In many ways, Monterey Car Week is a festival of excess. And what’s more excessive than a track day-only supercar special? This time, it’s the trident’s turn to enter the ring with the Maserati MCXtrema, a 730-horsepower flat-nose, dual-cockpit, track-only car you and I may never actually see in the metal.
Under the skin, the Maserati MCXtrema is fundamentally a hardened MC20 supercar. However, power’s been bumped to 730 horsepower, a full 109 horsepower more than the already rapid MC20 supercar offers.
Not that anyone complained of the MC20 being slow. Oh, and it weighs 551 pounds less than its tamer, roadgoing sibling. Yep, that’s serious. To harness all this unbridled aggression, Maserati has gone with a six-speed sequential transaxle with a mechanical locking differential, proper racecar stuff.
So, you want to make a throwback supercar. What do you do? You could come over all ’80s, with folded-paper styling and borrowed nostalgia. Fortunately, Maserati didn’t have post cars in the ’80s, because the brand went bust in 1975 and had no money to develop flights of fancy. The Biturbo was a rebuilding car, remember.
As it turns out, that’s not the worst thing to happen, because we could’ve easily ended up with something resembling the unfortunate Countach re-hash from the other year. Instead, Maserati reached for an infinitely cooler supercar decade than the ’80s — the 1970s.
Yes, the decade of massive pubes, distrust in American leadership, oil crises, and shit polyester clothing gave us some awesome supercars, like the Maserati Bora and Maserati Merak. These flat yet curvaceous instruments of violence are gorgeous, and Maserati remembers how bewitching they were. The MCXtrema is pointy without looking like Edward Scissorhands, it’s svelte without looking petite.
Sure, this track day special is basically a new nose and tail wrapped around familiar MC20 bones, but what a nose and tail this thing has. The tension over the arches, the relatively clean surfacing, the old-school-low front end, it’s pretty much all brilliant.
Inside the Maserati MCXtrema, the cockpit looks like a Casio G-Shock on acid, all yellow and blue with circles and stripes. There’s a carbon fiber pod encasing the driver, yet there’s still more interior room outside the pod in the space where a passenger can potentially sit. Yo dawg, I heard you like interiors. Outside of the reinforced driver cell, materials are spartan but artful, purposeful, and a great deal more sculptural than in most stripped-out track day specials.
So, want to buy an MCXtrema? Unfortunately, you can’t. Not now, and possibly not ever. See, Maserati has taken a page out of Ferrari’s playbook and hand-chosen all 62 MCXtrema customers. These cars will, for the most part, remain in Italy under lock and key until an event arises where customers may have the privilege to use their cars. That’s an enormous shame because the MCXtrema is both beautiful and special.
Sure, it may share part of its name with a Chevrolet pickup truck and sound like a secret menu item McDonald’s doesn’t want you to know about, but it’s a throwback done right, with just the right pinch of inspiration drawn to show heritage without being heavy-handed.
(Photo credits: Maserati)
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