Maserati is starting to enact its most ambitious revival plan yet, with billions of euros of investment, a model line-up overhaul and a target to nearly triple its sales in less than three years.
The Italian brand’s new dawn will be spearheaded by an all-new, in-house-designed mid-engined “super-sports car” called the MC20, which is set to be revealed this September.
The big relaunch – one of many throughout Maserati’s history – was meant to begin in May with the MC20’s debut. That has been postponed due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus, but we still know a substantial amount about Maserati’s first supercar since the Ferrari Enzo-based MC12 homologation special of 2004.
It will be no watered-down Maranello model this time. In fact, the MC20’s very existence is permitted by the fact that Maserati parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) sold its 90% stake in Ferrari back in 2016. Maserati was never allowed to tread on the toes of its Italian peer prior to this (the ultra-limited-run MC12 being the exception); now it has been allowed creative freedom to build a much-needed halo model. This will also be the car that enables Maserati to return to racing, the company has confirmed.
The MC20 marks a speedy departure from the previous plan, in place as late as last summer but revised under new management. The first new model was originally due to be dubbed the Alfieri: a two-seat electrified sports car offering plug-in hybrid and battery-electric propulsion options.
A rethink has resulted in a surprise about-turn, with the MC20 instead coming to market first with a mid-mounted combustion engine (with some form of electrification likely) and electric cars set to follow.
Autocar understands the price point for the MC20 will reach into the low six figures, but it will stay well clear of the £165,000 Ferrari Portofino.
Following in 2021 will be a convertible version of the MC20 that’s expected to use a fully electric hood mechanism.
Maserati MC20: platform and powertrain
The basic underpinnings for the MC20 will be a newly specified carbonfibre tub. Early teaser images released by Maserati showed a powertrain test mule clearly having much in common with sibling brand Alfa Romeo’s now-discontinued 4C, which also featured such a tub.
Autocar understands the MC20’s tub will be similar in concept to that of the 4C (itself co-developed with Italian chassis specialist Dallara and weighing just 65kg), and Maserati may even use the overhauled remains of the 4C production line to build it.