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Tuesday, September 29, 2020, 10:23
Maserati roars back to racing in style
By Cao Yingying
Tuesday, September 29, 2020, 10:23 By Cao Yingying

In this September 2020 photo, Maserati showcases its latest models at the Beijing auto show. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

Iconic Italian sports carmaker Maserati is returning to its racing heritage at the ongoing Beijing auto show, unveiling the stunning MC20 super sports car to the Chinese audience for the very first time.

At just one glance you know that the MC20 is a Maserati. What you see in upper portion is elegant, hand-sculpted, pure and timeless design. With its defined reflections and bone lines, we can see the essence of Italian aesthetics brought to life.

Mirko Bordiga, managing director of Maserati China at the Beijing auto show

The mid-engined MC20, or Maserati Corse 2020 to give its full name, takes subtle design cues from the 2004 MC12 and is the Italian marque's first supercar in 15 years, propelling Maserati into a new era of racing.

"In so many ways it is the first of its kind," said Mirko Bordiga, managing director of Maserati China at the auto show.

"It's the first to adopt the new Nettuno engine, the first road car that integrates Formula 1 derived twin combustion technology, and it is the start of a new era for the Trident brand."

The new V6 Nettuno engine, solely developed by Maserati, churns out 630 brake horsepower and has torque of 730 Nm, enabling the stylish speedster to accelerate from 0-100 km/h within 2.9 seconds, maxing out at a top speed of more than 325 km/h.

Such impressive stats are achieved because Maserati only uses the finest quality materials, such as carbon fiber, but never sacrifices comfort, giving hot-blooded enthusiasts the best of both worlds.

The MC20 is packed full of the latest technologies, including a fully carbon fiber monocoque, double-wishbone suspension with active dampers. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

"At just one glance you know that the MC20 is a Maserati. What you see in upper portion is elegant, hand-sculpted, pure and timeless design. With its defined reflections and bone lines, we can see the essence of Italian aesthetics brought to life," Bordiga said.

The sleek aerodynamic lines of the MC20's body channel aim to reduce drag and maximize performance, and create the air of Italian style that customers have known and loved from Maserati over the brand's over 100 years of history.

The upper and lower halves of the MC20 are visually balanced with the stylish lines of the upper half giving way to the functional engineering innovation beneath.

It is the perfect combination of mechanical beauty and dynamic performance, Bordiga said.

The Italian carmaker is introducing Maserati Fuoriserie-a customization project aimed at providing personalized services. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

To ensure that customers can have the MC20 to their exact tastes and specification, the Italian carmaker is introducing Maserati Fuoriserie-a customization project aimed at providing truly personalized services.

"We wanted to give our customers something truly unique to remind everyone who sees this car of the countless surprises and enduring beauty they can expect from Maserati," Bordiga said.

Marking the brand's return to racing, the MC20 is packed full of the latest technologies, including a fully carbon fiber monocoque, double-wishbone suspension with active dampers, allowing the car to deliver ultimate performance while simultaneously ensuring maximum maneuverability and comfort.

In this September 2020 photo , Maserati's stunning MC20 super sports car is on display at the Beijing auto show. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

The MC20 also features frameless digital rearview mirror, which offers markedly increased visibility for the driver and the latest Maserati Intelligent Assistant, and the new Maserati Connect program. Via a 10.25-inch touchscreen central display, upgraded, real-time interconnected infotainment services are provided for customers.

The new MC20 was developed at the Maserati Innovation Lab and will be built at its Viale Ciro Menotti Plant in Modena, where Maserati models have rolled off the production line for more than 80 years.

This undated file photo shows Maserati's new Nettuno engine. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

A new production line, created in the spaces where the GranTurismo and GranCabrio models were assembled until November 2019, is ready to go at the historic plant.

Electrification plan

While Maserati is famous the world over for its iconic sports and racing cars, the marque is also looking to the future of mobility with an electrification strategy called the Folgore.

"The Folgore means lightning in Italian. We are igniting the power of a new energy under the same Maserati hood," Bordiga said.

"And not just in one model series, but across the entire portfolio, which means that within a short time, all new Maserati models will have an electrified version."

Maserati's new Ghibli Hybrid, is also showcased at the auto show in Beijing, marking the company's first step on the journey to electrification, and the new GranTurismo and GranCabrio will be Maserati's first cars to adopt 100 percent electric solutions.

READ MORE: Beijing auto show features abundance of new launches

Launched in July, these models herald the coming of Maserati's electrification era.

It has been a huge success so far, with orders for the Ghibli Hybrid Fenice Limited Edition being quickly filled up.

This undated file photo shows Maserati's new SUV Grecale, which plays a key role in the brand's development. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

Entering into a new era

Maserati's new SUV, the Grecale, is also on the horizon. Named after a legendary wind, this SUV is destined to play a key role in the brand's development.

"For our brand, this is a time to build-the time to be forward-looking and construct our future," said Davide Grasso, Maserati CEO.

"We are laying the foundation stone of our tomorrow and we are doing it together, guided by our passion, unique in our design and innovative by nature."

Bordiga said: "China is the biggest car market in the world and is a market in which our customers and potential customers do appreciate the concept of luxury. They appreciate Maserati mentioned in throughout the years."

He added: "Maserati has more than 60,000 car owners in China and the market is growing because of the much younger customers. It is very possible that the customers become loyal and they link longer with the Maserati brand. Clearly there is appreciation about the brand. So, for sure China will be central.

"When we target market share, we want to be at the top of the product offering in that specific segment. So, we will do many more volumes that we are doing now with adding the SUV, the Grecale," Bordiga said.

This undated file photo shows Maserati's latest generation Driver-in-Motion Dynamic Simulator. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

On the back of the strength of the Ghibli Hybrid, Maserati has launched a special edition named Fenice Limited Edition, which made William Chan, a famous actor from Hong Kong as its first spokesperson, sparking more sales. The 10 models released have already sold out.

"The car that we produce, of course there are some elements that have to be localized, like the system we cooperated with Tencent. That is clearly just for the Chinese customers, but the spirit of the brand, spirit of the car has to be the same everywhere," Bordiga said.

"We have some tweaks for the Chinese to appreciate, like the panoramic sunroof is a must, but this does not change the spirit of the car."

READ MORE: GM energizes China line-up with electric micro car

The new SUV and electric cars will be developed by the Maserati Innovation Lab in Modena.

In the lab, digital processes support product development, applying the exclusive Maserati formula which adopts an integrated approach to prioritizing the human factor right from the initial phases: customer-focus is incorporated in the world of virtual simulation with an exclusive hardware-software mix, according to the carmaker.

caoyingying@chinadaily.com.cn

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