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New Maserati MC20 uses 630 horsepower to kick off a new era for the Italian automaker

The new Maserati MC20 is the first in a series of cars the look to reshape the Maserati brand identity.

Photo courtesy of Maserati S.p.A.

The Maserati MC20 super sports car has been revealed, bringing with it a new era for its Italian automaker. Its name is a combination of "Maserati Corse" and the last two digits of its debut year - 2020. It's aerodynamic, powerful, and rife with thoroughly modern technology.

With the car's design, Maserati's team looked to imbue elements of history and athleticism into a vehicle of modern mechanics and functionality requirements. Part of that was the installation of butterfly doors. Other nods include visual and connceptual likes to the MC12, the car that marked Maserati's racing comeback in 2004.

Maserati MC20 The company has installed butterfly doors on the model.Photo courtesy of Maserati S.p.A.

The Italian automaker has fine-tuned the car's dynamics using a Virtual Vehicle Dynamics Development system. It uses a mathematic model to perform 97 percent of the dynamic tests required for a new vehicle to become production-ready, shortening development time.

It took 2,000 man-hours to fine tune the design of the vehicle using Maserati's Dallara Wind Tunnnel and an additional 1,000 hours of computational fluid dynamics simulations. The car comes in a rear-wheel drive configuration and features a rear limited slip self-locking mechanical differential. An electronic differential is available.

Concealed under the hood is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that achieves 630 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque. The car can acceleration from zero to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds, the same as the McLaren 620R. With a curb weight of under 1,500 kg, the model has the best power-to-weight ratio in its class. The engine was designed and engineered in Italy by Maserati and paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Maserati MC20

Photo courtesy of Maserati S.p.A.

The MC20 has been created to enable convertible coupé and convertible versions and the ability to have a fully electric powertrain in the future.

The purposefully laid out interior features a driver-centric orientation with minimal controls and few creature comforts. Simple forms and lines dominate the the design.

In front of the driver and at the center of the dashboard are two 10-inch screens. The driver's information screen provides a fully digital look at the car's speedometer, odometer, and tachometer, among other functions. The infotainment touch screen on the dashboard joins a host of convenience and performance technology including a wireless phone charger, drive mode selector (GT, Wet, Sport, Corsa, and ESC Off), two speed selection buttons, and power window controls in the cabin.

The MC20 will be connected at all times with the Maserati Connect program. The range of services includes connected navigation, Amazon Alexa, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. That functionality can be managed via the screen, a smartphone, or smartwatch app.

The car's center console is clad in carbon fiber.

The MC20 will be available in six paint jobs at launch: Bianco Audace, Giallo Genio, Rosso Vincente, Blu Infinito, Nero Enigma and Grigio Mistero. Each color is new for the Maserati brand and they have been conceived, designed, and developed exclusively for the car.

Production of the model is schedule to commence at the end of the year. Orders are currently being accepted.

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Acura is revealing its next-gen MDX slowly, first with this, the MDX Prototype.

Photo courtesy of Acura

The MDX is the best-selling Acura in the lineup. It's also America's best-selling luxury three-row SUV. But that's not good enough.

Acura is redesigning the MDX and as it prepares to enter a fourth generation, a prototype of the new SUV will be shown on October 14. This looks to follow the same pattern as the TLX launch, which saw a prototype revealed about six months before the true model debut, just after the PMC Edition was put on sale.

Acura says that the next-gen MDX will usher in " new levels of Acura design, performance, technology and craftsmanship, assuming the mantle as the brand's new flagship model". And that's a good thing. The brand revolution that started with the RDX and continued with the TLX looks to go even further in a bid to re-establish Acura on its premium model throne.

The ofirst MDX was the industry's first three-row SUV based on a unibody platform, a design that has since gone mainstream as crossovers and lifestyle SUVs overrun a vehicle type that started as rugged off-roaders and family trucksters. Since it's debut, the MDX has garnered praise from buyers and critics alike including winning the 2001 North American Truck of the Year and 2001 Motor Trend SUV of the Year awards.

Over the past two decades, cumulative sales have surpassed 1 million units, securing MDX's place as the best-selling Acura model, accounting for roughly one-third of the brand's U.S. sales since its launch.

"We're accelerating Acura's commitment to Precision Crafted Performance and this fourth-generation MDX is the most ambitious and consequential redesign of an Acura core model in our history," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and Acura brand officer. "This all-new MDX will take us into new territory in terms of performance, prestige and emotional appeal."

The teaser image (above) and video (below) that were released today highlight the sharply sculpted beltline running the perimeter of the wider, lower and longer MDX, connecting the Jewel Eye LED headlights at the front to the Chicane LED taillights in the rear.

The MDX Prototype pulls heavily from the RDX and TLX with design nods to each. Still, it's unmistakably a three-row SUV. Though we don't know for sure what's under the hood, expect the MDX to have more a dynamic driving style when it debuts, following in the vein of the RDX and TLX redesigns.

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The Aznom Palladium is going to be slightly larger than the Rolls-Royce Phantom.

Photo courtesy of Aznom

If you didn't know that Aznom was making a vehicle they call a "hyper-limousine", you aren't alone. Most Americans have never heard of Aznom, a luxury car customizer. You may be hearing more about them soon.

The Monza, Italy-based company is looking to create a vehicle that can be used by heads of state that employs the opulence of luxury automobiles from the 1930s. The vehicles Aznom admires had voluminous dimensions and all-terrain capability.

Azonm says that Palladium is "without a doubt a surprising vehicle and, in the manufacturer's intentions, is set up to fill an interesting and exclusive niche."

Aznom Palladium The car's design is inspired by Greek and Roman architecture.Photo courtesy of Aznom

Palladium's designers have described the car as a "hyper-limousine" that unites the traditional characteristics of a luxury sedan with dynamic drive qualities. Aznom lists the desirable sedan features as comfort, materials and manufacturing quality, ample space, and reliability. They also describe the Palladian as "powerful, strong and unstoppable like a true all-wheel drive off-road vehicle".

The model was designed by Alessandro Camorali and his Camal Studio, which is based in Torino, Italy. He took inspiration from classic Greek and Roman style.

The vehicle's proportions are large. It's nearly two meters tall and six meters long. That's slightly bigger than the Rolls-Royce Phantom.

Aznom is committed to creating a small series of Palladium vehicles.

The official unveiling of Aznom Palladium is scheduled for the last week in October in Milan, during the Milano Monza Open Air Motor Show.

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