compact, but it’s not a small car - at 4669mm in length, it’s comfortably bigger than a McLaren 570S. It’s slightly heavier too at 1500kg (kerb), but thanks to the 613bhp and 538lb ft of torque developed by the mid-mounted ‘Nettuno’ 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6, it’s quite a bit faster.
0-62mph takes just 2.9 seconds, 0-124mph takes 8.8, and the top speed is 202mph. The source of this performance is, Maserati would have you believe, all its own work, but some digging by Road & Track revealed there to be some pretty liberal borrowing from the Alfa Romeo V6 used in the Giulia and Stelvio Quadrifoglio, plus Ferrari’s turbocharged V8. But who cares? It’s a new (ish) petrol engine in 2020 which develops its peak power at 7500rpm and caps out at 8000. Praise be to the dying gods of internal combustion.
The cylinder head is certainly all-new, featuring two spark plugs per cylinder (much like Alfa Romeo used in the 1990s/2000s, and way back in its Grand Prix heydey) in a pre-chamber combustion system. This is F1-derived tech, which sees the initial bang in the pre-chamber igniting a leaning fuel/air mixture in the lower, main combustion chamber, making for a more efficient power stroke.
Once all that’s happened, power makes its way to the rear wheels exclusively via an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and a mechanical limited-slip differential.
The suspension uses the ideal double wishbone arrangement front and rear, with the braking taking care of by 380mm front discs and six-piston calipers at the front, with 350mm rotors and four-piston calipers bringing up the rear. If you’d prefer, larger carbon ceramic brakes are on the options menu.
Inside, you’ll find - of course - a digital instrument cluster, flanked by an additional 10-inch screen used for infotainment. Our favourite bit of the cabin? That’d be the giant carbon fibre paddle shifters. There’s a reasonable amount of luggage space for a car like this, with 50 litres available in the frunk, and a further 100 at the rear.
This internal combustion-engined coupe is just the start - Maserati has already said that the MC20 is designed to be turned into a convertible and a fully-electric sports car. If you’d rather have the one with the shouty V6, though, it’s yours for £187,230.