By now, you must have read the stories about the Maserati MCXtrema. You may have also noticed the teaser posters that Maserati released prior to Monterey Car Week. The fact that Maserati was working on this car was no secret. The car was labeled 'Project24', though information about what Maserati was up to was light.
What you may not know is that a day before the public unveiling, Maserati gathered representatives of a select few media houses (Fortloc was honored to be invited too) and others to a location in a quiet and somewhat hidden neighborhood in Monterey, California for a preview event. Here attendants got to see the MCXtrema under NDA, along with some of Maserati's latest offerings.
The other cars included the Granturismo Folgore, the MC20, and the Formula E Maserati MSG Racing car. The preview event was only scheduled for 30 minutes as Maserati planned to prepare the car for its world premiere at the Quail the next morning.
Maserati also held other events at this location, including a press reception in the evening. By then, the MCXtrema had been shipped to the Quail Lodge, but the Maserati executives were still available to answer questions about the cars.
During the press reception, the cargo container shown in the MCXtrema videos and official photos was still there, but it now housed the Maserati Formula E car.
The MCXtrema is a derivative of the MC20, and one look at it will reveal its agile, "drive me if you dare" persona. It's a limited production track-only 730hp racer that's likely to make any track day memorable. Only 62 will be made, and, as you may have guessed, they're sold out.
Like any track-only car, you won't see bells and whistles typically found on supercars here. Only the essentials are present for the all too familiar weight savings reason. However, Maserati emphasized control, performance, and comfort (something many track-only car designers ignore), so the car isn't completely stripped down as you may expect.
Exposed carbon fiber is always a delight to see on any car, and Maserati was quite generous with this all around the car (including the wheels). While the press shots offer great views of this, seeing it in person makes one appreciate this track-beast's true beauty. It made the other two cars displayed alongside it at the Quail look ordinary despite their remarkable and flamboyant paint jobs.
Engine and Performance
Under the hood, you'll find the twin-turbo 3.0L Nettuno V6 engine upgraded with new turbochargers to produce 730hp (110hp more than the MC20) at 7500rpm and 730Nm max torque at 3000rpm. The star of the show is the patented Twin Combustion system which brings with it a pre-chamber combustion system and twin spark plugs.
With a power-to-weight ratio of 1.8kg/CV facilitated by the light central carbon-fiber monocoque, this beast will likely 'fly' on the track. When a design team like Maserati Centro Stile isn't constrained by the restrictions of building a street-legal car, the gloves come off.
Given the car's intended primary use, there's a strong concentration of effort on aerodynamics. At the front, you'll find a bold design intended to increase aerodynamic performance. The splitter was put together to provide increased downforce to the front axle. The hood also incorporates aerodynamic channels that resemble the Maserati Trident.
The large scoop at the top is attached to the adjustable wing via a central fin. At the rear, you'll find a mesh built for efficient cooling and a large extractor.
Maserati appears to have done their part to ensure efficient cornering. Now, it's up to the driver to execute.
The first thing that's likely to catch your attention in the cockpit is the carbon and aluminum steering wheel. This engineering beauty has a five-inch display in the middle surrounded by functional buttons on both sides and rotary selectors at the bottom. Of course, the racing bucket seat with 6-point belts nicely housed in a protective roll cage will leave an impression too. If you're curious about the passenger seat, it is optional.
What may surprise you is the emphasis on ergonomics which isn't necessarily prioritized in the typical racecar. All the key parts of the cockpit, including the pedal box, steering column, and the positions of the controls, are carefully located based on the result of research to find the most optimal position to ensure easy access and facilitate high-performance driving.
You'll be happy to know that the air conditioning system wasn't left out. In fact, the vent is positioned to optimize airflow to the driver. No sauna-like track day experience here!
The MCXtrema was designed to keep the car firmly on the track and offer the driver the tools to achieve the ultimate track driving experience. However, there's no denying that it's also designed to turn heads on track days, and it will certainly do that while offering extreme excitement to the fortunate racing enthusiasts who own the car.
A set of 62 individuals are about to experience a track car that'll blow their minds, earn the admiration of other people at the paddock, and keep them loyal to the brand. Hopefully, at least one of them will be willing to let us have at least one lap in this track titan.