The 2023 Maserati MC20 is an all-new, two-passenger, carbon-fiber coupe that rejuvenates the revered marque’s passion for driving. The MC20 (which stands for “Maserati Racing 2020”) boasts gorgeous Italian styling, an adrenaline-charged twin-turbocharged V6 engine, and track-ready tuning that targets driving enthusiasts.
2023 Maserati MC20 Engineering and Design
The MC20’s carbon-fiber monocoque was engineered through a partnership with Dallara – the Italian race car manufacturer. From the outset, the team’s objective was to use the same tub for three vehicles: a coupe, a convertible, and a pure-EV variant. All three retain the same architecture and geometry, yet there will be differences in how the build materials are layered for each.
Maserati reportedly spent more than 2,000 hours in the wind tunnel – and more than 1,000 computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies were completed – to sculpt the MC20 into an aerodynamic work of art. Of course, designing a mid-engine exotic car with a unique appearance is difficult, but the Italians have done just that – the MC20 is sleek, stylish, elegant, and sporty. And it’s distinctive.
Most supercars are burdened with tacked-on splitters, spoilers, and movable wings. Maserati has avoided all of those. Instead, they have come up with an impressively clean exterior that boasts functionality. All of the curves and scoops, even the sculpted underbelly, are purposefully engineered to take advantage of managed aerodynamics, including high- and low-pressure areas, to feed air to the engine, brakes, and intercooler – while simultaneously providing low drag (for top speed) and downforce (for stability).
The interior of the MC20 is functional and clean – a driver’s car that purposefully lacks over-the-top styling or unnecessary flair. The cockpit is upholstered with soft Alcantara, premium leather hides, and artfully placed carbon-fiber trim. Contrasting stitching adds a splash of visual excitement. The driver faces a thick multi-function steering wheel (the engine start/stop button is incorporated) with column-mounted shift paddles. Immediately behind the steering wheel is a primary instrument digital display, which alters its appearance (and content) based on the driving mode. Complementing the display is a large color touchscreen infotainment interface that floats in the middle of the dashboard – tucked down low, so it doesn’t distract the driver.
Without question, the most extravagant component is the drive mode selector – its design inspired by a luxury watch and colored with Maserati blue – located at the top of the center console. There are just two more buttons, which allow the driver to toggle the gearbox between automatic and manual mode and reverse. The window and audio switches are further down the center console. Besides a small glove box, there is a notable lack of storage for anything – the focus is on driving.
2023 Maserati MC20 Engine and Driveline
Maserati developed an all-new engine for the MC20 that pushes the limits of technical innovation. The 90° 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6, which goes by the name “Nettuno,” boasts dual sparkplugs, an innovative pre-chamber combustion system, and dry-sump lubrication. The engine is rated at 621 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through an 8-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox. A limited-slip, self-locking, mechanical rear differential is standard. According to Maserati, the 0-60 mph sprint falls in about 2.9 seconds as the coupe runs towards a top speed of 202 mph.
The MC20’s lightweight composite monocoque tub is fitted with independent double-wishbone suspension at all four corners. Maserati’s engineers chose a double-wishbone design (front and rear) with semi-virtual steering – twin forged aluminum bottom links and a single top link. This design allows the tire patch to remain more constant during high g-loads. In addition, an adaptive system allows the driver to choose between different firmness based on the driving situation.
Steel brakes (380 mm front/350 mm rear) are standard, with 6-piston calipers on the front and 4-piston calipers on the rear. Optional and fitted to my test car were larger carbon-ceramic rotors (390 mm front/360 mm rear). In addition, Maserati chose Bridgestone Tire to be its tire partner – the result is a high-performance Bridgestone Potenza tire with a unique carcass and compound engineered explicitly for the MC20, which are wrapped around forged aluminum 20-inch alloy wheels (tires are 245/35-20 front and 305/30-20 rear).
How Does the 2023 Maserati MC20 Drive?
The MC20 offers five driving modes (GT, WET, SPORT, CORSA, and ESC OFF), chosen via the Drive Mode selector. Each setting alters engine boost, pedal sensitivity, exhaust note, transmission shifting, suspension damping, and traction control (ESC). By default, the coupe starts in GT mode. However, the driver may spin the dial to SPORT or WET, and the vehicle reconfigures itself in less than one second. Pressing the selector for two seconds chooses CORSA (the equivalent to race mode) while holding it for five seconds switches to ESC OFF – a setting best reserved for a racing circuit.
It’s a shame that most prospects will likely test drive the Maserati MC20 in GT mode confined to an urban setting – this configuration does a disservice to the supercar. While the coupe is comfortable and easy to maneuver around town (a nose lift allows it to effortlessly clear most driveways), the brake pedal feels hard underfoot, and the V6 engine is never allowed the opportunity to produce prodigious thrust. As a result, while the Maserati is an absolute stunner (passers-by turn their heads for miles), it feels sluggish and underwhelming when driven softly.
Yet everything changes for the better when the Maserati is driven in rage – press the drive mode selector to engage CORSA, and the MC20 becomes the supercar it was engineered to be. On a lonely canyon road, the twin-turbo engine spins to redline with ferocious thrust. Manual shifts crack off instantaneously (accompanied by a solid kick in the derrière) as the coupe rockets forward, devouring the asphalt in its path.
The steering is sharp, rewarding delicate and deliberate input (the coupe’s rear end will wiggle its displeasure with inaccuracies, yet thankfully, it’s easy to tuck back in with a stab of counter steer). Once they are warmed, there is astonishing grip from the Bridgestone tires – each sticky contact patch feels glued to the surface. And the brakes, which felt lackluster when cold, chomp down on the rotors with steadfastness when heated. There isn’t even a suggestion of fade – they feel ready for the Le Mans circuit.
I’ve driven dozens of supercars and exotics over the years. While some have been good, many have left my consummate driving enthusiast soul challenged to be impressed. Yet the Maserati MC20 – with its traditional rear-wheel-drive dynamics and hyper-boosted V6 – feels real, alive, and genuine. This supercar is fast, fun, challenging, and incontestably smile-inducing. It’s original.
How Much Does the 2023 Maserati MC20 cost?
The base price of a new 2023 Maserati MC20 is $212,000. Most customers will option theirs to about $230,000 – loaded, expect to pay about $255,000. The secondary market has proven strong, with pre-owned Maserati MC20 coupes commanding significant premiums on the used car market.