The rumored Alfa Romeo 8C sports car was reportedly canceled late last year. This year, we suddenly get the all-new Maserati MC20, which the automaker claims it managed to develop in under two years — including a new 621 horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine. Could there be a connection?
From our friend Máté Petrány at The Drive:
The automaker said Wednesday that the MC20 program only began in January 2019. That suggests a very rapid development program, especially if we go with the idea that the MC20 somehow has nothing to do with Alfa Romeo’s canceled 8C supercar.
Somehow, (probably with help from Alfa Romeo), the team scraped together an engine in six months, as the article elaborates:
Maserati’s team managed to cook up its first actual engine in less than half a year, securing its prototype to the testbed by May. The Maserati Engine Lab can test cars with engines up to 1,000 hp and speeds of about 186 miles before continuing onto the track. Certification tests can take as long as 200 hours because every market demands five to six tests for certification, which means every test is repeated in all of the car’s modes. This is not specific to supercars, but to all new engines aiming for global homologation.
Maserati says an engine’s development requires from six months to a year in the testing room, representing between 400 and 600 hours on the roller beds to verify emissions and fuel consumption. After all this work put into the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, Maserati achieved a specific output of 207 horsepower per liter.
The Drive also points out that Maserati is being questionably tight-lipped about exactly who is responsible for the MC20's design. You would think that an Italian sports car brand trying to make a resurgence would have a little more confidence in backing their designer — that is, unless they don’t want to admit which shapes on the body were originally, potentially, for an Alfa Romeo. But that’s all speculation, for now.
Regardless, being based on another Italian sports car would make the new MC20 a lot like its quasi-predecessor, the Maserati MC12, in a uniquely Italian dimension. That car was heavily based on the even more iconic Ferrari Enzo, though it did have a tweaked engine and unique exterior design (save for the windshield). The new MC20 is also geared with the same 8-speed transmission as the new midengine Chevrolet Corvette, so it’s no stranger to sharing.
If the new MC20 is based on the allegedly dead 8C, who cares? At least we’re getting a car!