Maserati’s New Nettuno V-6 Engine Has Clever Tricks Up Its (Cylinder) Sleeves

The Maserati MC20 has been developed with none enter from long-time benefactor and engine provider Ferrari, and its first all-new engine—the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 Nettuno—is kind of spectacular. Its Formula 1-inspired pre-combustion chamber received all of the headlines through the automotive’s launch final yr, however we simply had an opportunity to (just about) tour the Maserati Engine Lab the place MC20 engines might be assembled (on the positioning the place engines have been constructed when the Orsi brothers first moved Maserati from Bologna to Modena) and realized some fascinating clarifications and new details about this historic new engine.

Professionals and Cons of That 90-Diploma Financial institution Angle

Professionals of the engine’s 90-degree financial institution angle cited by chief engineer Matteo Valentini: It offers a very good compromise in total engine width (39.four inches), peak (25.6 inches), and weight (lower than 485 kilos). Maserati has a protracted historical past and reliability observe report with 90-degree engines (and although he didn’t say it, maybe some tooling that’s optimized for that setup). It additionally permitted adequate house to package deal the added plumbing required for the port and direct injection, in addition to Maserati Twin Combustion expertise, which a 60-degree financial institution angle apparently wouldn’t.

Cons: When utilizing a four-main-bearing crankshaft with frequent crankpins for adjoining cylinders, a V-6 engine solely fires evenly (each 60 levels) if the cylinder financial institution angle is 60, 120, or 180 levels. Maserati selected to not offset the crankpin angles for even firing, so there might be a “lope” to the cadence of its firing, simply as there was within the authentic 1962 Buick Fireball V-6, which was derived from Buick’s 215-ci aluminum V-8. This may improve the small inherent imbalance created at any time when there’s an uneven variety of cylinders in a line. The Buick reportedly ran so tough that an exec from rival American Motors described it as “rougher than a cob.”

No Stability Shaft!

Common Motors break up the Buick V-6’s crankpins in order that it will fireplace evenly (as soon as each 60 levels of crank rotation) in 1977, after which added a steadiness shaft in 1988, however Maserati owns the snarl its engine makes and perceives no want for any such gentrification efforts. In any case, designing the crank to include additional throws would both compromise its stiffness and energy or pressure it to develop in size. Likewise, including a steadiness shaft would definitely rob energy and add weight. And naturally, engine mount expertise has come a great distance because the ’60s, so perhaps it’ll be simply high quality.

The Prime 100 Horses

When requested what contribution the Maserati Twin Combustion (pre-combustion chamber) expertise contributed, Valentini famous that this engine with out it will make simply over 500 hp and that partaking the prechamber ignition is important to take output to the complete 621 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque. He was fast to notice, nonetheless, that when driving the MC20 you’ll by no means discover a transition from “typical” direct injection and in-cylinder spark-plug ignition to prechamber ignition; no VTEC-cam switch-over level. Refined engine maps decide when to section the port and direct injection out and in, and when to fireplace the primary cylinder plug or the prechamber plug.

At low-to-moderate masses and engine speeds, combustion is initiated by the primary plug within the cylinder. When the hammer’s down and the revs are rising, the maps start to section within the centrally positioned prechamber. With its plug firing, combustion begins within the prechamber after which shoots out of the tiny jets within the backside of the chamber to assist propagate the flame entrance extra shortly all through the cylinder.



No Scorching-Vee?

All of the cool children (AMG, BMW M, Audi RS, Porsche, Cadillac, McLaren, and many others.) are snuggling their twin-turbochargers down within the valley of their 90-degree vees. So why does Maserati keep on with inboard consumption, outboard exhaust? Valentini’s official reply: They couldn’t discover a strategy to obtain 210 hp/liter in a hot-vee configuration that was each dependable and sufficiently clear. He additionally famous that this association sometimes raises the middle of gravity. One other potential contributing issue this fashion-forward Italian model might need been hesitant to say in so many phrases: scorching vees are ugly; carbon-fiber consumption covers are a lot prettier.

Unsigned Masterpieces

Every engine will transfer by means of six stations contained in the historic Maserati Engine Lab, with totally different technicians spending three-to-four hours in every station. On the finish of the road, the engine will get connected and run for 40 minutes on a check dynamometer to make sure every thing works. Many arms make mild, repeatable, high quality work, however six signatures would take up lots of house, so these engines will carry no signature.

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