Maserati MC20 With Formula One Technology

It will start a new chapter in the history of the Italian brand.

Long overshadowed by other luxury brands, Maserati has begun a new chapter in its own history. In the coming years, the company will update and expand the model range (there will be another SUV and as many as six EVs), introduce semi-autonomous driving systems and advanced network technologies, and return to the world of motorsport. It will help the MC20 to take the first step in this direction, 100 percent developed and designed in a technical center called the Maserati Innovation Laboratory. The revolutionary supercar was the first Italian car with a mid-engine layout in the last 16 years — and this engine was created, as they say, in the walls of Maserati and is unique at least in that it uses the Formula One technology.

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The Maserati MC20 is the direct heir to the formidable MC12, which with some assumptions can be considered an improved version of the donor Ferrari Enzo. The abbreviation MC in the names of both cars stands for the Maserati Corse, which emphasizes their connection with racing. The number in the first case means the number of cylinders (the MC12 was equipped with a 6.0-liter V12 (630 hp and 652 Nm), and in the second — a turning point for the company, and, it seems, for the whole world, the year. The MC12 had an honorable mission: it brought the brand back to motorsport after a 37-year hiatus and even took it to the top of Olympus when Germany's Vitaphone Racing, driving a Maserati MC12, won the 2010 FIA GT1. The same task is assigned to the 20s.

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You can find echoes of In the design the MC12, but Dogdore looks like a collection of quotes: someone will see a Ferrari, and others — a Jaguar, or a McLaren with Lotus. Belonging to the brand is given out only by the constant Trident of Poseidon on the front and lanterns, partly resembling the optics of the already retired GranTurismo. When the Maserati style centre have managed to make the supercar look «clean» and at the same time muscular — and in this respect MC20 similar to GMA T. 50 from the great Gordon Murray.

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It has the following dimensions: (length — 4,669 mm, width — 1,965, height — 1,221, wheelbase — 2,700 mm). The Maserati MC20 is close to the Ferrari 488. The supercar weighs about one and a half tons: of these, a hundredweight is accounted for by the carbon: a fiber monocoque created jointly with Dallara and another 220 kg. The coupe's aerodynamics took several thousand hours to complete in the Dallara wind tunnel and virtual simulations. Apparently, the goal was to increase the pressure on the road, since the air resistance coefficient is only 0.38. And as if to confirm the assumption, the company says that the MC20 for the first time used a profiled bottom that reduces lift.

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Speaking of simulations, virtual testing has become one of the main elements of the MC20 development program. The creators of the supercar not only used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods to optimize aerodynamic performance but also performed 97 percent of dynamic tests in a software environment. This was made possible by the introduction of the Virtual Vehicle Dynamics Development system based on a complex mathematical model of Virtual Car. However, the final refinement was still performed the old-fashioned way and with mandatory exits to the track and public roads.

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A small excursion into the history of the car is over, and we return to reality again to see what is hidden under the carbon fiber panels of the MC20. And there is a dual-clutch suspension with a virtual rotation axles (the correct length of the levers and their attachment points increases control accuracy and stability on straight lines), Brembo brakes with 380/350 rims, six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston in the rear (carbon-ceramic with 390/360 are available for an additional fee), as well as a 3.0 -liter V6 engine.

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Although, Maserati talks about it as the first own power unit in the last 20-plus years, according to rumors. Nettuno is still a distant relative of the V8 Ferrari F154 and is cupped with the 690T, which was put on hardcore Alphas with the prefix Quadrifoglio. The engine is equipped with a pair of turbochargers with electronically controlled bypass valves, a dry sump lubrication system, a variable capacity oil pump, two camshafts with phase shifters and a dual injection system operating at a pressure of six bar (distributed) and 350 bar (direct). Just listen to how it sounds.

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The Nettuno feature is dual ignition with a pre-chamber system, like in Formula One cars, and a traditional spark. Here, a pre-chamber with a spark plug and a nozzle is installed in front of each main combustion chamber. It receives a small amount of the enriched mixture, while the depleted one is injected into the cylinder. The fuel is ignited in the precombustion chamber, and from there through a tiny hole to ignite the main volume, thus achieving uniformity of combustion and detonation is reduced. When the load on the engine is insignificant, and there is no need for a pre-chamber, the second candle installed on the edge of the cylinder works.

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The new engine produces a peak output of 630 hp at 7,500 rpm; the maximum torque of 730 Nm is available for the 3,000-5,500 rpm range. Traction goes to the rear axle through an eight-speed dual clutch gearbox and a mechanical differential of increased friction, which can be replaced with an electronically controlled one if desired. Driving modes are switched by the «puck» on the center console. There are four of them: GT (for country roads and expressways), Sport, Corsa and Wet (in case of rain).

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The dynamic characteristics of the Maserati MC20 are also known. According to the passport, the 2.9-liter 730 hp supercar accelerates from 0-100 km/h and from 0-200 km/h — in 8.8 seconds. That is, the Italian is slightly faster than the evil 730-hp Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, with which, nevertheless, it has parity in the «maximum speed», namely 325 km/h. Another indicator that Maserati considered important is the braking distance at a speed of 100 km/h. It is 33 meters long.

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Engineering is engineering, but for all its focus on high-speed movement in space, the MC20 is not without comfort. A simple but fully digitized interior hides behind butterfly doors. A 10.2-inch virtual dashboard is installed in front of the driver (the graphics on the screen change depending on the selected driving mode), and on the right — a 10.25-inch Maserati Touch Control Plus, which is constantly connected to the multimedia network.

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You can control the climate control system and Maserati Connect from the widescreen screen. These include GPS, Amazon Alexa, Wi-Fi, and remote access to the car via smartphone or smartwatch apps. The list of options includes the Sonus Faber premium audio system. The Italian company produces outdoor high-end speakers, and in 2013 made acoustics for the Pagani Huayra.

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Start-stop buttons of the engine and activating the LON-control are placed on the steering wheel, while the center console has a luxury watch-inspired driving mode switch, transmission selector, volume control with a infotainment button and wireless charging. The interior of the Maserati MC20 is decorated with genuine leather, artificial suede and carbon fiber.

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Maserati has developed six exclusive body colors at the center of the style for the MC20's market debut. Buyers will be offered to paint the supercar in white Bianco Audace, symbolizing the Majesty of glaciers, yellow Giallo Genio, representing Modena, blue Blu Infinito, referring to the process of creating an oxide film on the surface of metals (anodizing), red Rosso Vincente, imitating lava flows, gray Grigio Mistero, reminiscent of the «naked» car body, and finally pitch-black Nero Enigma. But the bottom will always be in carbon fiber under the varnish.

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Now, the most interesting thing: the MC20 chassis was originally designed for the installation of electric motors and traction batteries, and the company does not hide the fact that the supercar will have an eco-friendly version after a while. The electric 20 will be able to pass without recharging about 320 km and accelerate to «hundreds» in 2.8 seconds. Its maximum speed will be 310 km/h. However, a little earlier, there will be a roadster and this does not even need to make many changes to the design. The open version of the MC20 is already in Maserati's updated product plan.

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But the MC20 is just the beginning, Maserati says. The revival of the brand will be intensive. The company will introduce the new GranTurismo next year. In 2022, the compact Grecale built on a rear-wheel drive platform from the Alfa Romeo Giulia will be released.

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