Who is Zahir Rana? I am pretty sure there’s no need to tell you that, but just in case he is the owner of ZR Auto Exotic Sales and Performance Centre. Between many other exotics cars he owns there is the Ferrari Enzo, that seems to be his favorite one. According to the guys from Edo Competition he might be the owner of the nr. 8 of only 12 Maserati MC 12 Corsa race cars in the world.
The MC12 is powered by a 6-liter 755 hp engine and makes the 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in less than 3 seconds, 0-200 km/h (0-124 mph) in less than 7 seconds. Top Speed? 326 km/h (203 mph)!
Read all about the test drive after the jump.
Here in Ahlen, super sports car tuner edo competition gives Canadian guest Zahir Rana the opportunity of a very special test drive in this limited production model. Rana is a successful sports car dealer of ZR auto exotic cars in Calgary and the first address for supercars and their modifications.
Normally one can only gauge the potential of this extreme athlete on a race track, but unfortunately they’re still closed in February. So, what to do?
Without further ado, a back road in Ahlen is closed off: length 2,800 meters (9200 ft), width 2.5 meters (8.2 ft). This is enough to get a small taste of what the super sports car developed for the FIA GT Championship is capable of. Road-legal status has been in preparation for 6 months. A sport suspension system including nose-lift functionality specially developed for edo Competition by KW was installed already. The factory carbon brakes were thrown out – too slow to get up to operating temperature – and replaced by a ceramic-composite braking system. A new high-flow exhaust, now adjustable in volume via remote, replaces the stock race exhaust system. New performance wheels, 19 in. in the front and 20 in. in the rear, along with road-legal tires developed in conjunction with tire-partner Michelin provide the necessary grip.
The fact that temperature-controlled radiator fans, an immobilizer, a lighting system and a horn were installed deserves a passing mention.
Edo competition is certain: The MC 12 Corsa will find a new owner soon. Will it be Zahir Rana?
The doors already display the Canadian flag and the driver’s name “Zahir Rana”. Edo Karabegovic was trying to surprise him with this treat.
Thursday, January 31st 2008: It’s a special day, and most important: It’s dry.
Ten track marshals position themselves at junctions and driveways to provide safety for the expensive test drive. A helicopter is on hand for filming, photographers and the local press are waiting; after all, an event like this has to be documented. The town of Ahlen was represented by Heino Hilbert, group leader for road construction and transportation, and deserves another thank you for the permission. More and more spectators are gathering to witness this unique event, which is a very different sight from the tractors and runners that are usually seen here.
Edo Karabegovic knows the car well. Last year the Maserati was driven extensively and the downforce levels were tested at Michelin’s Formula 1 test track in France. It does 326 km/h (203 mph) despite the short geared racing transmission. Therefore measuring the downforce is an absolute necessity for the future road rocket in order to permit driving at very high speeds.
After strapping into the custom-made ultra-lightweight carbon-fiber bucket seats using 6-point harnesses, everyone is ready for action.
Edo Karabegovic with co-driver Zahir Rana takes it easy at first. The Maserati bounces over barely visible bumps in the road. The suspension is adjusted. The top speed they’re able to achieve is not relevant, it’s the infernal acceleration that counts.
The low ambient temperature around the freezing point doesn’t exactly help minimize wheel spin upon acceleration. Only in 3rd gear can Edo Karabegovic get the throttle to the floor without having the car try to leave the narrow back road. The sequential racing transmission, lifted from F1 and installed in this monster, allows for sub-150ms shift times. The brutal acceleration provided by the 6-liter 755 hp engine taught the true meaning of “tunnel vision” to both occupants. Similar to rally footage on fast-forward, they’re shooting through space and time, the trees lining the road appearing like a solid wall. The Maserati zooms out of sight with rocket speed. No longer visible, but every shift is still clearly audible.
The car is not equipped with a heater, but neither of them is cold thanks to the adrenaline rush. The way even 5th gear still pushes you back into the buckets makes it seem like being launched out of a catapult can’t be any worse.
Zahir Rana is convinced. Having had the pleasure of driving the Maserati himself, he knows he’s come to the right place. He has never experienced anything like this before. Even Rana’s own yellow Ferrari Enzo in Canada, not exactly considered underpowered with 660 hp, does not accelerate in such a spectacular fashion.
After arriving at the turning point, a happy Zahir Rana gets out of the car. On thing is certain: after this impressive test drive, Edo Karabegovic will get two vehicles to modify. Whether or not he gets the MC 12 Corsa is questionable. After all, it’s owned by a customer and with a price tag of 1.4 million Euros it’s not a decision to make on a whim.
P.S. Meanwhile the police have joined us. They have to investigate a noise complaint from 6 km (4 miles) away.
Official support is vital. We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the project, local residents and the town of Ahlen for their help in making this event possible.