Atmospheric composition by Federico Fellini No Dolce VitaThe Roadster plays a central role in the winding story, as do the Fascinating Romans. Can anyone imagine the flowing blond mane of actress Anita Ekberg that a closed coupe would have?
Channeling this gritty theme, Maserati has unveiled the MC20 Cielo Spyder, which expands the MC20 superhero’s personality into a more open and mind-blowing direction. However, as we learned at the car’s debut here in Motor Valley, Italy, the new Cielo—Italian for “sky”—in fact, has included fairly sensible ways that focus on engineering to make blowing your hair back an even more emotionally charged experience. .
Klaus Boss, Maserati Chief Design Officer, describes the MC20’s visual treatment as focusing on “visual longevity and purity,” which is another way of saying it’s less concerned with glee and fashion than durable, clean looks. Busse contextualizes the modern Maserati brand in a way that goes against many traditional views. “Design is the second most important thing in a Maserati,” he says. “Technology and performance are first.”
Certainly, Maserati has packed a number of technical innovations into its carbon fiber supercar. And at least aesthetically speaking, in coupe form, the MC20 carries an edge of solemnity with its angular nose, purposeful midsection and subtly curved shoulders. Ditching the fixed bonnet, the Maserati roofline keeps much of its former smoothness, just adding an extra amount of height to the carbon-fiber flying struts in order to accommodate the complex folding sections underneath. In order to keep the rear deck from looking bulging, the designers convinced the engineers to reposition it as low as possible, which necessitated tactics such as re-harnessing the engine wiring to a lower position in order to enhance the car’s overall visual proportions.
Like some carbon competitors in the UK, Maserati has electrically integrated a “smart glass” window that promises to either block out the sun or let in light at the touch of a button. However, unlike its Surrey counterparts, the Maserati system switches to fully opaque mode when the system is not powered up, creating a photoresistive barrier unlike competitors, which do not completely block solar rays. The liquid crystal dispersed polymer retractable roof adds more complexity and weight than an opaque panel would, helping to increase the overall weight to 143 pounds. But the performance numbers are basically unchanged: 0 to 62 mph in about 3 seconds, and a top speed of over 199 mph.
Responsible for these measurements is the Cielo twin-turbocharged Nettuno V-6 engine that screams up to 8000 rpm and produces 621 horsepower, figures similar to its coupe counterpart. Although the vehicle’s stability control systems remain unchanged, the suspension settings have been adjusted in order to accommodate the additional weight. While we still have to try out the MC20 Cielo (watch this space for an initial driving review), its sporting spirit appears to have remained intact, apart from a recalibrated active rear differential which may result in more predictable handling characteristics. Maserati claims that the Cielo will offer best-in-class thermal insulation from the retractable hardtop and a 12-second closing time at speeds up to 31mph, providing a degree of versatility that makes it suitable for everyday use.
The Cielo’s roof structure may bother purists when it’s top-up, as the midsection isn’t quite as streamlined as that found on the stationary coupe. However, when the tonneau lifts and reveals a large Trident logo embedded under the translucent layer and finished in titanium, the MC20 becomes an intangibly cooler-looking supercar that brings to its spirit more sprezzatura than the non-outdoor alternative.
Nicknamed Acquamarina, the three-tone metallic launch color brings a subtly iridescent ambiance to the actions, underlining the model’s more elegant side. The convertible doesn’t quite reach the hedonism and disappointment of the movie No Dolce VitaBut it’s definitely a compelling way to calm your hair. The Maserati MC20 Cielo Spyder 2023 will arrive in US showrooms later this year.