Twin-turbo 3.0-litre ‘Nettuno’ powerplant produces as much power as the V12 from Maserati’s MC12 supercar
Maserati has released long-awaited technical details of the all-new bespoke V6 engine that will power its upcoming MC20 sports car, ahead of the model’s unveiling on 9 September.
Named Nettuno (Neptune) in reference to the mythical character associated with the brand’s trident logo, the twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol motor produces 538lb ft and 613bhp – the same power output as the 2005 MC12 supercar, Maserati’s most powerful production model to date.
It’s said to pack “technological features derived from Formula 1, resulting in improved engine efficiency, increased performance and reduced consumption.” Features include a supercar-style dry sump, a ‘pre-chamber’ between the main combustion chamber and spark plug to enhance combustion, a secondary lateral spark plug that ensures constant ignition throughout the rev range and a twin-injection fuel system claimed to reduce noise, emissions and fuel consumption.
The MC20 will be the first to receive the new powerplant, but Maserati has hinted that the engine will subsequently become available in other models.
Recently, Maserati marked the passing of Sir Stirling Moss with a commemorative livery for its MC20 development prototype. The distinctive camouflage wrap was inspired by the paintwork of the brand’s historic Eldorado single-seater, which made its debut with Moss at the wheel at Monza in 1958.
Maserati says it chose the MC20 prototype to wear the Moss-inspired livery as the model marks the brand’s intention to return to the world of motorsport, following the international successes of the MC12.
The firm said it will be a “natural evolution” of the limited-run MC12 – the last model to wear the Maserati Corse badge – and it will “return to the world of racing” with the MC20.
In November last year, Maserati started testing the car’s powertrain on public roads in a development mule based on the Alfa Romeo 4C, but the car in the later images appears to be wearing production-ready bodywork. The Alfa-based machine was being used to house a “new powertrain entirely developed and built by Maserati”, which is the first in a new family of engines it is developing.
The MC20 had been widely expected to be a production version of the 2014 Alfieri concept, which Maserati committed to putting into production in 2018, but the Alfieri concept was a front-engined 2+2 coupé, very different from the mid-engined MC20.
There are no technical details yet on what will power other variants of the MC20. When Maserati released details of its updated business plan recently, it said it was upgrading the Modena production line to accommodate the car’s “electric powertrain”. It is likely to be some form of hybrid unit, but we’re expecting to see a fully electric version as well.
The new machine will be the first all-new Maserati released since 2015.