An Italian, Twin-Turbo V-6 Will Breath Life Into the 2021 Maserati MC20
Its unveiling was postponed until Septemberby Ciprian Florea, on LISTEN 06:14
Maserati is now mostly known for high-performance grand tourers and sedan, but it has build some mid-engine vehicles back in the day too. The most recent example is the incredible MC12, which has already evolved into an expensive classic. Maserati will launch its first mid-engined vehicle in 2021, 16 years after the MC12 was discontinued. It will be called the MC20 and word has it power will come from a twin-turbo V-6 engine.
A more affordable supercar
Maserati’s new supercar has been rumored for many years now, and it’s been speculated as to how it could be a spiritual successor to the MC12. However, Maserati is now looking to become a profitable company and it’s interested in offering cars that may sell in relatively big volumes rather than very expensive and exclusive supercars. The MC12 was an exclusive vehicle, so this new supercar is moving away from that idea. The V-6 engine is a solid indication of the new strategy.
The MC12 shared underpinnings with the Ferrari Enzo, including the 6.0-liter V-12 engine. By contrast, —the MC20 will be powered by a brand-new, twin-turbo V-6 engine. Although developed specifically for this model, this engine will also be shared with other vehicles in the FCA lineup. My best guess is that Ferrari will also launch a V-6-powered sports car soon. The engine will also find its way into a new Alfa Romeo and maybe a range-topping version of the next-generation Quattroporte.
The key to the MC20’s affordability lies in the platform, which is shared with the outgoing Alfa Romeo 4C. This is a strategy devised by FCA to cut costs for the MC20, while also reducing development costs for the 4C’s rather expensive carbon-fiber tub. Sure, Maserati will make some changes to suit its use in a different car, especially since the MC20 will be notably more powerful than the 4C.
Word has it the V-6 will generate around 600 horsepower, which will make it almost as powerful as the iconic MC12. And while a V-6 with 600 horses seems ludicrous, let’s not forget that the 2.9-liter, twin-turbo V-6 developed by Ferrari for the Alfa Romeo Giulia cranks out up to 533 horsepower.
How Much Will it cost?
Some say that the MC20 could come in at less than $200,000, but I think it will be notably more expensive than that. Maseratis aren’t cheap and a mid-engined sports car. The old GranTurismo fetches more than $130,000, so the MC20 will probably break the $200,000 mark. Don’t be surprised is this sports car goes into McLaren 720S and Ferrari F8 Tributo territory with a sticker at around $250,000.
Unveiling delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic
The Maserati MC20 was originally supposed to break cover in May 2020. However, the outbreak of the novel coronavirus forced Maserati to postpone the unveiling. It seems that the supercar will break cover sometime in September. It remains unclear whether it will be unveiled during an auto show, as all remaining events for the year are in danger of being cancelled.
Mid-Engined Maseratis from the past
Maserati is a front-engined company by tradition, as the big majority of its cars are grand tourers with engine mounted in front of the driver. However, the Italian firm did offer a few mid-engined vehicles throughout its history.
Its first foray into this niche was the Bora, launched in 1971. Powered by a V-8 engine that eventually grew from 4.7 to 4.9 liters for the U.S. market, the Bora remained in production until 1978, with 564 units built. The second model followed in 1972. Heavily related to the Bora, the Merak was similar in design, but it featured a 2+2 seating layout compared to the Bora. It also ditched the V-8 engine in favor of a V-6. The Merak was offered with 2.0- and 3.0-liter engines and remained in production until 1983. More affordable than the Bora, it was also notably more popular, with 1,830 units sold.
The MC12 was Maserati’s third and most recent mid-engined car. It was built from 2004 to 2005 and it was heavily based on the Ferrari Enzo. Only 50 cars were sold plus an additional 12 examples of the track-ready Corse model. The MC12 is by far the rarest and most expensive Maserati as of this writing.
Maserati also built a mid-engined race car. It was called the Barchetta and only 17 units were built in 1991 and 1992. Powered by a turbo V-6 engine, the Barchetta was developed for the one-make racing series Grantrofeo Barchetta, which was held 1992 and 1993 throughout Italy and Europe. Maserati built 16 cars for this series and one model converted for road use.
The mid-engined Maserati list is rounded off by two concept cars. The Boomerang is the first such model and was presented at the Turin Motor Show in 1971. The Boomerang inspired the final design of the Bora, but it’s also said to have inspired some of Giugiaro’s subsequent designs, including the Lotus Esprit and the third-generation Maserati Quatroporte. Finally, Maserati built a second midship concept in 2005. It’s called the Birdcage 75th and it’s a tribute to the iconic Maserati Birdcage from the early 1960s. It’s based on the carbon-fiber chassis of the Maserati MC12 GT1 race car and shares the same 6.0-liter V-12 engine.
Source: Car & Driver