Here’s how the iconic Maserati MC12 was designed

Car designer Frank Stephenson joined YouTube a few months back to showcase some of his designs. He already discussed how he designed the modern Mini Cooper, the Ferrari F430, the Ford Escort Cosworth rear spoiler, the BMW X5, and the modern Fiat 500 over five episodes. The sixth episode is now online, and it shows us how he designed one of the greatest Italian supercars ever produced. No, it’s not another Ferrari, but it’s based on one. I’m talking about the Maserati MC12.

How the Maserati MC12 Was Designed

As usual, Stephenson draws a couple of sketches of the MC12 while talking about why the supercar looks like it does. He explains several design features, as well as why the rear end is longer than most supercars from the era. It has to do with the fact that the MC12 was a homologation special for a race car, but aerodynamics also played a key role here.

Now you Can See How Frank Stephenson Designed the Maserati MC12
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Produced from 2004 to 2005, the Maserati MC12 was based on the Ferrari Enzo. But although it shared the chassis and engine with its Maranello sibling, the MC12 featured a unique body designed from scratch. Just like the Enzo, the MC12 features a full carbon-fiber body. The interior is also unique compared to the Ferrari and a tad more luxurious, combining gel-coated carbon-fiber, fine leather, and a bespoke synthetic material called Brightex.

Under the hood, the MC12 hides the 6.0-liter V-12 engine of the Ferrari Enzo. The naturally aspirated mill generates 621 horsepower and 481 pound-feet of torque, 30 horses, and four pound-feet below the Enzo’s output.=. The MC12 was one of the quickest supercars of its era, needing 3.8 seconds to hit 62 mph from a standing start. It also runs the quarter-mile in 11.3 seconds and hits a top speed of 205 mph.

Maserati MC12 specifications
ype DOHC 48-valve V-12, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection
Displacement 5999cc
Power 621 HP @ 7,500 RPM
Torque 481 LB-FT @ 5,500 RPM
Transmission 6-speed manual with automated shifting and clutch
0 to 60 mph 3.8 seconds
Standing 1/4-mile 11.3 sec @ 135 mph
Top speed 205 MPH
Now you Can See How Frank Stephenson Designed the Maserati MC12
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Production was limited to only 50 units, the amount Maserati needed to homologate the FIA GT-spec race car. The MC12 GT1 featured the same engine, but detuned to around 592 horsepower, and was used to compete in the FIA GT1 Championship, Italian GT, Japan’s Super GT series, and the American Le Mans Series. In addition to the GT1-spec car, Maserati also built the MC12 Corse. It was also a race-spec car, but intended for private use, just like the Ferrari Enzo FXX. The Corse was based on the GT1 race car and featured extreme modifications, including a V-12 engine rated 745 horsepower. Only 12 cars were built.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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