Maserati, like every other automobile badge today, wants to shift its focus to electric and autonomous vehicles, but it isn’t selling its soul completely just yet.
Instead, it’s determined to remind everyone of just how loud it’s always been with a brand new sports car, the MC20, and if its name rings a bell to you, that’s because it’s a “natural evolution” from the legendary MC12.
This not only marks the Italian automaker’s return to racing, but also the first of the company’s “new era”, which will hopefully be more exciting than a few grand releases every other year. The new mid-engine speedster will officially make its debut this May with the camouflage off, but the firm obviously couldn’t wait to tease details of its new supercar.
The rationale behind its name is fairly straightforward and quite prestigious. MC stands for ‘Maserati Corse’ or ‘Maserati Racing’ in English, and is meant to mark the brand’s return to the track. ’20’ simply marks 2020, the year the car is launched. Its own racing variant is slated to be in the works too.
A name that bears so much pedigree has big shoes to fill, but Maserati knows just where to seek inspiration from. The MC12 was, and still is, one of the marque’s most lauded motorsport contenders, and not only featured Enzo Ferrari’s chassis but also his V12 powertrain. Its bigger body was designed by a Frank Stephenson, who was not only responsible for other greats such as the Ferrari F430 and FXX, but also iconic models like the Fiat 500 and new Mini Cooper.
When it was launched in 2004, 12 were built for racing and another 50 were specced for the streets, pushing through 620hp from the 6.0-litre 12-cylinder. The two-door coupe saw a retrofuturistic targa top roof and a mid-rear layout that kept the car’s centre of gravity in the middle, adding stability and vastly improving the car’s cornering ability. The car went on to win 22 races and 14 championship titles across Constructors’ Championship, Drivers’ Championship and Teams’ Championships in the FIA GT between 2004 to 2010.
From the looks of Maserati’s own ‘spy shots’ above, the MC20 will see a short wheelbase and teledial wheels, along with a vent in the middle of the hood and broad fenders which define the silhouette at its rear. It’ll also be built at the company’s Viale Ciro Menotti Plant in Modena, and production is expected to start later this year.