Carbon fiber, aluminum, and zero to 100kph in less than three ticks

FIFTEEN YEARS since completing its 50-car, super-limited production of the MC12, Italian car maker Maserati unveiled its latest and most powerful supercar yet — the (Maserati Corse 2020) MC20. Made mostly out of carbon fiber and aluminum, and entirely developed by the Trident brand, the beauty wields a whopping 630 maximum horsepower and 730Nm of peak torque with its surprisingly high-tech twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, mated with a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission. Its astounding zero-to-100kph time is less than three seconds, and this feat is partially made possible by the fact that the vehicle’s monocoque chassis is made from carbon fiber — bringing its weight down to a jaw-dropping sub-1,500kg figure. It costs a fraction (only about a quarter) of the previous MC12, starting at about US$210,000. And it has those amazing butterfly doors, too. What’s not to like?

This masterpiece is the actualization of a long-term plan to rebuild Maserati’s robust reputation for performance. And while the MC20’s engine shares a lot of its engineering with the Enzo Ferrari supercar (since Ferrari builds the engines of a lot of Maserati’s current vehicles), this latest exotic sports car’s unusually high-performing engine is built entirely by Maserati this time, and it exploits breakthrough technology similar to what is used in Formula 1 racing engines. It carries a multi-link suspension in all its four corners, and uses robust Brembo brakes to equip the car with reliable stopping power.

Five drive modes are available for the driver to customize the car’s behavior. There’s GT Mode as the default, which focuses primarily on comfort; Sport Mode that immediately stiffens the suspension and makes the car more responsive and also allows the exhaust valves to open as early as at 3,500rpm (versus the default 5,000rpm) for more exciting engine acoustics; Wet Mode that prioritizes all of the traction and stability-assist systems over engine boost; Corsa Mode that limits the car’s traction and stability-control intervention, and that enables launch control while keeping the car’s exhaust system fully open for more fun; and an anything-goes, ESC-Off Mode that fully deactivates all electronic driving assists.

The MC20 offers 5.3 cubic feet of luggage capacity and comes in a choice of six beautiful colors: the stunningly shiny and “liquid-like” Nero Enigma; the Rosso Vicente, which is inspired by the color of a volcano’s hot magma; the Grigio Mistero, which reminisces a car’s naked body; the Giallo Genio, which is nostalgic of Modena; the Blu Infinito, which comes from the anodization concept; and (my favorite) the Bianco Audace, which is inspired by polar glaciers.

Maserati also recently unveiled its Trofeo (high-performance) variants of the Ghibli and the Quattroporte — making these two the fastest Maserati sedans ever made, yet. Furthermore, the car maker announced its plans to produce a completely electric version of the MC20 supercar in 2022.