In 2004 Maserati launched a new supercar, designed to be suitable both for the road and international competition. The MC12 borrowed heavily from the Ferrari/Maserati Group’s wealth of knowledge and technical excellence, whilst its styling was developed in the wind tunnel with input from both Giugiaro and Ferrari/Maserati designers.
The Maserati MC12 is a two-seater long-tail coupe-spider with a long wheel base (2800 mm), proportions needed for race-track aerodynamics. It has a typical racing/sporty set-up with a removable hard top. It is powered by a 630 hp six-litre mid-rear mounted V12 engine and boasts 41%-front and 59%-rear weight distribution. The MC12’s bodywork is entirely carbon fibre, while its stress-bearing chassis is made from a carbon fibre and Nomex honeycomb sandwich, resulting in high rigidity and a very low kerb weight. Two aluminium sub-chassis’s support the ancillaries, help absorb bumps, and provide an excellent standard of safety.
As a result of its imposing dimensions (5143 mm long, 2100 mm wide and 1205 mm high), the MC12’s styling is very much functionally-inspired. Intensive wind tunnel testing and advanced mathematical computations, combined with work on the track and road, resulted in an extraordinarily efficient form. The air intakes, vents and other aerodynamic components have been designed to optimise the car’s internal fluid dynamics and air flows to ensure optimal downforce.
The bonnet is characterised by two large tapering apertures, culminating in the classic Maserati grille opening with a Trident at its centre. The bonnet and wheelarches, into which the Bi-Xenon headlamp units are set, are a one-piece moulding which is also removable. A channel along the side of the car stretches from the front wheel vent to an inlet just in front of the rear wheel. This solution contributes to aerodynamic downforce whilst also improving aerodynamic efficiency.
Above the hard top, there is a snorkel air-intake for the engine compartment. The rear section is dominated by the engine and the slender (30 mm) yet imposing two-metre carbon wing with two fins and, at its base, a small spoiler in which the third stop light has been inserted. The inverted half moon design of the exhausts is the most striking part of the tail section. The whole underside of the car has been faired in and sealed and there are two generous diffusers also which deliver maximum “ground effect.”
The MC12 boasts a powerful naturally aspirated 65° V12 engine that displaces 5998 cc and produces 465 kW at 7500 rpm. The MC12 delivers a maximum torque of 652 Nm at 5500 rpm and remains exceptionally drivable, even at low engine speeds. It has an aluminium crankcase and titanium con rods, whilst there are four gear-driven overhead camshafts and a dry-sump lubrication system.
It is supplied exclusively with the six-speed Maserati Cambiocorsa semi-automatic transmission offering computerised gear selection. The driver doesn’t need to touch the clutch with this electro-hydraulic gearbox and instead selects the gears using the paddles mounted behind the steering wheel. The transmission’s two modes (Sport and Race) are selected at the touch of a button.
The MC12 has independent wishbone suspension front and rear with anti-dive and anti-squat geometries and push-rod activated spring/damper units. The front of the car can be raised for parking ramps and the 19” wheels are attached via a single centre locking wheel nut. It also boasts Pirelli tyres: 245/35 (front) and 345/35 (rear). The MC12’s brakes were developed by Brembo and feature large ventilated cross-drilled discs (front diameter 380 mm and rear 335) with six and four-piston alloy callipers (front/rear). The MC12 also boasts ABS.
The cabin boasts an easily removable top, which instantly converts the MC12 from a coupe to a spider. The cabin itself is simple and understated, with a harmony between the high tech-effect carbon features, the perforated leather trim and the high-grip, tough, fabric. The upper part of the leather and carbon-trimmed steering wheel is slightly flattened. The instruments are organised around a central and prominent speedometer, placed directly in front of the driver. The center console includes the controls for the climate control system, and two of its four vents. Set at the intersection of the console and the central tunnel is the characteristic oval clock, and the blue engine Start button. Other controls are laid out on the titanium-coloured stylised central tunnel.
The seats have a carbon fibre structure with exceptional lateral support: the seats themselves are upholstered in fabric with the shoulder rests in perforated leather. The doors have carbon fibre panels and pockets complete with the electric window buttons.
A total of 50 stradale (road) cars were built, followed by 12 GT1 race cars. Three prototypes of each were also completed.
On 5 September 2004, the MC12 made its competition debut at Imola, and in the next two years collected four international titles (one Constructors', one Drivers' and two Team), 10 wins, 21 podiums and two consecutive wins at the 24 Hour of Spa-Francorchamps.
In 2006, Maserati revealed the MC12 Versione Corsa. Developed from the MC12 GT1 competition car, this is a limited edition supercar with a production of 12 units (plus another three prototypes). It is not homologated for road use or any racing activity and is conceived to be used exclusively on track during private test sessions. Basically a 'production' race-car, it features a 755bhp engine.
Engine 5998cc (92x75.2mm) quad-cam all alloy 65deg V12 with 630bhp @ 7,500rpm Suspension front : independent with double wishbones and pushrod activated spring/damper units
rear : independent with double wishbones and pushrod activated spring/damper units
wheels : front / rear : 9Jx19in / 13Jx19in
tyres : front / rear : 245/35 ZR19 / 345/35 ZR19
Brakes front : ventilated discs (diameter 380mm) with six-piston callipers
rear : ventilated discs (diameter 335mm) with four-piston callipers
Bosch 5.3 ABS and EBD
Transmission Cambiocorsa electro-hydraulic (clutchless manual) system Dry weight 1335kg
distribution (front / rear) : 41% / 59%
Dimensions wheelbase : 2800mm
length / width / height (mm) : 5143 / 2096 / 1205
model max speed 0-100km/h 0-200km/h standing km MC12 330 km/h+ 3.8 sec 9.9 sec 20.1 sec
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