Like so many Italian marques Maserati has a turbulent recent history, but one of the brighter patches was the Maserati MC12 – and in Hagerty’s latest video, Magnus Walker explains why the Ferrari-based racer is The Big Thing.
You may already be aware that the MC12 was based closely on the Ferrari Enzo, Maranello’s mid-engined range-topper of the early 2000s and replacement for the spectacular F50.
Like its immediate predecessors the Enzo had a carbonfibre tub but its 6.5-litre V12, designated “F140”, was unrelated to the F50’s “F133” before it. As was its gearbox, now an automated manual with a paddleshift rather than the F50’s open-gate manual.
Naturally, the MC12 adopted all this technology, but was instead clothed in a body designed by Frank Stephenson. Unlike the Ferrari, it was also primarily designed for racing, and specifically the FIA’s GT series.
History has shown it to be a shrewd decision: Between 2004 and 2010, the MC12 helped facilitate six teams’ championships, two constructors’ championships for the brand, and six drivers’ championships. It was, by all accounts, a spectacular success.
Maserati built 50 road cars to homologate the 12 racers, and it’s one of those that Walker takes for a drive beside California’s Salton Sea. He explains how Maserati turned the Enzo into an effective racer through clever aerodynamics, despite some crafty hobbling of the engine and brakes by its compatriot.
There have been prettier Maseratis, more comfortable Maseratis, and certainly more accessible ones, but the Maserati MC12 remains incredibly special, and that, says Walker, is why it’s a Big Thing. Head over to Hagerty’s YouTube channel for more great videos.
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