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Maserati marches toward electric car future as MC20 sees out petrol-power era

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Maserati's MC20 will likely be the last fully petrol-powered supercar from the Italian brand.
Maserati's MC20 will likely be the last fully petrol-powered supercar from the Italian brand.

With deliveries of Maserati’s MC20 supercar now beginning, one of the questions being thrown up is why the brand hasn’t added a hybrid element to boost performance and improve efficiency.

The short answer is that Maserati believes the efficiency inherent in the relatively small-capacity V6 engine the MC20 uses is enough of a commitment to going green.

And the performance which includes a top speed of more than 320km/h and a 0-100km/h time of less than three seconds, likewise suggests the MC20 doesn’t really need an electric leg-up in performance terms.

“Our super-efficient V6 Nettuno engine means we don’t need to go hybrid to reach our targets,” Maserati’s Australian and New Zealand marketing manager, Tim Stanton, told CarsGuide.

And while Maserati does offer a mild-hybrid driveline based around its four-cylinder engine (in the Ghibli in Australia), the brand seems to be concentrating more on fully-electric variants of its existing models.

In fact, the MC20 was designed from scratch to be built as both a coupe and roadster as well as an EV.

But don’t start looking for an electric MC20 until at least 2024, as the company ramps up production and eventually gets around to a right-hand-drive version of the MC20 EV.

There will be other fully-electric Maseratis here before that happens, starting with the Grecale mid-sized SUV which will also be available with a variant bearing a detuned version of the same V6 twin-turbo engine that powers the current MC20.

No details have been forthcoming on the output or range of the Maserati EV, but given the company’s track record, performance is likely to be the over-arching priority.

Mr Stanton said he expected local deliveries of the Grecale in electric form to begin in the first quarter of next year.

The GranTurismo EV is likely to be next, also arriving sometime next year, but with no firm decision on exactly when.

While that’s the plan at the moment, Maserati Australia and New Zealand general manager, Grant Barling, admits that transport logistics at the moment are a cause for concern.

“The delays in container freight right now are huge,” he said.

“The MC20, for example, is not a roll-on-roll-off (driven on and off the transport ship) it’s a container job, and that’s been part of the reason the car went on sale six months ago, but deliveries have only just started.

“Quarantine is the other big delay. When ships are taking unconventional routes (as they are at the moment) you only need one container to turn up with an infestation of insects, and the whole shipment is held up.

“If we can get the cars off the ship in Fremantle without a problem, then we’re okay.”

David Morley
Contributing Journalist
Morley’s attentions turned to cars and motoring fairly early on in his life. The realisation that the most complex motor vehicle was easier to both understand and control than the simplest human-being, set his career in motion. Growing up in the country gave the young Morley a form of motoring freedom unmatched these days, as well as many trees to dodge. With a background in newspapers, the move to motoring journalism was no less logical than Clive Palmer’s move into politics, and at times, at least as funny.
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