Sky’s the limit: At the global premiere of Maserati’s MC20 Cielo in Modena, Italy
Transforming from coupe to convertible in just 12 seconds, the Cielo is the topless answer to Maserati’s first-of-its-kind super sports car: The MC20.
What’s better than the Maserati MC20? The Maserati MC20 Cielo, probably. Unless you don’t fancy super cool drop-tops.
The Cielo is Maserati’s topless answer to the MC20, the first-of-its-kind Maserati super sports car with butterfly doors that was first unveiled in 2020.
We had the pleasure of test-driving the coupe several times in Singapore since it arrived earlier this year and, several weeks ago, we had the privilege of being in the Italian car manufacturer’s home of Modena, Italy, for the global premiere of the Cielo.
Now the spyder promises to be as lightning-quick and feather light as the coupe, fitted with the same 3.0-litre, 6-cylinder twin-turbo Nettuno engine that signals a return to the brand’s racing heritage and its GranTurismo spirit with the carmaker’s return to producing its own power units after a hiatus of more than 20 years.
The “MC” therefore stands for Maserati Corse (racing) while 20 refers to 2020, the year this new era was set in motion. Meanwhile, “Cielo” references the “sky”, which you’ll see more of in this new gorgeous drop-top.
So here you have technology derived from Formula 1 packing 630 horsepower and 730 Nm of torque for some serious fun behind the wheel. Add to that some impressive figures, too – like going from standstill to 100 km/h in a mind-bending 3 seconds.
ITALIANS DO IT BETTER
Design, that is. And this is evident at first sight with the MC20 Cielo.
Designed at the Centro Stile Maserati in Turin and manufactured at the historic plant on Viale Ciro Menotti, the Cielo appears to be envisioned as a sculpture in motion. There is a purity to its form, as if carved by the wind and underwritten by childhood dreams.
It evokes a certain sensuality accentuated by the uncommon elegance of those butterfly doors that’s altogether breathtaking from every angle.
In keeping with the “sky” theme comes an unexpected sheen: A new three-layer metallic colour known as Acquamarina, available as part of the Maserati Fuoriserie customisation programme and seen here in the launch edition. It proffers an iridescence reminiscent of the great outdoors, interacting with light in interesting ways and rather charming in its changeability.
What Maserati does best is luxury, surely, and you can also opt for bespoke details like having the trident logo embroidered on the headrest by hand. And we’re also loving the new (optional) diamond-cut alloy rims, fashioned as double Roman numerals recalling the car’s name and the year marking the beginning of this new era for Maserati.
It’s all very pretty on the inside, too, with ice-coloured Alcantara and leather adorning the cabin, matched with a pared-down cockpit featuring two 10-inch screens and minimal controls necessary so the driver can focus purely on enjoying the fabulous drive.
For those who want something even more exclusive, the PrimaSerie edition represents the pinnacle of a Maserati launch, comprised of a limited series of around 60 models featuring exclusive finishes and detailing. These include badges on the bodywork that come in a finish specific to PrimaSerie models, and new MM20 wheel rims in a special gold finish and laser-engraved with “PrimaSerie” wording.
RAISE THE ROOF
Now the key difference between the coupe and the spyder is, of course, the topless nature of the latter which lends itself to a further enhancement of aesthetic – particularly if you’re into all things flash and being seen with the wind in your hair.
But if not, no worries, as the Cielo transforms back from convertible to coupe in just 12 seconds (rival-beating, they say).
Now this isn’t your standard retractable glass roof; it’s a state-of-the-art electrochromic “smart glass” that’s coated with advanced polymer-dispersed liquid crystal technology where with just a tap of a button, the roof turns from clear to opaque (or vice versa).
So playing with the concept of “sky”, you get to decide just how much of it you desire, and it works at virtually all temperatures, from -30 to +85 degrees Celsius. It’s also the largest clear glass roof in its segment and it’s said to offer the best-in-class in terms of thermal insulation.
What is standard, though, is the fact that you get the fully retractable glass roof as standard and not as an added option. The Cielo is the only model in its class to offer this – instead of the more common canvas or sheet metal retractable roofs – and with no impact on the car’s storage space. In fact, this convertible offers the same storage space and interior roominess as its coupe version.
Furthermore, when transforming a coupe into a convertible, managing the increase in weight is often a major challenge. But through some precision design and engineering, Maserati has managed to keep the Cielo’s weight just 65kg over its coupe cousin so we don’t expect any compromise on its dynamic performance and drive pleasure here.
In terms of acoustics, though, we recommend going for the optional High Premium Sonus faber audio system. The EISA (Expert Imaging and Sound Association) award-winning audio system is far superior than what you get in the standard base unit, with 12 speakers strategically situated around the cabin to provide optimal acoustics.
With a super sports car like the MC20 Cielo sitting so wonderfully low, you may also wish to add on the optional hydraulic system that raises the vehicle for extra ground clearance when negotiating speed bumps or very steep inclines.
Because the sky may be the limit in the Cielo but it’s important to always stay grounded.
CNA Luxury was in Modena at the invitation of Maserati.