2023 Maserati MC20 Cielo review

Convertible version of Maserati's flagship sports car combines thrilling performance with the ability to top up your tan. But how usable is it on UK roads?...

Maserati MC20 Cielo review, front, driving 2023

On sale: Now Price from: £235,225

What’s in a name? Well, the MC20 Cielo is going to be easy to identify as the convertible version of the Maserati MC20 coupé. You see, Cielo means ‘sky’ in Italian, so it gets straight to the point of wind-in-your-hair driving – especially when you can stow the glass roof electrically in 12 seconds.

Why not a soft-top? Well, the solid glass-panelled roof means you get to maintain the refinement of the coupé model and the compromise in structural rigidity should be minimal. The MC20’s basic carbonfibre structure is very light and also extremely stiff, so bolting a lot of reinforcement to the flagship sports car would be counterproductive.

The thing is, though, can you really have a hit of vitamin D in a thrilling supercar, or have there been too many chefs in Maserati’s kitchen when it cooked up the MC20 Cielo? That's what we've been finding out.

Read the full Maserati MC20 review

Maserati MC20 Cielo front, rear 2023

What’s the Maserati MC20 Cielo like to drive?

When you press the Engine Start button, a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 engine fires into life. Its loud, deep-sounding note is rather angry, if a little agricultural. It’s not quite as exotic-sounding as the V10 engines fitted in the Audi R8 Spyder or Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder but it's certainly less gravelly than the V8s found in McLarens. 

With 621bhp and a 0-62mph time of less than three seconds, the MC20 Cielo is just as powerful and barely any slower than the coupé version. That’s hardly a surprise when the Cielo weighs just 65kg more than the coupé, and the way the engine responds and picks up speed from low revs makes it easy to drive when pootling around town.

Our test car is optioned up to an eye-watering cost of more than £300,000, but it’s not daunting to drive at all. The controls are light and the size is easy to thread through villages.

When you plant your foot on the accelerator pedal, the engine fiercely revs to the limiter with little hesitation. The eight-speed double-clutch automatic gearbox changes gear quickly and smoothly (especially when using the paddles), and while it’s a little docile in its responses in GT drive mode, it does suit a more relaxed drive in low-speed town driving. In Sport mode, it’s much more keen to shift down a gear.

Maserati MC20 Cielo drive mode selector 2023

Speaking of which, you can cycle through Wet, GT (the default setting), Sport and Corsa drive modes using the rotary drive selector. This spring-loaded dial isn’t the easiest to use, because you don’t always know whether you’ve succeeded in engaging the mode itself, but even in the more aggressive modes, the MC20 Cielo never becomes harsh or uncompromising to drive.

Indeed, the ride is firm and can fidget over country roads, but the suspension manages to round off the harshest of bumps so well you very quickly learn not to wince when approaching potholes on the road.

And while you can sense a few tremors being transmitted through the car (or see the rear-view mirror wobbling away slightly), the MC20 Cielo’s carbon structure feels stiff enough to deal with it all. There are no creaks and it far from ruins the experience.

The steering is light and direct, and while the response isn’t as instinctively accurate as the one you’d get in a McLaren, it's still very easy to build into a rhythm down a twisty road. Body lean is effectively absent in the corners and there's an abundance of grip and traction.

Maserati MC20 Cielo front, driving 2023

The brake pedal is perhaps the biggest bugbear. The brakes themselves are strong and very effective, but the pedal needs pressing quite far down before they actually bite – and even then, they could be more progressive.

Nevertheless, the end result is a light and agile sports car that you can enjoy more often than you might expect. Sure, there are more hardcore rivals out there, but the MC20 Cielo’s suppleness lets you flow down our poorly-surfaced roads without feeling as though you have to dig deep and push the limits in order to do so.

What’s the Maserati MC20 Cielo like inside?

Lift up the very light doors, lower yourself into the sports seats and your eyes fall upon a very simple interior layout. 

It’s very easy to find a comfortable seating position in the MC20 Cielo, with plenty of adjustment from the seating and steering wheel, while the pedals are perfectly lined up. The seats are supportive with plenty of side bolstering to hold you in place.

Maserati MC20 Cielo interior 2023

The digital instrument panel has a few layouts that will change depending on the drive mode and can show various forms of data, although it can be fiddly trying to cycle through them with buttons on the end of the indicator/wiper stalks.

The low dash helps with the view forwards, but the view out of the back is very restricted. The roof is stowed above the engine. Depending on your seating position, you can only see over it with the top half of the rear-view mirror, and the view over the shoulder is obscured.

Despite a glovebox, a narrow cubby for a phone and a small cubby under the centre armrest, there’s not much in terms of outright storage space. 

There is, however, plenty of room to stretch out as an occupant and it doesn’t feel as though you’re cramming yourself into a small sports car. There is lots of leg room length-wise, the footwells are wide, and there’s enough room for anyone a little more than 6ft tall with the roof up. You might have to fight over who gets to rest their elbow on the narrow centre armrest, but there’s plenty of width between shoulders.

Maserati MC20 Cielo interior seats 2023

You might recognise some switches from Alfa Romeo models but the button count is low and mainly focused on the driver controls.

The glass roof has an electronically controlled film that can become opaque to reduce glare from the sun and can be adjusted on the infotainment touchscreen. Likewise, the roof can be adjusted on the same sub-menu. 

The infotainment system is packed with features and is easy enough to connect your phone to for using Android Auto and Apple Carplay but the icons are small and can be fiddly to aim for when driving. The row of shortcut keys could be placed on the right hand side of the screen closer to the driver too.

The slightly awkward shape and capacity of the 100-litre rear boot means it’s accommodating enough for a couple of overnight bags, while a smaller area up front is quite shallow. You’ll have to pack light if you plan to go far.


There’s a lot to like about the Maserati MC20 Cielo. You get the supercar looks and theatre, an incredible amount of pace and a thrilling drive that’s relatively easy to access on our roads. 

It’s by no means a slouch, but the inclination to ease off a notch and enjoy what the car offers at a more relaxed pace with the roof down adds another facet to its abilities. 

You’ll have to pay for it, though, and our test car came with more than £70,000 worth of options (slightly more than the equivalent price of a mid-spec Maserati Grecale Modena). They included the near-£10,000 Rosso Vincente red paint and Exterior Carbon Pack costing more than £36,000.

What Car? rating 5 stars out of 5

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Maserati MC20 Cielo

Price: £305,795 Engine: 6cyl, 3000cc, twin-turbo petrol Power: 621bhp at 7500rpm Torque: 538lb ft at 3000-5500rpm Gearbox: 8-spd automatic 0-62mph: 2.9sec Top speed: 199mph Fuel economy: 24.1mpg (WLTP) CO2, tax band: 265g/km, 37%

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