The Maserati MC20 in action on the routes of the Targa Florio

The new super sports car from the house of the trident recalled the triumph that the brand achieved in the mythical competition.

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On May 23, 1940, Maserati achieved his fourth consecutive victory in the legendary Targa Florio. The trident house car that crossed the finish line in first position was a Maserati Type 4CL with Luigi villoresi at the wheel, which added his name to the list of winners of one of the oldest races in the world.

To celebrate the 80th anniversary of this historic victory, Maserati returned to Sicily with a prototype of the MC20 to travel some of the roads where the history of the Targa Florio was written, such as the section where the famous Floriopoli.

The development of the new supercar continues with tests under different conditions of use, with the aim of collecting data and information for the final adjustments. After a first series of tests carried out with the dynamic simulator of the Maserati Innovation Lab In Modena, it is now the turn of driving on the road and circuit.

Maserati Type 4CL Targa FlorioThe MC20 marks the beginning of a new era for the Italian brand in terms of style and technology. It is also the first vehicle to use the new engine packed with innovative technological implementations that have been developed and built entirely by Maserati.

Through the new MC20, which will be launched in September, the Modena-based manufacturer aims to underline its sporting credentials and once again have a prominent role on the racing circuits, after its latest achievement in the FIA GT Championship 2010 with a car as extraordinary as the MC12.


Created in 1939, this single-seater was the brainchild of Ernest Maserati, the youngest of the Maserati brothers, who wanted to design a car that would be competitive in the races of the Voiturette class. The 4cc displacement 1.491CL was built on the 6CM chassis, but with a new four-cylinder engine with four valves per cylinder (a first in Maserati history). It was an extremely advanced impeller for its time, with internal “square” dimensions of 78 x78 mm that, with the help of a volumetric turbocharger, developed a maximum power of 220 CV at 8.000 rpm.

Maserati Type 4CL Targa Florio Gigi Villoresi 1940The automobile's debut in the racing world took place in Tripoli, in the Libyan Grand Prix 1939, where Villoresi took pole with the aerodynamic version of the 4CL. His first victory would come two Grand Prix later, in Nápoles, piloted by the English John Peter Wakefield, who achieved two other victories in France, in the Picardie Grand Prix y Albi.

In the second half of the 1930s, the Targa Florio was held in Palermo, in a circuit designed within the Favorite Park, with a total of 40 laps. The first to finish was Villoresi, designated the winner by many even before the race, which he reaffirmed by setting new records for average speed in the race (142,288 km / h) and fastest lap (147,201 km / h). Alberto Ascari He also participated in that edition (number 31), in his first season in competition and at the wheel of another Maserati.

Targa Florio Gigi Villoresi 1940
Gigi Villoresi, winner of the Targa Florio of 1940.

Villoresi won the last race in Italy and Europe before World War II, a result that confirmed the supremacy of the Modena-based manufacturer.

More achievements were to come in the postwar period. At the wheel of the 4CL, Villoresi himself was going to win the Nice Grand Prix in April 1946, with more victories for the French star Raymond Sommer, the english pilot Reg parnell and the mythical Tazio nuvolari. More triumphs were recorded in 1947 until in 1948 the 4CL was replaced by the 4CLT, featuring the new tubular chassis and dual-stage turbocharged intake system.

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Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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