Maserati’s very own Ferrari FXX

In 2004, five years after Ferrari took full control of the Maserati brand, the Modena-based company unleashed the MC12, a limited-edition supercar based on the Ferrari Enzo. Created to homologate the GT1 racing variant for the FIA GT Championship, the MC12 was produced until 2005 in only 50 examples. In 2006, Maserati introduced one last version of the MC12, the Corsa. Developed from the race-spec GT1, the Corsa was intended for private use, but like the GT1 it was also restricted to the race track, as its modifications made it illegal to drive on public roads.

Created "in response to the customer demand to own the MC12 racing car and fueled by the growth in track days, where owners can drive their cars at high speeds in the safety of a race track," the MC12 Corsa was sold to private customers in a similar fashion to the Enzo-based Ferrari FXX. While each owner paid in excess of $1 million to buy an MC12 Corsa, they only drove them on specially organized track days. Outside these events, the cars were stored and maintained by Maserati.

Only twelve MC12 Corsas were built and they all shared several specifications with the GT1 race car, including the uprated engine. Another three vehicles were produced for testing, while a fourth extra chassis was used for the Birdcage 75th, a concept car showcased at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Maserati MC12 Corsa.

  • 2006 Maserati MC12 Corsa
  • Year:
    2006
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V12
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    745
  • Torque @ RPM:
    546
  • Displacement:
    6.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.3 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    205 mph
  • Price:
    2000000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2006 Maserati MC12 Corsa High Resolution Exterior
- image 65130

Styling-wise, the MC12 Corsa had more features in common with the FIA-spec race car than the road-going model. Up front, notable differences compared to the standard MC12 included the shorter nose, the new mesh grille, the big splitter, wider wheel arches, and the louvered front fenders. All these elements mirrored those seen on the race car, including the slightly revised headlamps and the vertical windshield wiper.

The shorter nose made a bigger visual impact when seen from the side, as did the race-spec skirts, new fuel caps, redesigned side vents, and the track only tires. The door mirrors were also taken from the race car, being smaller and sitting closer to the cockpit, changes that made them more aerodynamic.

The door mirrors were also taken from the race car, being smaller and sitting closer to the cockpit, changes that made them more aerodynamic.

Modifications were equally dramatic around back. The road car’s wing, which was integrated into the body, was ditched in favor of the racer’s narrower, but taller unit, which was aided by a large deck-lid spoiler. The mesh grille in the fascia was also removed, leaving part of the engine bay exposed. Below, Maserati fitted an eight-fin, race-spec diffuser and replaced the quad-pipe arrangement with a dual-exhaust configuration. While the MC12 had the outlets toward the corners, under the taillights, the MC12 Corsa had them mounted at the center, just above the diffuser. A new engine hood similar to the race car’s was also crafted, Maserati opting for a louvered lid instead of the standard shell with the black center grille.

The supercar was offered in just one standard color named "Blue Victory." However, customers were given the opportunity to select a bespoke color for an extra fee. Some units were finished in black, while others were ordered in silver.

All told, the MC12 Corsa was essentially an FIA-spec MC12 without the livery.

Interior

2006 Maserati MC12 Corsa Interior
- image 671121

The interior of the MC12 Corsa was also based on the race car’s. However, it retained some of the features seen in the standard model, including the circular A/C vents and the blue-themed dashboard. But while the MC12’s cabin was focused around luxury and comfort creatures, the Corsa’s was designed with racing in mind and lacked many of Maserati’s fancy features. The conventional, leather-wrapped steering wheel was replaced with a race-spec unit dressed in Alcantara for extra grip.

Unlike the standard model it also features four buttons and an integrated display that replaced the instrument cluster. The latter was removed altogether, leaving a recess in the dashboard. The center console was redesigned and received new buttons and switches. The aluminum inserts and the clock were removed. The door panels were stripped off as a weight saving measure, while the sporty, leather-wrapped seats were replaced with carbon-fiber buckets. Just like the GT1 race car, the MC12 Corsa was ready to hit the track the moment it left the factory.

Drivetrain

2006 Maserati MC12 Corsa Drivetrain
- image 671122
The MC12 Corsa was powered by a race-spec version of the 6.0-liter V-12 the standard MC12 shared with the Ferrari Enzo

The MC12 Corsa was powered by a race-spec version of the 6.0-liter V-12 the standard MC12 shared with the Ferrari Enzo. The beefed-up mill was taken off the FIA GT1 competition model and generated the same 745 horsepower and 546 pound-feet of torque, a 121-horsepower and 65-pound-feet increase over the stock MC12. Significantly lighter than its road-going cousin at 2,646 pounds, the MC12 Corsa had a power-to-weight ratio of 621 horsepower per metric tonne.

The six-speed Cambiocorsa transmission with paddle shifters was also shared with the race car, as were the Brembo carbon disc brakes front and rear and the race-spec suspension system. The latter features wishbones with push-rod acuated dampers and coaxial coils at both axles. Just like the race car, the MC12 Corsa wasn’t fitted with an anti-lock braking system.

Lighter and more powerful than the standard MC12, the Corsa was also significantly quicker. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph took only 3.3 seconds, 0.2 ticks quicker than the MC12. Top speed, on the other hand, remained unchanged at 205 mph. Unlike the MC12, the Corsa wasn’t taken to the Nurburgring for an official run. Although it’s safe to assume it would have been quicker than the stock car, the Corsa would have been unable to set a benchmark for street-legal vehicles due to its track-only configuration.

Prices

2006 Maserati MC12 Corsa High Resolution Exterior
- image 166387

The MC12 Corsa was priced from €1 million, which converted to around $1.5 million back in 2006. Compared to the standard MC12, priced from $770,000, the track-only model was nearly twice as expensive. The massive price gap came from the fact that the Corsa employed racing technology and that production was limited to only 12 units (compared to 50 MC12s). All examples were sold to carefully selected Maserati customers that already owned the MC12. However, owners weren’t allowed to take their Corsas home, with the cars being stored and maintained by Maserati between specially organized track days.

Although all 12 have been conceived as track-only supercars, at least one was later modified to become street-legal. Unfortunately, there’s not much info about the said model or how many of them are with their owners or still being maintained by Maserati.

Nowadays, MC12 Corsas are usually worth in excess of $2 million, but it all depends on their mileage and condition. In 2015, chassis #002 with only 55 miles on the odometer and a perfect paint job was offered by Ferrari-Maserati of Ft. Lauderdale with an asking price of $3 million.

Competition

Ferrari FXX

2005 Ferrari FXX
- image 37826
Ferrari FXX

Offered through a similar program that allowed customers to drive it during special events but leave the car with Ferrari for upkeep and maintenance, the FXX is the supercar that inspired Maserati to do the MC12 Corsa. But while the standard MC12 shared most of its underpinnings with the Enzo the FXX was based on, the track-only vehicles had fewer elements in common. Besides using different setups for the chassis, the two had different engines as well.

For the FXX, Ferrari took the Enzo’s 6.0-liter V-12 (also used in the stock MC12) an increased its displacement to 6.3 liters, which allowed the company to boost the already impressive output from 661 to 809 horsepower. The gearbox was also updated to incorporate the latest developments from Ferrari’s F1 program and shift times were reduced to under 100 ms. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph was achieved in only 2.8 seconds, while top speed was estimated at 214 mph. Other highlights included upgrade brakes, custom-developed slick tires, and comprehensive data-monitoring and telemetry that allowed the driver to analyze his performance and provided Ferrari with valuable data that helped improve newer road-going sports cars.

Only 29 FXXs were built, with a 30th model retained by Ferrari and presented to multiple F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher when he retired from racing. The FXX was priced from $1.82 million when it was launched in 2005. Unlike the MC12 Corsa, the FXX was further developed and Ferrari launched the Evoluzione in 2007. Power was increased to 850 horsepower and an even quicker transmission was developed. FXX and FXX Evoluzione models are now known to fetch in excess of $1.5 million at auctions, which some versions changing owners for more than $2 million.

Read our full review on the Ferrari FXX here.

Conclusion

2006 Maserati MC12 Corsa High Resolution Exterior
- image 65131

Maserati’s first road-going supercar and full-fledged GT race car in a very long time, the MC12 became a legend the most it made its public debut. The road-going model was received with great enthusiasm, while the Corsa was often described as a reliable race car that reacts well as a result of its good aerodynamics. The Corsa’s appeal was also enhanced by the fact that its FIA-spec counterpart won Maserati the GT Manufacturers’ championship in its maiden 2005 season (putting Ferrari to shame with almost double the score) and continued to win races through 2010. Although it is often overshadowed by the quicker and more powerful FXX, the MC12 Corsa is the only model of the two that was developed from a full-fledged race car. And despite not being as popular as the Enzo, experts agree tha the MC12 features better aerodynamics and that the Corsa is a true GT1 racer for customer use. In many ways, the MC12 Corsa has everything it needs to become as iconic as the Maserati "Birdcage" in a few decades.

  • Leave it
    • * Track-only supercar
    • * Very limited production run and expensive price tag
    • * Overshadowed by the Ferrari FXX
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