Maserati has revealed the MC20 Cielo, a convertible, more road-focussed, version of the flagship supercar capable of hitting 62mph in three seconds and with a top speed of just over 200mph.
Unveiled in a glitzy world premier from the marque’s home city of Modena tonight (25th May) the Cielo shares much of the coupe’s architecture as well as looks. Powered by the same 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 as the coupe the Cielo has 630PS (463kW) and 730Nm (538lb ft). Coupled with an impressively small raise in mass over the coupe, that means the roadster MC20 will very nearly match the coupe’s performance figures – just 0.1 seconds slower to 62mph and with a top speed of 1mph less.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the new MC20 is the addition of a fully glass and photovoltaic folding roof. Measuring 0.5m2 the glass panel is the largest in its class and can switch from transparent to opaque at the push of a button. It will fully fold away in 12 seconds and adds just 65kg extra weight to the MC20’s lithe frame.
Visually very little has changed on the MC20 to become a Cielo unless you put the roof down. Much like many rival convertible supercars the MC20 sprouts a pair of buttresses, to fill in the side profile of the car and match the coupe’s lines while acting as the Cielo’s rollover protection. Gone is the MC20 coupe’s engine cover, a series of slats that picked out the Maserati trident, instead a Maserati stamp has been added to the cover for the roof recess. There is an extra cooling vent on each side to replace the cooling lost with the lack of rear opening and another new vent just behind the roof hatch.
Maserati claims roughly equal stiffness to the coupe thanks to the addition of extra stiffening braces and an incredibly strong original carbon-fibre monocoque. The extra stiffening stretches to a pair of new braces around the doors and the clever use of the recess for the roof, which fits as part of the chassis and adds stiffness above the engine. The drag coefficient has also been raised by just two per cent (up to 0.39 compared to the coupe’s 0.38) and the extra mass is offset with retuned dampers.
The party piece of the convertible MC20, the impressive glass roof, is part of the reason the car is called Cielo. Not just stemming from the ability to expose the interior to the sunshine with a tin opener, but also by flooding the cabin with light from the glass. This system has already been seen on cars including the McLaren 720S, but, whereas the rapid McLaren cannot make its roof panels go completely opaque, Maserati has achieved an impressive 96 per cent opacity, ensuring that you should remain burn free even on the sunniest of days.
Underneath, the suspension has received changes to ensure that the roll rates match that of the coupe, despite the extra mass, but the reaction of the diff has been made less aggressive after turn in. Maserati says this is because people will buy the MC20 Cielo for road driving, where they are more likely to buy the coupe to take on track.
Inside, the Cielo matches its coupe sibling almost exactly, except for the addition of a new “digital” rotary dial for the drive modes. This is a simple rotary switch with a screen in the middle displaying the chosen mode setting. The steering wheel is now swathed in Alcantara as well as leather. The controls for the roof and glass are found in the central touchscreen.
The Cielo is the second of three different versions of the MC20 to be launched. Following the coupe last year, the Cielo will launch at the end of 2022 and be followed by the first full battery electric supercar from Maserati. Maserati confirmed at the launch of the MC20 Cielo that the EV will only be available in Cielo convertible form, with no coupe to follow. The first 100 MC20 Cielos will be sold through Maserati’s customisation process.
Full prices have not been confirmed for the MC20 Cielo yet, but Maserati confirmed it will be around a £30,000 uplift over the coupe’s £187,000 price tag.