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  • Writer's pictureSaku Kusa

Mid-Engine Masterpiece: 2021 Maserati MC20 Boasts Trick Engine, 621 HP

A new twin-turbo V-6 is just the start of what makes the MC20 supercar exciting

Just when we thought things were getting a little stale over at Maserati, the venerable Italian automaker reveals the 2021 Maserati MC20 supercar. Although it recently added Trofeo versions of the 2021 Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans, Maserati hadn't unveiled a completely new product since the Levante luxury SUV back in 2016.

Compared with the rest of its stablemates, the 2021 Maserati MC20 supercar is an entirely different beast. The MC20, which stands for Maserati Corsa 2020, was developed in just 24 months, and based upon what we see so far, Maserati is teeing up to be a real competitor on the ultra-performance-car scene during this decade.

2021 Maserati MC20: Stats And Specs

The 2021 Maserati MC20 coupe is powered by a Maserati-developed, 90-degree, twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 engine producing 621 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 538 lb-ft of torque. Maserati calls this new engine the "Nettuno," meaning Neptune in Italian, and it sounds like it's a mechanical marvel. It has a whopping 12 spark plugs, an innovative 12 combustion chambers, dry-sump lubrication, and double overhead camshafts with variable valve timing. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a dual-clutch, eight-speed transmission.

Thanks in part to this drivetrain, the 2021 Maserati MC20 supercar can hit 60 mph from a standstill in 2.9 seconds; 124 mph arrives in just 8.8 seconds. Top speed is more than 202 mph, Maserati says. These figures are also a result of a relatively light (by modern standards) 3,240-pound curb weight.

The 2021 Maserati MC20 supercar looks as cutting-edge as its performance figures suggest. Its carbon-fiber monocoque chassis is draped in minimalistic, modern carbon-fiber bodywork that recalls the legendary MC12 supercar of yore. Rather than having wide-set horizontal or diagonal headlights, it has nearly upright lighting that accentuates the coupe's sharp nose. The coupe also features dramatic butterfly doors, a little something extra in the styling department. Customers will have the choice of six colors for now, but the black roof stays no matter which overall color you choose.

Maserati says it honed the MC20's aerodynamics for more than 2,000 man-hours in race-car constructor Dallara's wind tunnel; it also says it ran more than 1,000 Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations, ensuring the supercar's form is both beautiful and functional.

Despite having a vast network of aerodynamic effects, Maserati worked hard to conceal the 2021 MC20's gills and holes that have become so common in modern supercar design. Much of the car's downforce is produced beneath it via vortex generators at the front, as well as a curved underside designed to generate more downforce on the front axle. Over the rear axle is a diffuser with channels of varying shapes and depths to keep the car's rear planted. There's a multi-link suspension at all four corners, and Brembo brakes provide stopping power.

2021 Maserati MC20: A Deeper Dive

The sense of modernist minimalism continues inside the cabin, thanks to a tidy but luxurious-looking interior. The instrument cluster is presented on an in-dash, 10-inch display, which is accompanied by a second infotainment screen of the same size. During its online debut event, the 2021 Maserati MC20 supercar crossed the stage with a black interior trimmed with lots of Alcantara and blue accents. The steering wheel is made of carbon-fiber as well as micro-suede, and it sports massive gear-shift paddles. Those hoping to tour in the MC20 can expect 5.3-cubic-feet of luggage capacity.

Maserati includes a variety of drive mode settings to allow drivers to configure the driving experience as desired. The 2021 MC20 starts out in GT mode as the default, comfort-oriented setting; Sport stiffens the adaptive suspension and sharpens up the controls and responsiveness. It also allows exhaust valves to open at 3,500 rpm rather than the standard 5,000 rpm, to amplify the soundtrack. Wet mode limits engine boost and makes sure all of the traction- and stability-assist systems are on high alert.

Corsa mode enables launch control and limits the level of traction- and stability-control intervention; the exhaust system remains fully open in this drive profile as well. A fifth ESC Off setting fully deactivates all of the electronic nannies.

2021 Maserati MC20: What's Next

Expect Maserati to reveal an all-electric version of the MC20 in 2022. The plug-and-play supercar will be an all-wheel-drive model as opposed to the gasoline-powered version's rear-wheel-drive configuration. Figure 240 miles of electric range and improved acceleration times when compared to the standard model.

If nothing else, the 2021 Maserati MC20 demonstrates the marque has serious ambitions to be a serious contender in the modern supercar market, while still taking inspiration from its noteworthy past vehicles. Want one? Maserati is now taking orders for the 2021 MC20, and production begins at the end of 2020. Pricing remains unknown, but as a direct competitor of the Lamborghini Huracan EVO RWD, its base price should fall in that car's range; the Lamborghini starts at $214,366.

2021 Maserati MC20 Highlights

An in-house developed V-6 engine produces 621 hp thanks to dual combustion chambers

Most of the car's downforce comes from underneath

Five drive modes to customize how the car behaves

Power-to-weight ratio of 5.1 pounds per horsepower

210 hp per liter

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