2022 Maserati MC20 Cielo revealed

2022 Maserati MC20 Cielo revealed

MOTOR / By John Carey / May 26, 2022 (Photo credit: Maserati)

The 2022 Maserati MC20 Cielo has been revealed, with the new convertible version’s price tag set to eclipse that of its coupe stablemate.

The glass roof of Maserati’s new MC20 convertible does more than just retract in 12 seconds flat. It can also switch from clear to opaque in an instant.

To highlight the fact this super-spider has something other species lack, Maserati has come up with a new designation. The MC20 Cielo (Italian for ‘sky’) was officially revealed overnight in Maserati’s home town of Modena.

The MC20 Cielo will also be built in Maserati’s small assembly plant in Modena. It will arrive in Australia in the middle of 2023. While exact specification and pricing are yet to be fixed, expect the open-air MC20 experience to cost more than the $438,000 coupe.

Cielo is the second instalment of Maserati’s supercar-revival trilogy. It follows the MC20 coupe launched last year. Still to come is the promised EV version, which is sure to be quicker than either of its internal-combustion engine siblings.

Still, the performance of the MC20 Cielo isn’t going to disappoint. It has the same Maserati-manufactured twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 and eight-speed Tremec-made double-clutch transmission as the coupe, yet weighs only 65 kilograms more.

Maserati’s 0-100km/h claim for the rear-drive convertible is “approximately 3.0 seconds”, making it only around one-tenth slower than the hardtop. The 463kW Nettuno engine, with its patented F1-Style pre-chamber combustion system, can push the Cielo to a similar 300km/h-plus top speed.

According to Maserati, careful engineering of the MC20’s carbon-fibre central body structure is the reason for the Cielo’s minimal weight gain compared to the coupe. With alterations to the number of carbon-fibre layers and their orientation in key areas, exactly the same design provides the basis for all three MC20 versions.

And this means the Cielo has the same upward-opening butterfly as the coupe. While there are changes to the exterior carbon-fibre body panels, Maserati says the clean and elegant shape of the convertible generates similar downforce to the coupe.

Though the retractable glass roof has an area of more than half a square metre, the Cielo’s storage space – 150 litres in total, shared between rear and front compartments – is unchanged, too. Developed in partnership with specialist Webasto, the polymer-dispersed liquid crystal tech that allows the roof to switch between opaque and clear works in a wide temperature window; from -30 to +85 degrees celsius.

The interior of the Cielo retains the minimalist look of the MC20 coupe, but there are some changes. On the central tunnel, the drive mode selector dial becomes a digital touch device that glows a different colour for each of its five settings. And the low-mounted, landscape-oriented 10-inch central touchscreen features the latest generation of Maserati’s Android Automotive-powered infotainment tech.

There are some major upgrades to the MC20’s active safety arsenal, too. The Cielo introduces autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition and a 360-degree view camera. All these are certain to be adopted by the coupe and coming EV.

Convertibles account for around one-third of super sports car sales globally, Maserati estimates. The arrival of the Cielo means the long-lived brand can at last tap this high-margin market.