Maserati staged the Middle East reveal of arguably its most ambitious car to date, the mid-engined MC20, in Dubai on January 20, with more than 300 VIPs, guests and media able to view the car up close at The Lodge, a warehouse-style space tucked away in Al Quoz.
The MC20 signals a new beginning for the Trident brand, which has thus far focused primarily on grand touring coupes/cabrios, rapid sedans and the SUV segment following the 2016 launch of the Levante. However, the MC20 has altogether bolder intentions, as reflected by its lofty Dh950,000 price tag, which includes a three-year warranty and servicing package.
The MC20 is a clean-sheet design replete with state-of-the-art technology, most notably the all-new 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, dubbed "Nettuno" (Italian for Neptune), which cranks out towering outputs of 630hp and 730Nm, putting it within striking distance of the Ferrari F8 Tributo and the Lamborghini Huracan Evo.
The low-slung Maser is built around a stiff yet lightweight carbonfibre monocoque tub that's integral to the car's sub-1,500-kilogram kerb weight. Among the MC20's other tech highlights is an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox that's derived from the transmission used by the Ferrari Portofino. Its maker claims a zero to 100 kilometres per hour split of under 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 325kph, which puts it well in the hunt against its Italian supercar contemporaries.
The MC20’s styling doesn’t smack you in the face the way a Lamborghini Huracan’s does, but that’s in keeping with the Maserati brand’s more low-key persona. The newcomer isn’t festooned with wings and scoopsm as the company says it has optimised the MC20’s aerodynamic and cooling efficiency by focusing on the car’s lower sections.
Maserati claims 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. The end result is a car that’s defined by clean, classical lines, rather than an overtly aggressive profile. However, the butterfly doors, which open upwards and outwards, are one crowd-pulling element that separates it from its competitors. Another neat design element is the clear polycarbonate engine cover, which features cooling vents arranged in a pattern to symbolise Maserati’s hallowed trident logo.
The debutant has clear visual links to the V12-powered MC12, of which Maserati built and sold a mere 50 road-going units from 2004 to 2005, purely with the intention of homologating a racecar for the FIA GT1 class. Maserati also plans to use the MC20 as the basis for a GT racecar but, unlike the MC12, it was conceived from the outset as a series production offering, rather than a low-volume competition car.
The MC20 will be offered with a host of personalisation options, which ties in with Maserati’s new Fuoriserie programme that offers clients the opportunity of a unique experience in the new “car tailoring” shop, at the brand’s Modena headquarters. So, you basically get to specify the MC20 in the same manner as you would when ordering a bespoke suit.
The service offers customers thousands of possible combinations of colours, trim and materials, but three collections are available as a starting-point – Corse, Unica and Futura. The first is performance-focused, while the second and third are inspired by the world of fashion and future trends respectively.
The MC20's interior is somewhat minimalistic, befitting its no-nonsense job description, but the extensive use of Alcantara, leather and carbon fibre endows the cabin with a suitably premium ambience. Among the few knobs and switches in the car is a rotary selector on the centre console that enables the driver to select between drive modes, such as GT, Sport Corsa and Wet.
“We are proud to launch the MC20 and Fuoriserie Programme in the UAE, as part of the roadshow in the Middle East and Africa. With the MC20, we inaugurate a new era in the only way we know – with audacity, energy and always focusing on our goal to deliver one of the most exclusive experiences to our clients,” said Domenico La Marte, general manager, Maserati MEA.
Although order books for Maserati's latest model are now open, deliveries won't commence until the fourth quarter of this year.