If you’re feeling glum about motorsport right now, we’ll forgive you. Every other headline these days seems to be a big brand pulling out of some race series or other. Even this week, Aston Martin pulled out of Le Mans Hypercars before anyone’s ever raced in the category.
Well, this time the headline is a marque going the other way. Maserati, one of the most famous racing brands of old, is returning to competitive motorsport for the first time in a decade. It’s building a brand new car for the job too, which goes by the name of MC20.
The manufacturer from Modena, Italy, last participated in competition back in 2010 with the all-conquering MC12. Developed from the Ferrari Enzo, Maserati and customer team Vitaphone Racing campaigned the MC12 for five seasons in FIA GT, winning the GT1 championship on all five occasions. Since then Maserati has been absent from motorsport save its own one-make Trofeo Maserati series, and its involvement in privateer Gran Turismo GT3 and GT4 cars.
We don’t know that much about MC20 just yet. As you can see from the images of the test mule above, it’s likely to be a mid-engined affair. Given Maserati’s close ties with Alfa Romeo, chances are it’ll share some structural similarity to the Alfa Romeo 4C. However Maserati says it has developed the car at the Maserati Innovation Lab, so it may not be too closely related.
The brand has been exceptionally coy about any specifics, but with access to some blown V8s and V6s, we reckon there’ll be something a lot more potent than the 4C’s 1.7-liter unit under the rear hood. Maserati has been talking about electrification recently, so we wouldn’t rule out a motor or two in the mix eventually.
Less vague is the name. MC20 is shorthand for ‘Maserati Corse’ — or ‘Maserati Racing’ in Italian — and 2020. The marque is very unequivocal about that, stating “Maserati will return to the world of racing with the new MC20”. Quite which category it’ll slot into is, as-yet, unstated.
For now, pretty much everything but the name is under wraps. We’ll know more when the trident-branded covers come off in Modena at the end of May.