Fueled by Formula 1 technology
Maserati MC-20 Cielo – a storm is brewing
May 27, 2022, 2:12 p.m
After the presentation of the MC-20, Maserati is presenting its sporty flagship with an open variant with an electrically retractable and glazed hardtop. Cielo is the name of the stormy sun worshiper, but those interested will have to wait at least a year for it.
Good news for car collectors: After Maserati launched its flagship MC-20 in the coupé form in autumn 2020, the Spyder variant is now following. The athlete gets the additional name Cielo, which is simply the Italian or Spanish word for “sky”. Because in the MC-20 Cielo you are always sitting under the sky – whether it is opened or not. The hard top, which can be opened and closed within twelve seconds, has a glass pane that can be darkened at the push of a button.
Apart from the fact that the Maserati, which has been the most powerful series production model to date with 630 hp, will in future be able to move outdoors at over 320 km/h, the Spyder version is based on the coupé version. Accordingly, lightweight construction also plays a role here. The mid-engine sports car with a carbon monocoque weighs only 65 kilograms more than the closed version and thus weighs around 1.5 tons.
Technology from Formula 1
The three-liter Nettuno V6 with a 90-degree bank angle, turbocharging and a prechamber ignition system weighs just over 200 kilograms. This technology comes from Formula 1 and is being used on public roads for the first time with the MC-20: The fuel-air mixture is ignited in the pre-chamber via a separate candle and, as a result of the “pre” combustion, is pressed into the regular combustion chamber, where a second spark plug takes care of the residual combustion. Couple this with the ample 11:1 compression ratio and the pressure developed as the mixture shoots into the primary cylinder space, and you have a particularly efficient engine, which in this case means more power for every amount of fuel used.
And since the MC-20 Cielo still has a breathtakingly favorable power-to-weight ratio of 3.35 kilograms per kilowatt, despite the slightly higher curb weight compared to the coupé, you don’t have to be an oracle to realize that it will also be damn fast. The obligatory eight-speed double clutch supports to the best of its ability. At least so fast that the expected lateral performance justifies a dry sump lubrication to keep the oil film intact even on hot piste circuits.
Also suitable for everyday use with some limitations
However, the Spyder doesn’t seem to want to compete with the wildest “track tools” either – it does without powerful spoilers. Instead, entry after opening the scissor doors is quite elegant, which is rather unusual for vehicles with a monocoque structure. The first visual and tactile impressions left by the convertible suggest that the Cielo is intended to stand out clearly from a Gran Turismo. However, after a first try on the finely crafted chairs, the idea germinated of covering a longer distance in the MC-20. This is also indicated by Maserati’s promise to have reduced vibrations to a minimum in order to increase everyday utility.
Active dampers should at least allow a veritable range between tight and comfortable, from which you can choose with the help of various driving programs. An optimal lift system should prevent scratches in the area of the underbody when the local authorities have meant a little too well with the speed bumps.
In any case, Maserati spares no effort to make it bearable in the super sports car, which today also includes excellent infotainment. On this occasion, Marketing Director Paolo Tubito points out that Maserati is doing this independently and does not use any components from other group brands. Useful features such as a reversing camera and parking sensors are intended to protect against potentially expensive injuries. The output is on the touchscreen in the center console, which is a little over ten inches in size. And if you want to swap the engine sound for a music sound during quieter passages, you can use a Sonus Faber sound system with a total of twelve loudspeaker boxes.
A year of waiting
Anyone considering going on vacation with the open version should be told that the loading space has not shrunk in comparison to the coupé. So 148 liters of luggage equivalent can be allowed – that should be enough for a long weekend.
Customers who have decided to spend at least 260,000 euros have to allow for a waiting time of around a year. The newly created production facilities allow a capacity of six MC-20 copies per day. That’s not too much, but most prospective buyers will already have a few automotive gems parked. Seen in this way, the waiting time should be the least obstacle on the way to the most powerful production Maserati to date.
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