Maserati has revealed the MC20 Cielo, a roadster version of the mid-engined MC20 junior supercar.
“Cielo” means sky in Italian, which makes it a pretty apt name for a mid-engined car that at the touch of a button can stash its hardtop under the rear deck-lid in just 12 seconds, and whose Webasto glass roof panel can be turned from clear to opaque, also with the tap of a finger.
We’ve seen older versions of that kind of dimmable roof technology before on convertibles like the Mercedes SL and McLaren 720S Spider, but this one can switch to fully opaque, like the Variable Light Control system in a Porsche Taycan fitted with a (non-retractable) panoramic roof. Maserati says the thermally insulated glass panel can alter its opacity at temperatures between -22F and 185F (-30C to 85C), so short of the Sun crashing into the Earth, it’s fair to assume it’s going to work 24/7.
When retracted, the roof stores below a new solid rear deck-lid panel that means you can’t see the 3.0-liter bi-turbo V6 that’s visible beneath a clear window on the MC20 coupe. But echoing the trident-shaped vents in the coupe’s rear screen, and ensuring that SUV drivers can tell what you’re driving from their lofty perches, the Cielo’s rear deck can be optionally emblazoned with a giant decal of Maserati’s three-prong logo made from matte titanium.
You won’t be surprised to hear that the conversion from coupe to cabrio has added a few pounds to the MC20’s weight. But Maserati claims it has limited the additional flab to 143 lbs (65 kg), giving the Cielo a curb weight of 3,395 lbs (1,540 kg). Because the Cielo runs the same 621 hp (630 PS), 538 lb-ft (730 Nm) and eight-speed dual-clutch transmission as the coupe, performance still takes a hit. But it’s only a modest one: the zero to 62 mph time increases from 2.9 seconds to 3.0 seconds, and zero to 124 mph (200 km/h) is up four tenths to 9.2 seconds.
Maserati also quotes a top speed of “more than” 199 mph (320 km/h), rather than the “more than” 202 mph (325 km/h) it gives for the coupe, but one thing that hasn’t reduced is the trunk space. Which is a good thing, because the 1.77 cu-ft (50 liters) available in the nose and 3.5 cu-ft (100 liters) in the rear makes a McLaren GT (20 cu-ft, 570 litres total) look like a U-haul.
The Cielo shares various upgrades introduced to the coupe for the 2023 model year, including a Roman numeral-themed alloy rim, the option of lightweight carbon rims that save a total of 66 lbs (30 kg), a standard Alcantara steering wheel that can be swapped for a carbon version, and an optional electrically adjustable steering column.
Also updated is the rotary drive mode dial on the tunnel, which now features a digital touchpad at its center. The display shows which of the five available modes (wet, GT, Sport, Corsa, ESC Off) is selected and with a swipe of a finger can be swiped to reconfigure the rotary dial to allow selection of suspension settings using the same twisting motion.
A new three-layer pale blue Acquamarina paint seen in these pictures is available via Maserati’s Fuoriserie customization program, but if you see one on the street when the first Cielos hit dealers later this year, you might well be looking at a PrimaSerie Launch Edition. Around 60 cars will be created showcasing the new hue, Maserati’s also-new Roman numeral-inspired MM20 wheels wearing a gold finish, and PrimaSerie badging.
Prices are still TBC, but given the MC20 coupe costs $216,995, we’d not expect much change from $230k for the Cielo. Would you take this over a Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet? Leave a comment and let us know.