An iconic actress, Monica Vitti, is surrounded by men gawking as she enters a piazza in the Sicilian city of Noto in Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1960 masterpiece L’Avventura. Using a smouldering Aubrey Plaza instead of Vitti, the latest season of The White Lotus replicates the scene shot-for-shot. Her character observes that there are a lot of horny dudes in Noto, showing how predatory the scene is and how sexed-up it is.
There is a connection between us. Because we visited Sicily in Maserati’s new mid-engined drop-top supercar, the stunning Maserati MC20 Cielo, we were surrounded by carnivorous spectators in front of Noto Cathedral.
‘Cielo’ in Italian means ‘sky’, and we are driving along a cloudless azure sky with the convertible roof down. Its silhouette is resembling a targa-top with big buttresses behind the headrests, which helps preserve its proportions. But on a perfect day, when it’s time to invite the voyeurs, there has never been a more seductive MC20.
New Maserati MC20 Cielo 2023
202mph is not really the point of this £222,990 vehicle. Fast cars are all supercars. There is usually a sense of vacuity in them. They are harsh, gruff, and ungraceful. Brawn without brains. A car as clever as the Ferrari 296 GTS (with hybrid power) feels uncouth next to the Maserati. Mid-engined supercar MC20 Cielo is designed for thinking people. In circles around the Royal Opera House rather than Harrods, it gives off the appearance of an urbane polymath.
In the same way that the Maserati MC20 coupe has a clean, pure upper body, the Cielo’s lower parts are busy and intricate. To maximise aerodynamic efficiency, undercar airflow has been carefully considered. The dynamic butterfly doors have also been retained, aiding access and egress as well as enhancing the visual impact.
The Polycarbonate Engine
The polycarbonate engine cover window on the coupé is embossed with the Trident emblem. Bringing the ’80s back to life in a slightly outré way. A flatter cover panel under the roof on the convertible stylized the design elegantly. Underneath the hood lies the incredibly powerful 3.0 twin-turbocharged V6 nicknamed ‘Nettuno’. In 2.9 seconds, the MC20 Cielo accelerates from standstill to 62mph with 621 horsepower and F1-patented pre-chamber twin-spark ignition system.
It can be racy and relaxed at the same time. In comparison to its competitors, it has a wider range of emotions. With its own mood, this car is romantic and soulful. Cielo has greater substance and exoticism than the regular MC20 (same layout, 249bhp, £58,650). In spite of the Nettuno V6’s excellent and rapid performance, it lacks a bit of snap, crackle, and pop, but its lack of roof helps it to deliver greater volume. Slowing down a little, being gentler with the throttle, and enjoying the scenery are also encouraged.
Electrochromic Glass Roof
There’s more to the roof than meets the eye. Electrochromic glass is used to make it. When you touch a button in one of the menus, the screen switches from clear to opaque. Retraction and erection are performed in just 12 seconds, and the mechanism can be operated at speeds up to 30 mph. With the mechanism, the coupe only weighs 1,494kg, which is impressive. As a result of the monocoque, it remains strong, rigid, and maintains its precision handling.
This produces a driving experience that is stirring, yet not overly aggressive; a roadster, not a ragster, that is even more viscerally engaging than its tin-topped sibling. There is only one way to make it more alluring: add Monica Vitti and Aubrey Plaza. In their lustful approval, the Sicilian locals dropped their cannoli for their cell phones.
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