Maserati MC12 was Maserati’s Flagship Car From 2004.
Maserati is an Italian luxury car manufacturer which was founded in 1914, but in the early days, it was known more for its race cars than Luxury Saloons it manufactures now. In the year 1926 Maserati built its 1st racing car and had a successful racing career for more than three decades until it retired from factory racing in 1957 but kept building race cars for privateers till late 1960s. After that it mostly built Luxury Sports Cars to rival Brands like Ferrari and Aston Martin.
But after 37 long years since its last International Victory(1967, Cooper Maserati F1, South African Grand Prix Championship), it was 2004 when the Trident again returned to factory racing.
It was none other than the Maserati MC12(Maserati MC12 Stradale), the only modern supercar from Maserati in the 2000s. Based on another great car the Ferrari Enzo(launched in 2002), the road-legal Maserati MC12 was actually built for homologation purpose for Maserati’s FIA GT-spec race car.
- Rear Mid-Mounted engine 2 seater supercar.
- Limited to just 50 road-legal units and 12 track only Corse Versions making it a total of 62 units.
- Built on the Chassis of Ferrari Enzo Supercar.
- Also uses the Naturally Aspirated V12 and the F1 Style gearbox from the Ferrari Enzo.
Recently Maserati also revealed their lastest V6 supercar called the Maserati MC20 which is the spritual successor to MC12. But here we will talk only about the MC12 Supercar.
Though MC12 Stradale uses most of its underpinnings from the Enzo it was very much different than the Enzo in terms of exterior styling and hence aerodynamics. Not as aggressive as the race car it was based on, the road-going MC12 had fewer modifications that made it more suitable for day-to-day driving, it had almost everything needed to become a full race car except for a roll cage nad that made it unique than other Supercars in that era.
Maserati MC12 Design and Exterior Styling
When Maserati got the green signal for developing a Corse Car project for the FIA GT Race, they took the already capable and technologically advance Ferrari Enzo’s Carbon Monocoque chassis, the naturally-aspirated V12 engine, F1 spec transmission, and suspensions and tried to make it faster, agile and bulletproof for the endurance race.
Frank Stephenson designed the body for the car which made the MC12 a great handling car around the track. As a result, the MC12 had a more aerodynamic advantage over Ferrari’s Enzo. Also, its one of the fastest Maserati supercar built to date with more than 330km/h top speed and can do a 0-100kmp/h run in just 3.8 seconds.
Though it was based on Ferrari Enzo, the Maserati MC12 got a totally new and different body design for maximum downforce used carbon composite o make it strong and light. The only externally visible design element that was carried over from the Enzo was the front windshield. As a result, it was wider, longer, and slightly taller than the Ferrari Enzo and it was in fact wider than a Hummer H2. It was heavily criticized for its dimensions also due to its lack of rear window that made it very difficult for parking. But its unique design makes it one of the most priced Maserati and many love it.
In terms of exterior styling, it had a sharp nose and smooth curves and a huge 78-inch wide rear wing. The front had large headlights built deep into the fenders, a wide grille featuring Maserati’s “Trident,” and a vented front hood for extra cooling for that massive V12 engine. The rear of the car had a much simpler design with round taillights and an arched grille finished off with a rather large diffuser and the wing. Also featured a removable hard top and a top-mounted snorkel for the engine.
All the 50 road-going cars had a two-tone Blue-White livery. The lower part of the body and the rear were finished in blue, while the rest of the car was painted in pearl white. The paint scheme was chosen as a tribute to the America Camoradi racing team that drove the Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage cars and had victory in the early 1960s race.
Since Maserati cars are known for its luxurious interior, though it was a homologated race car the interior of MC12 has all the luxury features that supercars had in that period yet sporty at the same time.
The dashboard had a lot of carbon-fibre elements but was primarily covered in blue high-quality leather and had clean lines that makes it look like a luxury GT car. The steering wheel made up of carbon-fiber and wrapped in same blue leather, the instruments had a simple layout for easy viewing of the driver.
The center console included knobs for the climate control system, A/C vents(which the Ferrari Enzo lacks) and a “Maserati” emblem. Maserati also included its trademark oval analog clock and a blue coloured engine Start button. The central tunnel had a titanium-like case that housed the remaining buttons, a storage compartment, and a 12-volt power outlet.
The seats were made of carbon-fiber for sportiness and were wrapped in fabric and more perforated leather. More carbon fiber was present on the door panels and buttons for the electric windows. The MC12 had no stereo but it didn’t needed one when you can hear to the sweet symphony of that race-spec V12 engine.
Maserati MC12 Engine and Transmission
As mentioned above the MC12 borrowed the engine from the Enzo but had it slightly detuned state. The Naturally Aspirated 6-liter engine produces 624 HP and 481 lb-ft or 652.14 NM of torque while in the Enzo’s the same unit produces 651 HP and 485 lb-ft or 657.57 NM of torque, and the redline was reduced from 8,200 rpm to 7,500 rpm.
The transmission was also identical to that of Ferrari Enzo. Maserati only tuned it to different gear ratios and it was enough for them to name it “Cambiocorsa”. It had F1 technology and that made it possible to make shifts in 150 milliseconds and had a final drive ratio of 4.10:1.
But despite being less powerful and slower in straight lines, the MC12 proved to be faster than the Enzo around the Nurburgring track and that was a huge deal. In a conducted by the Evo Magazine in 2008, the Maserati finished in 7:24.3 minutes, whereas the Enzo lapped in 7:25.7 making the MC12 by more than a second faster. It was also faster than most supercars at that time.
Wheels & Suspension
The MC12 features F1 inspired independent wishbone suspension at front and rear push-rod suspension with anti-dive and anti-squat fuctions. This set-up offers very progressive suspension response for exceptional handling with precision under all conditions. The front of the car can be raised for parking ramps and the 19 inches (48 cm) wheels are attached via a single centre lock nut just like a race car. Fitted with bespoke Pirelli rubber measuring 245/35 at front and 345/35 at the rear.
On the braking department, The MC12’s brakes were developed by Brembo. Made for delivering maximum braking efficiency and fade resistance, features large ventilated cross-drilled discs. Got Six Piston callipers at the front and 4 piston callipers at the rear. The MC12 also featured ABS for added safety and better braking performance in normal roads.
The MC12 is a very exclusive car to date and only 50 road-legal units were ever built- 25 cars were made in 2004 and another 25 units were made in 2005. When first launched it was sold with a price tag of whopping $770,000, which made it more than $100K expensive than the already expensive Ferrari Enzo. Despite its price tag Maserati had no trouble pre-selling the whole production.
Additionally, 12 track-only versions known as “Maserati MC12 Corse” were built which were based on the GT1 race cars. These 12 cars were similar to the Enzo FXX. Maserati was solely responsible for the storage and maintenance of the cars, and the customers got to enjoy them on specially organized track days only. These were sold to rather selected customers for nearly $1.5 million.
At present MC12 can go for $1 million at public auctions. Some versions, depending on their state and miles recorded can go up to $2 million which is a lot of money for a 15-year-old Supercar.
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An Electronics Engineering graduate and with a passion for Automobiles a full-time Automotive Blogger.