Maserati design boss Klaus Busse – This is how you make a great sports car

Maserati design boss Klaus Busse – This is how you make a great sports car

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Of: Rudolph Boegel

The man and his work: Designer Klaus Busse takes a closer look at his latest creation – the Maserati MC20. ©Maserati

Klaus Busse is one of the most important car designers in the world. His latest work: 630 hp MC20 from Maserati. Read the interview here.

  • In an exclusive interview, Klaus Busse reveals his design secrets.
  • The Trident was hidden everywhere in the car, even in the hood.
  • Sports and good looks – no spoilers or vents needed.

It roars, bubbles and dissolves. The asphalt is hot, the air smells of gasoline. What better place than a racetrack to interview a sports car designer? We are at the Autodromo di Modena, home to the Maserati estate. New products roar into circulation MC20*. The super sports car is the latest work of Klaus Busse, the chief designer of the Italian horsepower manufacturer. He casually stands in the pit lane, caresses the MC20 with his eyes and explains why this Maserati is so special. Read the interview here.

What is the biggest challenge for you as a designer using MC20?

Klaus Busse: We knew that the MC20 was unique. A car that an entire generation of designers will measure up to and that the car will still be discussed a few generations later. When designing a sports car for Maserati, two things are important. First of all, it is not only about design, but above all about performance. With us, car technology and design usually work very closely together. Because the engineers and us designers know that a car doesn’t just have to look good, it also has to work perfectly. And secondly, Maserati is not only designed for a three-year lease, but for 10, 20, 30 years. The cars go to the collection, and sometimes they will participate in the Concours d’Elegance.

Maserati MC20 front racing
Mouth open, trident in the cold – with a suppository on. The MC20 is Maserati’s classic sports car. ©Maserati

What is the biggest challenge for you as a designer using MC20?

Busse: He has to be capable if you want, but he doesn’t have to show what he can do. Historically, Maserati has never been a brand to shout about. Not according to the slogan, look here, here I come. Maserati has a strong presence through its design, through proportions and the sound of the engine. No need to add unnecessary spoilers or artificial air vents. The beauty that stands for Maserati promises to be timeless. Luxury products must be of quality but also durable. The fewer the fashion elements, the longer the life. This is also seen in our historic cars. A6 GCS or Ghiblis – these are still great cars today.

Three-part Maserati MC20 rear engine cover
Maserati’s trident can even be found on the bonnet, which is of course at the back on the mid-engined sports car. ©Maserati

No Maserati without a trident – where did they hide the trademark?

Buses: Trident can be found in a few places, but very important. Traditionally in the radiator and back on the shoulders in the C-pillar. And MC 20 even in the ventilation slots on the engine cover. This girl is now the most photographed profile on social media. The technical requirements for this came late in the development process. But in our design team, we don’t mix too much. First we made three strokes on the lid with black tape. We didn’t like that 100 percent. And that’s when I got the idea to basically build it as three parts. There is no big, bold logo, but it is recognized only at a second glance and born out of work. The third spoke, also inspired by , is another important feature. If you look closely, you will notice small triangles on the rims. In Italian, this is ugula, a suppository that you have in your throat. You can also see that in the front grille, which is reminiscent of the mouth of the gap.

Klaus Busse Maserati Chief Designer
German soul, Italian blood: Klaus Busse is one of the most important designers in the world, now also in the Stellantis Group. © OrazioTruglio / Maserati

Which Maserati impressed you the most?

Buses: The car that defines my love for the brand is the 1954 A6 GCS, Pinifarina. For me, the car is characterized by its special stability. It resembles the fuselage of an airplane. Very beautiful. And then brutal honesty, on the driver’s side open full exhaust pipes. Maserati has never been a brand born solely for idols. When you think of Michelangelo, you think of pure sculpture. For Leonardo da Vinci, art is a product of science and research. It’s bold to talk about Leonardo da Vinci, but we probably won’t come close to that. But this claim, we’re not just waiting for a Maserati with a few cool graphics, but we’re also looking with the engineers at what the technology can do, we’re constantly monitoring it. Internally we call this: When science creates art. When art emerges from science.

Maserati MC20 racing back
An aerodynamic masterpiece: the MC20 controls without spoilers, releasing contact pressure through the body alone. © LORENZO MARCINNO / Maserati

But do opposites collide?

Busse: This is also the case with the MC20. As on the A6, the top shell, the silhouette, is very clean. Most of the modeling was fine-tuned here by hand. However, no hand ever touched the ground. It was created entirely on the computer, a completely black workspace. Mechanical fidelity meets elegant, restrained forms. Two very different worlds, but I like that.

Maserati MC20 interior
The interior of the MC20 is puristic but not ostentatious. Perfect for racing, comfortable for long distances, that’s how it should be. ©Maserati

Racing beast, touring sedan, everyday car – also in the interior?

Buses: Starts with the length of the car. We could make the car even lower. But that would take a chance. We also made a tunnel in the middle very narrow and flat. Most sports cars have impressive equipment in the middle. very wide. Very diagonal. This isn’t even necessary for a mid-engined car, because the transmission is in the rear here and doesn’t need a transmission tunnel. A large console may look good, but it actually takes up a lot of space. In order for the MC20 to have as much space as possible, which also makes for a pleasant long journey, the tunnel was designed as small as possible. To make it easier to get into such a sports car, we used butterfly doors. That is one reason. On the other hand, we didn’t want the driver to underestimate the car. The MC20 is very safe to drive, very stable, but also a real sports car. There had to be a psychological threshold. And so when you open these butterfly doors, which are already impressive in themselves, you see a completely exposed tire and soon you know: Oh, when you drive this car, you also need a good respect.

The interview was conducted by Rudolf Bögel. * is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.