Maserati Debuts F1’s Pre-Chamber Combustion for a Sportscar

Maserati will employ Formula One’s pre-combustion chamber technology for the first time in the sportscar class.

Its Nettuno engine will feature in the Maserati MC20 super sportscar that will make its world premiere in September. The unit was designed at Maserati’s Modena facilities, the Maserati Innovation Lab on Via Emilia Ovest, the workshops on Via Delle Nazioni (Maserati Corse’s historic base) and developed at the Engine Hub, situated at the famous Viale Ciro Menotti address where it will be built.

The new power unit is a 90° V6 3-liter twin-turbo gasoline engine also featuring the race-car dry sump oiling system. It claims to deliver 625bhp at 7,500rpm and 538ft-lbs of torque from 3,000rpm. Its compression ratio is a heady 11:1 while the stroke is 82 mm and the bore 88 mm.

In a world-first for a production car that could, ultimately, be used on public highways, the engine uses pre-chamber combustion system featuring twin-spark plugs directly derived from F1 racing cars. This chamber is set between the central electrode and the traditional combustion chamber and connected by a series of specially-designed holes.

A traditional sparkplug acts as a support to ensure constant combustion when the engine is operating at a level that doesn’t need the pre-chamber to kick in. There is also a twin fuel injection system allowing direct and indirect fueling. It is linked to the fuel supply pressure at 350bar and claims to the reduce noise low down on the rev range, lowering emissions and improving consumption.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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