Review of the 2022 Maserati MC20 Visceral Excitation
The halo vehicle Maserati so richly deserves is the mid-engine MC20. Maserati’s mainstay will undoubtedly be popular vehicles like the new Grecale SUV, but what is an Italian automaker without an exotic flagship? The MC20 is a legendary brand that has been allowed to sulk in magnificent fashion. We have a lot to look forward to in the future if Maserati is capable of producing this kind of sensory experience when it delivers 110 percent.
Almost every aspect of this supercar is brand new. The MC20 has a curb weight of under 3,306 pounds thanks to its lightweight body panels, polycarbonate engine cover, and single-piece carbon-fiber chassis from race car manufacturer Dallara. Maserati’s new Nettuno 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine is mounted in the middle of the vehicle and produces 538 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm and 621 horsepower at 7,500 rpm. This powerful engine is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automated transmission.
Amazingly little turbo lag is there, especially in light of the torque peak’s 3,000 rpm. When accelerating from a stop, the transmission isn’t jerky either; the MC20 merely launches forward with confidence and reaches 60 mph before you can say “three Mississippis.” The loud exhaust and metallic pop-suck-woosh-bang noises right behind your ears make up for the disagreeable V6 sound, but if there is one thing to criticise about the engine, it is that it cannot be muffled.
Oh, and kudos to Maserati for including paddle shifters on the MC20 that you’ll really want to use. They are not only correctly affixed to the steering column, but they also provide a really pleasing tactile click. The paddles contribute to the whole experience, whether driving at moderate or rapid speeds, since there is zero latency between the movement of your fingertips and the following gear shift.
It comes as no surprise that the MC20 is a real firebreak when pushed hard. When you’re just getting the hang of driving, it almost seems to shrink around you, as if you forget that this automobile is as long and broad as it is. The lightness this coupe feels at high speeds, almost as if the chassis were hollow or as if it were about to lift off the ground, is what most stands out. Fear not, the MC20’s massive downforce will keep it firmly attached to the pavement at all times, and the 245/35 front and 305/30 rear tyres provide tonnes of traction. Those 20-inch forged wheels are an additional $5,500 option.
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Speaking of options, a $2,300 electronic limited-slip differential is something that really ought to be standard. To maximise the MC20’s grip during turns, you must have this rear-axle torque distribution, especially because it helps control any oversteer. The optional carbon-ceramic brakes provide tremendous stopping power without any apparent front-end dip or skittishness, and the steering itself is excellent—light and fast with loads of sensations coursing through your hands.
The MC20 has excellent individual performance features, but what really sets this Maserati apart is how well everything complements one another. You have the impression that your vehicle, the road, and the surroundings are all a part of you. The MC20 seems alive and emotive, in contrast to certain supercars that might feel cold and emotionless. It’s much more than a vehicle built for Cars & Coffee to appear good in numbers.
However, the MC20’s ride and default GT mode are really conducive to “regular car” driving. If you frequently drive long distances in the MC20, keeping the normal sport seats is highly advised, but I guess the $7,000 one-piece carbon buckets will offer you more cool guy cred while flaunting. The dihedral doors will undoubtedly draw some young people’s attention, but take care—the lower sill just behind the door sticks out dangerously. I’m trying to convey that you shouldn’t turn around right away after getting out to avoid slamming your foot into the sharp trim. You hurt my feelings, MC20!
The MC20 is precisely what you’d expect to live with. Inside the cabin, there is essentially no storage space, and there is not much room for passengers. I’m pleased Maserati included a digital rearview mirror as standard because vision out the back is completely hopeless, despite the nice Trident logo cutout on the rear glass. I don’t think grocery trips are a frequent use case for an MC20, but there is a $4,000 electronic front suspension raise that you will certainly need to use all of the time, and the combined frunk and trunk capacity is sort of poor.
A 10.3-inch central touchscreen that runs the controversial Maserati Intelligent Assist software is also included in the cabin technology. The 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster is simple to read and filled with information. Response times to inputs are frequently sluggish, and the icons are tiny and difficult to press precisely. Thankfully, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard. Use them only.
Good luck keeping your out-the-door pricing within $12,000 of the MC20’s starting price. This test vehicle has upgraded leather and Alcantara ($1,000), heated seats ($500), a premium audio system ($4,000), three-layer Blu Infinito paint ($4,500), a carbon fibre engine cover ($5,000), a black roof ($4,000—seriously), upgraded leather and Alcantara ($5,000), and carbon ceramic brakes ($10,000) with red callipers ($1,200). The as-tested price is $256,050, plus a few extras.
Who is to care? Every other mid-engine supercar will be priced similarly, and even more useful sports cars like the Porsche 911 Turbo S start at more than $200,000. Sales of the Maserati MC20 aren’t up because they’re a good deal. The MC20 is all about making a purchase that is solely motivated by emotion.