Meet Maserati’s most exotic convertible car to date. The MC20 Cielo will gain the spotlight Maserati has been craving for.
Maserati had always had comfort and performance in its mind when making its beautiful cars. This time, however, they felt it was time to get out of their way and create something different. Something more sporty, more exotic, and even more stunning to look at. The MC20 Cielo is the definition of style and elegance. It comes second only to Maserati Ghibli.
Its build quality and performance is on par with all the other exotic car brands. The technology, materials, and engine on this model are top-notch. This strongly conveys Maserati’s ambition to be at the center of attention again.
Performance and specifications
The Maserati MC20 Cielo uses the ‘Nettuno’ engine. This is an F1-inspired piece of workmanship and it’s globally patented. Its debut was in 2020 as the engine of the standard MC20.
This unit uses a twin-turbo, 6-cylinder in V90° orientation, with a total capacity of 3.0L. It features a dry sump, dual spark plugs, and a compression ratio of 11:1. It delivers 621hp @7500rpm, and 730Nm of torque from 3000rpm. This means that it produces 207hp per liter. This power is transmitted via the 8-speed oil-immersed Dual Clutch. The gearbox design incorporates six power and two overdrive speeds for emissions compliance.
With these numbers from such a small engine, it’s evident that Maserati is serious this time.
Dual spark plugs? Yes! The MC20 Cielo uses what we call a lateral spark plug. That ensures constant combustion when the engine is operating at a level that doesn’t need the pre-chamber to kick in. The pre-chamber is located between the central electrode, and the combustion chamber. The latter is connected by a series of specially-designed holes. Finally, there is also a twin injection system – direct and indirect that supplies fuel at pressures up to 350bar. This system reduces noise low down on the rev range, which in turn lowers emissions and improves consumption.
All these technologies might sound gimmicky. But it’s that F1 technology ensures the most performance out of that small engine. It manages to propel the MC20 Cielo from 0-100km/h in 2.9 seconds. Its top speed is capped at top speed of 320km/h. I don’t know about you, but I’m all for engineering innovations.
As expected, an adaptive suspension is present in the MC20 Cielo. With a swipe of your finger on the touch screen, you can access the suspension settings. A short spindle semi-virtual double-wishbone layout is used on both the front and rear axles. The suspension system also uses a double-wishbone with active shock absorbers.
This setup in the front axle ensures the most precise handling while retaining steering wheel feedback. It also absorbs vibrations transmitted from the road to the steering wheel, to provide more driving comfort. All the components are super light as they are made of forged aluminum.
The vehicle can also be raised by 50mm for better ground clearance (e.g. speed bumps) with a push of a button. This is done below 40km/h. Otherwise, the system deactivates itself and returns the car to its normal height.
As mentioned, the MC20 Cielo’s settings can be easily accessed through the center touchscreen. The available modes are:
- GT: for everyday driving;
- WET: provides the highest level of handling on damp surfaces;
- SPORT: for high performance in ideal conditions;
- CORSA: also known as track mode. It offers the most extreme experience with minimal control;
- ESC OFF: all controls are OFF, and you just let loose (yay!)
The exterior design is one of the most elegant and beautiful designs I’ve ever seen. It’s reminiscent of the Maserati GranCabrio. While everybody is busy modeling their cars with sharp edges and futuristic lights, the MC20 Cielo goes against the wind with its elegant curves. Some could say it’s been inspired by a swan. The designers also decided to add scissor doors, which are extremely cool. I don’t think they are necessary for this type of car, though.
The three-layer Acquamarina color highlights as much as possible all the beauty the car has to show. The logo on top of the engine bay cover makes sure that everybody understands this is Maserati’s craftsmanship.
One thing that needs to be said is that all exterior design elements are functional and highly important when it comes to aerodynamics. The car has gone through extensive testing in both CFD and 1:1 wind tunnel simulations. This means that all the vents, curves, and creases, are all taken into account.
For starters, the retractable roof, when deployed, provides the same shape and aerodynamics as the coupe version. This eliminates any possible performance impact. Even with the roof open, the airflow on top of the car has clean lines for greater cabin comfort. If you prefer keeping your roof shut, no problem. There is a PLDC glass incorporated, which can electronically turn from matte to clear view on demand. You could say that the engineers succeeded in configuring the car for the highest performance and comfort in both modes.
The front air intakes do a great job of providing the engine with the oxygen it needs, while maintaining the lowest resistance possible. The rear air intakes have built-in aerodynamic deflectors that optimize the direction and amount of air coming via the engine intakes to be used at the inter-coolers.
The rear of the car boasts twin exhaust pipes and a large diffuser, with different-depth channels and optimized vertical spoilers. Those can exploit the pressure differences between the various sections in order to energize the airflow by generating vortices.
The interior is rather simplistic but very refreshing to what Maserati has given us to this date. This feels modern, elegant, and high quality, yet very minimalistic and intuitive. Leather, carbon fiber, metal pieces, and other premium materials have been used to provide maximum comfort and feeling.
The steering wheel was designed by a former World Champion named Andrea Bertolini. He was also Maserati MC12’s reference driver. It’s completely wrapped in Alcantara leatherand and has an optional electronic adjustment system. It also has dark aluminum or carbon fiber paddle shifters, and possesses only the essential buttons. This removes any distraction from the plethora of gimmicks other manufacturers add to the steering wheel.
Does this car have any disadvantages?
Yes, just one. It’s price.
The coupe variant (MC20) starts at $200,000 while the convertible (MC20 Cielo) at $220,000. Of course, the price can easily go higher if you add any extras.
If you’ve got the cash, then go ahead and buy it. It really offers a refreshing sense compared to what other manufacturers are offering for the same price. Otherwise, you can just enjoy it from the computer screen, just like me.
What do you think about the Maserati MC20 Cielo? Please, leave your comment.
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