Maserati MC 20 set to take on McLaren 720S and Ferrari F8 Tributo for supercar supremacy

Friday, 11th September 2020, 3:00 pm
Updated Friday, 11th September 2020, 3:01 pm

Maserati is going head-to-head with the elite of supercars after it lifted the wraps from its stunning MC20. Set to rival the likes of the Ferrari F8 Tributo and McLaren 720S, the MC20 will top 202mph, and carry a price tag of £187,230.

Signalling a new era for the brand, which will see it battle with supercar ‘royalty’ such as Porsche and Ferrari, as well as McLaren, Maserati’s new MC20 — designed to enable both coupe and convertible versions — will be powered by a super-advanced Nettuno V6. Plus, the car has been designed specifically with full electric power in mind.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Featuring twin-turbos, and delivering 622bhp with 538lb ft of torque, the new engine is the first to be produced in-house by Maserati for more than 20 years. It’ll  propel the MC20 from 0-62mph in less than 2.9secs, and carry on on to a top speed of 202mph.

Tipping the scales at just 1,500kg, thanks to a host of lightweight materials, the Italian sportscar maker says the MC20 — whose sleek design references its predecessor, the MC12 — has a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio.

Dominated by headturning butterfly doors — which FCA chief designer Klaus Busse stresses were chosen for access rather than aesthetic reasons — the MC20 boasts a prominent Maserati trident which sits proudly in the low, wide grille. This in turn is flanked by large air intakes, each with restrained LED headlights positioned above them. The trident also appears on the wheel centres and rear C pillars, while a metallic MC20 badge sits at the front of the doors.

Pop round to the rear and twin exhausts sit just below and to either side of the rear number plate, just above the rear diffuser. There are also wide LED lights which accentuate the car’s width, plus a discreet rear spoiler. Forward of that, the V6 engine is just about visible through the rear screen.

Although measuring 4,669mm, the MC20 looks squat and compact. In reality though, it’s actually longer than both the Ferrari F8 Tributo and McLaren 720S. And having driven it, I know how long the 720S is.

I also know how restricted it is for luggage. Good news then the Maserati has what is — certainly in supercar terms — "commodious" luggage space of 150 litres; that’s 50 in the front and 100 in the back. In fact, given the company’s focus on “elegance, performance and comfort”, it’s fair to assume the MC20 will be targeted more as GT than its rivals.

Techie stuff? There’s adaptive suspension, featuring double wishbones all-round, plus a limited slip self-locking rear differential. Wet, GT, Sport and Corsa settings — selected via a switch on the centre console, just ahead of two buttons used to choose either automatic or manual forward gears, change suspension, steering and engine settings.

Power is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox. There are also large manual paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, which also features ignition and launch control buttons.

"Restrained" appears to be the best word to describe the rest of the cabin. It is though beautifully trimmed, plus there’s plenty of carbon fibre to be seen. And the bucket seats’ headrests are adorned with the trident.  Two 10-inch screens, one in front of the driver and one for the multimedia system, dominate the fascia. The latter is controlled by a dial back by the driver’s elbow, just ahead of an armrest that hides a storage bin.

In this era of constant connectivity, the MC20 includes a Wi-Fi hotspot, Alexa, and sat nav. There’s also wireless charging for your smartphone; plus, as you might expect, the owner can connect directly to the car through a phone or watch app.

As for pricing? Maserati has been pretty cute. Starting at £187,230, the MC20 is short of the respective prices for the Ferrari F8 Tributo or McLaren 720S of £203,475 and £215,050. It is though ahead of the entry-level models from the two brands.

If you’ve got close to 190 grand burning a hole in your bank account, the MC20 order books are now open. First deliveries are scheduled for the second quarter of 2021.