Quick flashback. In 2004, Maserati unveiled the MC12 which stands for Maserati Corse 12 – “corse” is Italian for racing, and the 12 for the V12 engine. It’s a supercar that’s meant to race in the FIA GT Championship built on the Ferrari Enzo’s core, meaning they shared the same platform, transmission and the 6.0-liter V12 engine. But sharing doesn’t mean it’s just a big assembled Tamiya out of the box. Maserati made their own improvements mechanically, and obviously, with the aesthetics to make it more suitable for the GT races.
It proved itself by winning 6 team titles, 2 constructor’s cups and 6 drivers cups. That legacy, together with only 62 units made when production ended in 2005, made the MC12 a legend in its own right. Behind the scenes though, the MC12 never escaped the whispers that hey, underneath it all, it’s a Ferrari.
Fast forward to 15 years later, Maserati is set to begin a new era in 2020 and what better car to do that with than the Maserati Corse, this time the MC20.
Unlike the MC12, the MC20 is not a homologation unit or a road-legal version of a racecar as a requirement in a racing series. The MC20 is bred for both road and track, loaded with modern creature comforts. That means butterfly doors which takes less space when opened, a 10-inch Maserati Touch Control Plus system, another 10-inch digital screen for the gauge cluster, and look a rear view mirror! Yes, you can now see what’s behind you with the MC20.
Aesthetically, the influence of the MC12 is still prominent, giving focus on aerodynamics over anything else as they spent over 2,000 man-hours in the Dallara Wind Tunnel. They removed the iconic big spoiler though and in its place is a discreet one that still ensures additional downforce at higher speeds.
A point of comparison though is the downsized engine. While the MC12 is known for the screaming 630hp Ferrari V12 in its core, the MC20 makes do with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 with Maserati Twin Combustion technology that also puts out 630hp. Half the size but with the same power, or more because while the MC12 can go 0-100kph at 3.8 seconds, the MC20 can do so at 2.9.
The best bit? This engine, nicknamed ‘Nettuno,’ was developed by Maserati itself. No borrowing this time around. Same with the design and manufacturing, it’s all in-house at the Trident’s quarters.
Maserati’s 20-20 vision for their new era is very apparent with the MC20 in that despite making it a bit more friendly on the road, they’re not taking any shortcuts to make it cut through air and be the first to the finish line. Just like the MC12 before, the MC20 is a bold announcement that Maserati is going back to the pitlane and racing soon.