My Car Quest

October 22, 2020

Marketing: Mid-Engine Maserati MC20

So far, in the introduction of the MC20, Maserati has committed several marketing faux pax, but they can still save themselves by pricing it right…

by Wallace Wyss –

OK I get it, Maserati saw all these Ferraris rolling out the factory next door with flip-up doors, rear windows where you can see the engine and pricetags way up there and thought, hey, we can do that too.

So now we have the Maserati MC20.

Maserati MC20

But I think they had something going themselves as the luxury Italian brand that could make cars that Ferrari doesn’t. Four seater coupes that can cruise at 150 mph for instance. And an off-road SUV. Ferrari doesn’t do those for fear of weakening its macho image (at least not yet).

But Maserati can sell both luxury and performance. Maserati can sell products Ferrari doesn’t do. And I really think a lot of people buying mid-engined cars for the first time don’t realize how little “grand touring” designs offer with no room for a single full size suitcase. Ford was one of the worst when they did the ’05-’06 Ford GT that was a car you could barely fit in a briefcase let alone two bags for a weekend.

Maserati somehow made the MC20 announcement without mentioning the price. I think $150,000 would be good, sort of like the Dino was “the little Ferrari” when the Daytona was the big brother. 200k+ is Lamborghini and Ferrari territory and they would actually be competing with used Ferraris at that point. It is true Ferrari broke away from FCA but it wasn’t supposed to be that it would have to compete with cars from the same family.

Ferrari owns the top end of the luxury car sports car market and Alfa Romeo (what’s left of it) occupies the low end. Maserati would be much better having prices that compete with Porsche GT3 than Ferrari. If the price with options is $200,000, that is a mistake, it is above Porsche’s higher priced models. And a used 5-6 year old Ferrari 458 starts to look like a bargain. The MC20 should be between 100K and 130K. Above that sales dwindle as you get into real money. If Maserati is too greedy, they will price it too high to compete with Porsche, Audi and Mercedes’ higher end cars.

Maserati MC20

One problem with this car is that in a way it’s more progressive than Ferrari with a carbon fiber tub. Ferrari should be the one making limited production sports cars and not daily driver GTs — that is the niche Maserati should be occupying, in competition with mass produced sports GTs (BMW’s and Mercedes) while Ferrari concentrates on 2 seat sports cars (aka McLaren and Pagani) with the occasional 2+2. Ferrari will sell lots of million dollar limited editions if they can keep the right to be called “exclusive”. Now that they are making over 10,000 cars a year it’s increasingly harder to think of them as an exclusive brand.

So all right, Maserati, we understand. You wanted a mid-engine, with flip up doors and a side profile that comes within millimeters of aping many Ferraris and Lamborghinis. You got it. But now that you proved you can do it, will you puleeze go back to designing a car that a businessman can drive to the office and take to business meetings without looking like he’s trying to be a boy racer?

And get the price down to where it’s below a new mid-engine Ferrari V8. You’re only going to hurt Porsche and Mercedes if you’re in their price range. Your enemy is not Ferrari. It’s German cars and Aston Martin and even that bargain price 2020 Corvette (and we haven’t even seen the 2020 Corvette convertible hit the market yet, which will be more of a competitor for other mid-engined 2-seat convertibles than the coupe is…)

Maserati MC20

 

 

Let us know what you think about the Maserati MC20 in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the author of 18 car books, and has done marketing for Ford, Lancia and a number of other automakers. He is presently editing an anthology of Twilight Zone-inspired stories set in the world of car collecting.
 

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Marketing: Mid-Engine Maserati MC20
Article Name
Marketing: Mid-Engine Maserati MC20
Description
In the introduction of the Maserati MC20, Maserati has committed several marketing faux pax, but they can still save themselves by pricing it right.
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Comments

  1. SKIP HINOJOS says

    TOO BAD , NO DESCRIPTION OF ENGINE, HOW THE CAR HANDLES IN CURVES, STOPPING ABILITIES????

    • Wallace Wyss says

      The 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V6 was developed at the new Maserati Engine Lab in Modena, produces 621 bhp at 7500rpm and 538lb ft of torque from 3000-5500rpm.

      It also features the new Maserati Twin Combustion twin-spark ignition system and in the MC20 gets official fuel economy of 24.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 262g/km.

  2. Maserati was built on competition cars just like Ferrari. Even the brothers realized this and moved on from the name to continue building them at Osca. Orzi wanted road cars and did manage to produce a few exciting models but still went bust. Nothing has changed right up till now.

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