If you fancy driving around in a hip-high, mid-engined slice of Italian exotica but crave something a little different from a Ferrari or Lamborghini, Maserati now has the answer in the shape of the MC20. And if you want one without a roof, you’re now in luck as the carmaker has just revealed a convertible version: the Maserati MC20 Cielo.
The Cielo carries over the hard-top MC20’s carbon-fibre chassis and its musical twin-turbocharged V6 engine, but in losing the roof Maserati has been refreshingly inventive: it’s no mere canvas covering, nor even a folding metal hard-top, but a glass unit that lets light in even when you don’t want the wind through your hair.
But if the sun intensity increases, the roof can be made opaque at the touch of a button using Polymer-Dispersed Liquid Crystal (PDLC) technology.
The glass roof was developed with convertible consultants Webasto, and Maserati says that it, and the extra body strengthening panels needed to maintain structural rigidity without the hard top, add just 65kg to the MC20 coupé’s weight.
The roof’s design doesn’t impact on the car’s aerodynamic performance, either, according to Maserati, and the top-down configuration has been carefully honed so that airflow into the cabin won’t disturb your coiffure on the way to Lake Garda for cocktails.
The opaque panel is a neat trick when you want to be discreet, but perhaps that’s not really the point if you’re driving one of the Cielos that enjoy PrimaSerie Launch Edition status. Those 60 cars will get the very bright new Acquamarina paint option, as well as gold-coloured 20in wheels.
For shrinking violets it is not, especially with the ‘ice-coloured’ cabin upholstery. Quieter colours and a black interior are available, too.
Maserati has taken the opportunity to upgrade the MC20 coupé alongside this new Cielo, so buyers get new interior switches and a bright blue engine start button. You can also have the seat headrests hand-stitched with the Maserati trident logo.
There are two 10in digital screens (one for the instruments and one for infotainment) and there’s an optional Sonus stereo if for some reason the engine isn’t entertaining enough for you. There’s a built-in Maserati digital assistant, and you can add in Amazon Alexa voice control if you like. Very modern for a car following in the footsteps of the likes of the Mistral, Ghibli and 3500GT Spider.
Power comes from the same 3-litre V6 engine as the coupé, and goes to the rear wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. Maximum power output is 621bhp, along with 538lb ft of torque. The 0-62mph sprint is achieved in a claimed 3.0sec. The top speed of the Maserati MC20 Cielo is more than 200mph.
There is double-wishbone suspension at each corner, with three-setting adaptive dampers, and the engine gets four driving modes: GT, Wet, Sport and Corsa (Race).
While the Cielo launches with the same engine as the coupé, electric power is on the way. Maserati has committed to becoming fully-electric by 2030, and will launch five new pure-electric models between now and then, badged as ‘Folgore’ — Italian for ‘Lightning.’
While other models in the Stellantis group, from the Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Vauxhall, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands, will use a series of shared, common electric platforms, Maserati’s will be bespoke for the moment.
The electric revolution for Maserati kicks off later this year with the battery-electric replacement for the GranTurismo coupé, which is rumoured to come with a 1,200bhp power output.
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