(from Maserati Press Release) Maserati
has designed a new road-going Grand Tourer known as the MC12 from which
a GT racing version has also been developed. The result is that 37 long
years after its last victory in an international championship (1967,
Cooper Maserati F1, South African Grand Prix), the Trident is returning
to the track.
The Ferrari Maserati Groupís wealth of knowledge and technological
excellence have been poured into the design of the new car. In addition
to this, its styling was developed in the wind tunnel from a Giugiaro
idea by the Maserati technicians with the fundamental contribution of
Frank Stephenson, the Ferrari Maserati Groupís own Director of Concept
Design and Development. The European type-approved version of the new
car goes on sale after the summer.
Designed for high level road use, it can exceed 330 km/h at full
throttle, sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds. Although
easy and pleasant to drive on the road, the MC12 is also a brilliantly
dynamic car. It handles very sweetly and fluidly yet the driver can
still feel all the power of a genuinely sporty thoroughbred under the
surface. The new model adds the definitive flourish to Maseratiís return
to the racing circuits after the recent and highly successful debut in
the Daytona 24 Hour Race, of the Trofeo Light, inspired by the equally
impressive single-series protagonist. Under the guidance of engineer
Giorgio Ascanelli, Maseratiís Racing Division is currently developing
the new car to meet the rules of the major international championships.
The client version for road use will be available exclusively in a white
and blue livery, harking back to an old Trident tradition. In fact, blue
and white are the colours of the America Camoradi (Casner Motor Racing
Division) Scuderia which raced the famous Maserati Tipo 60-61 Birdcages
in the very early 1960s with Stirling Moss as their lead driver. Around
30 MC12s will be built in all, 25 of which will be for road use. A
second series of 25 examples for clients will be built in 2005 also.
LIGHT, RIGID STRUCTURE
The Maserati MC12 is a two-seater
long-tail coupe-spider with a long wheel base (2800 mm). It has a
typical racing/sporty set-up with a removable hard top. It is also
powered by an impressive 630 hp six-litre mid-rear V12 engine and boasts
41%-front and 59%-rear weight distribution. Highly advanced composites
and alloys have enhanced its structural rigidity and kept its overall
weight down. The MC12ís bodywork is entirely carbon fibre, while its
stress-bearing chassis is made from a carbon fibre and Nomex honeycomb
sandwich. Two aluminium sub-chassisís support the ancillaries, help
absorb bumps, and guarantee an excellent standard of safety.
As a result of its imposing dimensions
(5143 mm long, 2100 mm wide and 1205 mm high), the MC12ís styling is
very much functionally-inspired. Intensive wind tunnel testing and
advanced mathematical computations, combined with work on the track and
road, have resulted in an extraordinarily efficient form that absolutely
exudes power and personality. The air intakes, vents and other
aerodynamic components have been designed to optimise the carís internal
fluid dynamics and air flows to ensure optimal downforce (vertical load)
and aerodynamic efficiency values.
The bonnet is characterised by the sinuous lines formed by two large
tapering apertures, culminating in the classic Maserati grille opening
with a Trident at its centre. The bonnet and wheel arches, into which
the Bi-Xenon headlamp units are set, are a one-piece moulding which is
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 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 ďground
630 HP SIX-LITRE ENGINE
The MC12 benefits from all of the Ferrari
Maserati Groupís most advanced technologies and competition experience.
It boasts a powerful naturally aspirated 12-cylinder 65į V engine that
displaces 5998 cc and punches out 465 kW at 7500 rpm. Designed to meet
the specific needs and characteristics of a road-going Maserati, it also
offers absolutely excellent drivability. The MC12 delivers a maximum
torque of 652 Nm at 5500 rpm and remains exceptionally nimble and fluid,
even at low engine speeds. It has an aluminium crankcase, titanium con
rods, and extremely aerodynamically efficient four-valve cylinder heads
to boot. Distribution is by way of four overhead camshafts per cylinder
which are gear-driven, a solution that offers perfect timing control.
The dry sump lubrication also boasts a highly efficient scavenger pump.
In line with the MC12ís
performance-oriented design, it is supplied exclusively with the
six-speed Maserati Cambiocorsa transmission offering computerised gear
selection. The driver doesnít need to touch the clutch with this
electro-hydraulic gearbox and instead selects the gears using the
paddles mounted behind the steering wheel. The transmissionís two modes
are selected at the touch of a button. The Sport mode will be the
driverís most frequent choice and includes a good dose of traction
control, while the Race setting enhances the kind of sporty behaviour
typically seen on the track. In Race mode, in fact, the system delivers
much nippier gear changing and activates the ASR also.
WHEELS AND SUSPENSION
The MC12 has independent wishbone
suspension front and rear with anti-dive and anti-squat geometries and
push-rod suspension. This set-up offers very progressive suspension
response for exceptional handling precision under all conditions. The
front of the car can be raised for parking ramps and the 19Ē wheels are
attached via a single centre locking wheel nut. It also boasts Pirelli
tyres: 245/35 (front) and 345/35 (rear).
The MC12ís brakes were developed by
Brembo. They deliver maximum braking efficiency and fade resistance,
thanks to large ventilated cross-drilled discs (front diameter 380 mm
and rear 335). 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 the epitome of elegance and sportiness. It is simple and
understated, typical of an extreme car yet also displaying the
meticulous care and finish that have become a classic Trident signature.
There is exceptional harmony between the high tech-effect carbon
features, the perforated leather trim and the stunning yet high-grip
tough technical fabric too.
The upper part of the leather and carbon-trimmed steering wheel is
slightly flattened. The dashboard, with its clean tailored lines, is
characteristically Maserati. 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 which also includes a storage compartment and a
12 volt outlet.
The seats have a carbon fibre structure with high lateral containment:
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. The pedals are aluminium and
the mats rubber.