Maserati MC20 V6 2dr Auto
The MC20’s chassis has been co-developed with race car specialist Dallara, which employed slightly different strategies for the three different models that’ll be spun off this platform: the coupe, a spider, and the pure-electric version. Extruded aluminium subframes are attached to the tub, while the suspension itself is a sophisticated multi-link set-up at the front and rear. It’s made of forged alloy, with two links at the bottom and one on top; it’s the other way round at the rear.
This underscores a car whose mission is daily useability as much as it is adding a dash of Modenese glamour to a Snetteron track day. Speaking of which, there’s more than a touch of Lotus about its chassis dynamics, so rather than lumpen 4C, think enlarged Evora.
This is a good thing indeed, especially on the roads TG headed to: after a long spell heading south on the autostrada – during which the MC20 proves itself phenomenally quiet for a big-tyred mid-engined supercar – we sought out some of the high altitude back roads made famous on the Mille Miglia. Pretty, twisty and often appallingly badly maintained, the MC20 remains unruffled regardless of what’s happening underneath. In fact, the suppleness of its ride might be its best feature, thanks to longer-travel springs and that clever suspension.
A prominent rotary controller, whose design is modelled on a high end chronograph, offers five driving modes: wet, GT, sport, corsa and ESC off. This adjusts engine boost, pedal sensitivity, the exhaust valve, gear shift, suspension and traction control. A button in the middle of the controller allows you to fiddle with the three-stage electro-mechanical dampers, so you can mix and match. Unsurprisingly, Corsa is all but useless on the road, and the default GT setting seems to cover most of the bases. Sport is good on twisty stuff with the suspension in its soft setting for maximum compliance. The MC20’s superb steering and fabulous front end make light work of the endless hairpins up here, moving with a sense of grace and poise that’s reminiscent of an Alpine A110. Only one with well over double the power (and an extra 375kg to lug).
That engine, though. It’s an odd thing in some ways, constrained by its need to be efficient while serving up the required sizzle. This is a seriously rapid car: 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds, 124mph in 8.8 and a top speed of 203mph. But it’s oddly old-school turbo in delivery down to a wastegate chumpf, and I preferred using the paddles to shift manually than letting the dual-clutch ’box – a Tremec unit also used in the latest C8 Corvette – do its thing. It needs to be worked pretty hard to get the best out of it, is the point.
Some have noted that the Nettuno engine is a bit light on noise and we’re a long way now from the high revving scream of say, a Ferrari F355, but the MC20 still sounds charismatic in its own slightly muffled way. It just needs to… loosen up. Put it this way: were you fortunate enough to step out of a Lamborghini Huracán and into this, you’d wonder whether half the engine had gone missing.
No issue with the brakes once you’re under way. Or with the chassis’ responses if you turn everything off. This is a beautifully balanced car, whose power-to-weight ratio, low centre of gravity and punchy powertrain are impressively harmonised. And once you’ve done with all that stuff it’ll shut up on the way home.
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