Engineering

Maserati's engine of the future is 100% Maserati, 100% made in Modena

The Maserati Nettuno engine is the first one developed by Maserati in decades.

Photo courtesy of Maserati

Maserati is in the midst of a redo. The brand is reshaping its image, starting with its allegiance to its home country of Italy. For months, the automaker, a division of FCA, has been pushing has on the message that its future is fully Italian, despite the looming merger between its American-Italian owner and the French PSA Groupe.

The next step in its product plans was to shift development and production of its engines to Italy. The Maserati Nettuno is the result of a team of Maserati technicians and engineers working at the Maserati Innovation Lab on Via Emilia Ovest and the workshops on Via Delle Nazioni to design the engine. It was developed at the Engine Hub, located at the Viale Ciro Menotti address where it will be built.

Maserati Nettuno engine

Photo courtesy of Maserati


Maserati's new engine is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder unit with V90-degree architecture. It's capable of delivering 621 horsepower at 7500 rpm and 538 pound-feet of torque from 3000 rpm.

The engine features a dry sump pump and has an 11:1 compression ratio. The stroke is 82 mm and the bore 88 mm.

The Italian automaker says the that "soul of the engine" its its pre-chamber combustion system that features twin-spark plugs. The chamber is set between the central electrode and traditional combustion chamber and connected by a series of specially-designed holes. The lateral spark plug is traditional in its action.

This technology is derived from Formula One use and will make its debut in a passenger car this autumn.

The twin-injection system is linked to the fuel supply pressure at 350 bar, working to reduce noise in the low rev range, which lowers emissions.

Maserati has lowered the traditional development time of an engine by utilizing virtual analysis via the Innovation Lab.

The engine will be employed first in the Maserati MC20, which is set to bring Maserati back to the world of racing. It is expected to debut in September.

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Dream job alert

You could become Dodge's Chief Donut Maker

You can apply to become a Dodge ambassador with some great perks.

Dodge

One lucky person is about to win the car enthusiast's job of a lifetime, though only for a year. Beginning today, Dodge is accepting applications for its new and temporary Chief Donut Maker

If the title alone isn't enough to make the job sound appealing, the benefits are seemingly endless. The lucky new Dodge "employee" will pick up a $150,000 salary, along with the opportunity to drive an SRT Hellcat company car for the year. Additionally, the winner will participate in all manner of racing and car-related events, take courses at Radford Racing School, and get a load of Dodge-branded clothing.

Dodge is Hiring a Chief Donut Maker www.youtube.com

If you're reading this and thinking it sounds like a blast - you're right. There's a catch, however, which comes in the form of an intense consideration process that culminates in a racing event with a pro driver on a closed course. A panel of judges will evaluate the video entries, and wrestler Bill Goldberg will oversee the race between the top ten finalists. Dodge says the series of eliminations will air like a reality TV show, with the winner being revealed in the final episode.

Today is the opening day of the application period. You have until February 28 to submit your short video, which can be a maximum of two minutes. Get busy making your video and head here to submit it before the deadline.

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTS My SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTS The pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTS I'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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