Assessment: Maserati’s new MC20 Cielo

M is for Maserati, and likewise for mojo – which is what the celebrated Italian carmaker obtained again in 2020 when it launched the 200mph MC20, its first supercar in 16 years. 

Two years on it’s upping the joys issue once more with a brand new convertible tackle the automobile, as unveiled at a check drive in Sicily final month. The Cielo (which suggests sky) has a novel prime constructed from over half a sq. metre of glass coated with a liquid-crystal polymer that permits it to alter from clear to opaque and again once more in order that the entire cabin could be bathed in mild even when the roof is closed.

The Maserati MC20 Cielo in Noto, Sicily
The Maserati MC20 Cielo in Noto, Sicily

It takes simply 12 seconds for the motorised system to boost the roof and stow it out of sight beneath the rear deck. Upward-opening “butterfly” doorways make getting out and in unusually straightforward for a low-slung roadster, and the inside feels refreshingly spartan for a contemporary, luxurious automobile: the Cielo is a real driving machine that’s extra about having fun with an immersive expertise than wallowing in deep-buttoned leather-based. Meaning light-weight, Alcantara-covered seats separated by a console carrying solely the drive mode dial, gear selectors and small switches for the electrical home windows and infotainment quantity management.

The whole lot else – together with the ignition and launch management buttons – is packaged throughout the race-derived steering wheel. Even the seat adjustment is {a partially} guide affair, with electrical motors being reserved for the backrest and – in case you select to tick the choice field – for altering the angle of the steering column.

“A winner on looks alone”: the Cielo
“A winner on seems to be alone”: the Cielo
The car, seen here in Acquamarina, comes in five other colours
The automobile, seen right here in Acquamarina, is available in 5 different colors

Firing-up the Nettuno V6 engine produces a mild, mellifluous sound that originally belies its 630 horsepower, with the automobile proving docile at gradual to average speeds with not one of the urgency that its sinewy type may counsel.

Maserati needs it to be seen as a GT automobile that’s good for lengthy street journeys and day-to-day use (regardless that baggage area is meagre) in addition to one which’s designed for indulgent, high-speed blasts and monitor days. And, regardless of the minimalist inside, it’s surprisingly comfy, virtually soothing, to cruise round in. However rotate that drive mode selector past the “moist” and “GT” settings to search out “sport” or the extra excessive “corsa” mode and the Cielo actually comes alive, with a crisper throttle response, faster gear adjustments, sharper dealing with and an angrier exhaust notice accompanied by theatrical turbo whooshes.

The electrochromic window stretches to over half a square metre of glass
The electrochromic window stretches to over half a sq. metre of glass

In Sicily, the low season roads had been empty sufficient to provide the Cielo its head, and it didn’t disappoint. Maserati’s declare of a sub-2.9-second 0-100kph/62mph time felt totally correct and, whereas open sports activities automobiles are infamous for missing the rigidity of closed ones, the Cielo soaked up the island’s patchwork tarmac because of its carbon-fibre monocoque and the ability to regulate the suspension between three completely different settings.

No matter how good it’s to drive, the Cielo is a winner on seems to be alone. A barely Bugatti-esque rear, occasional hints of an outsized Lotus Exige right here and there, a entrance finish with a wide-mouthed grille that harks again to Maserati’s golden-era racers of the Fifties and wheels based mostly on the well-known Maserati trident image mix to provide it that uncommon factor in trendy automobile design: a wholly distinctive look. Add to that Maserati’s illustrious historical past and a sector-competitive £231,885 price ticket and I can solely conclude that the Cielo deserves to win new followers for Maserati – and can most likely turn into a contemporary basic.

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