Maserati spent its weekend reminiscing about victory in the 1940 Targa Florio, putting an MC20 prototype to work enhancing the gravitas of the anniversary. After winning the Targa in 1937, 1938, and 1939 with the Maserati 6CM and its 1.5-liter supercharged inline-six throwing 175 horsepower, the House of the Trident showed up in 1940 with the brand new 4CL powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder cranking 220 hp. Luigi Villoresi, who'd driven the 6CM to triumph the year before, crossed the line first in the 4CL to close out European racing until the end of World War II.
With a return to racing on the automaker's mind, Maserati took a camouflaged MC20 to the same Favorita Park roads that hosted the Targa. The soft-focus spy shots were taken in front of the Floriopoli stands, a stretch of bunting and banners not far from the Targa start line as historic competitors headed into the Sicilian mainland.
The MC20 is as photogenic in these shots as all the others, and as mysterious. The automaker seems intent on making everyone wait until the September debut to for any details that the prototype doesn't put on display. Prime among enthusiast interest is the powerplant. With Ferrari shutting down its supply of engines to the fellow Modenese sports car maker, Maserati says its new mid-engined coupe will be "the first car to use [its] new engine, brimming with innovative technological contents, developed and built by Maserati in-house." Short odds figure on a molto potente twin-turbo V6 sending power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, the long money isn't afraid to bet on a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 to replace the F154 V8 that Ferrari provides.
With race engineers undoubtedly sorting out a version for sports car racing as we speak, Maserati will certainly hope the competitive version matches the exploits of the 4CL. The vintage race car took pole in its first race, earned its first victory two races later, snatched up a bag of silverware before WWII, won the first race held in Europe after the war ended, and continued winning in 4CL and 4CLT trim until 1951 to take 31 total victories — nine more than the MC12 race car.