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Maserati MC20 prototype sports car spied testing in Italy

Maserati parked the car in a very interesting spot for this photo.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Don't call it a comeback. They've been here for years. Call it a reinvention. An evolution. A modernization. Whatever you call it, it's all part of a cash and design infusion into the Italian automaker that has be struggling to find a foothold in the marketplace for years.

Fresh on the heels of announcing an electrified future, Maserati has rebased its own series of spy shots featuring the MC20 prototype. The MC20 is a sports car that was designed and engineered at the Maserati Innovation Lab in Modena, Italy.

Maserati MC20 Prototype Milan

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

That bit about being straight from Italy is important to the brand. Despite being owned by a company headquartered in the Netherlands (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) that is about to merge with a company headquartered in France (PSA Group), the Maserati team has been given the freedom to design using Italian sports car DNA.

The selection of photos Maserati publicized as part of the testing announcement were meant to illustrate the company's new global statement, "Master of Italian Audacity." In the infamous words of that classic American tale "Dodgeball", "That's a bold strategy, Cotton."

Maserati is calling the MC20 the "first and ultimate" expression of that new statement.

The prototype has been photographed at night in Piazza degli Affari in Milan, below a giant white marble hand statue with broken fingers called "L.O.V.E" by renowned artist Maurizio Cattelan. The statue was created in 2010 and its name is an acronym for the Italian words libertà, odio, vendetta, eternità (freedom, hate, vengeance, eternity).

The car's trip around Milan kicks off the start of a period of road and track tests, in various conditions of use, to acquire vital data for the preparation of the car's final setup.

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The new Z starts at under $40,000.

Nissan

The new Nissan Z is finally here, and the 400-horsepower sports car is hitting the market with a reasonable price. The car starts at just $39,990 before a $1,025 destination charge. That's significantly cheaper than the least expensive Toyota Supra for a car with impressive specs and great style.

2023 Nissan ZThe Z gets a 400-horsepower V6 from Infiniti.Nissan

The 2023 Z comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that makes 400 horsepower. It's paired with either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. That's the enthusiast's dream setup, and it's one of few cars available in the U.S. with a manual gearbox. The body is stiffer and features more reinforcements from prior cars, and the steering system now features electric assistance instead of hydraulics. 18-inch wheels are standard and 19-inchers are available.

When it announced the car, Nissan made a point to talk about its retro-inspired styling and classic proportions. The coupe features a sweeping roofline, a distinct front fascia, and is unmistakeably a Z car, through and through. Inside, the car features a three anlog gauges for a classic look, 12.3-inch configurable digital gauge cluster and a 9-inch touchscreen display. The cabin looks upscale and tech-forward, with deep bucket seats.

2023 Nissan ZThe 2023 Z lands this summer. Nissan

Nissan says the new Z will go on sale in summer 2022. Pricing starts at $39,990 for the base Sport trim, $49,990 for the mid-range Performance trim, and $52,990 for the limited-edition range-topping Proto Spec trim.

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The 2023 Acura Integra is a very good thing
Acura

After years of rumors and speculation, we finally got confirmation that the Acura Integra is returning. The iconic Japanese sports car left the market in the early 2000s, and has been notably absent since. Now, though, Acura is bringing it back. Today, the automaker announced that production had begun. The new Integra will be the first to be built in the U.S., and production will take place at Acura's Marysville Auto Plant. Interestingly, Acura's five other models are built in the Ohio facility.

2023 Acura Integra2023 Acura Integra reservations begin soonautomotivemap.com

The Integra will start arriving on dealers' lots in early June, and will carry a starting price of $30,800 before destination. The car is the only liftback in its segment, and gets a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower. A six-speed manual is available, but buyers can opt for a continuously variable transmission.

2023 Acura IntegraThe new Integra comes as a five-door only. Acura

Acura says the Integra rolls down the same production line as the TLX sedan. The car required a rethink of Acura's production processes, and COVID-19 threw a wrench in development efforts. Acura notes its team worked rmotely and traveled to Japan to collaborate with home-office engineers. The Integra will also usher in a new training process for Acura, where associates learn the vehicle, the production process, and tooling before ever seeing the actual car.

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