Tuesday, April 12, 2016


BALOCCO, Italy—The last couple of years have seen the presentation of more new supercars than the previous decade. Witness the Ferrari Enzo, Lamborghini Murcielago, Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Porsche Carrera GT and Saleen S7. Not to be forgotten, Maserati has ventured into the ring with a stunning work of art of its own. Named the MC12 (Maserati Corse 12-barrel), this most up to date contender is as intriguing as they get, with every one of the trappings of a honest to goodness supercar: a screeching V12 motor, carbon-fiber monocoque suspension,6-speed sequential gearbox and a sleek, sexy shape.
Once past its striking look, the main thing that emerges is its size. We're not talking Enzo or Murcielago or McLaren F1 extents, yet something a half-estimate bigger. It's greater as far as length, width and, odd as it might sound, surface territory. With long shades front and back, a monstrous wing, diffuser and admissions aplenty, the MC12 shouts speed. It looks dissimilar to anything that is ever originated from Maserati—sleek, powerful and supremely purposeful.                                                                                                                                                                                                               The marque's signature trident rests proudly in the center of the grille, announcing to the world that Maserati is back in the business of building ultra-serious sports cars. Not only that, the MC12 also signals the company's much-heralded return to international sports-car racing. As the road-going version of its newest GT race car, this street car's sole purpose is not to impress wide-eyed onlookers, but to pave the way for a championship-winning racer.

With that in mind, the long, downforce-producing nose, roof-mounted center air intake and take-no-prisoners tail all make more sense. Built entirely of carbon fiber, the MC12's body puts function first, form second. Like the similarly proportioned Saleen S7 , its drawn-out silhouette endows it with the necessary high-downforce/low-drag aerodynamics essential for high-speed competition. As a bonus, the MC12 also sports a removable hardtop that transforms it into an attractive spider.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Swing open the conventionally hinged doors and prepare for an interior that could come only from Maserati. Working with the same basic cabin configuration as the Enzo, with which the MC12 shares its carbon and Nomex honeycomb tub, designer Frank Stephenson has crafted a spectacular blend of sport and elegance. It comes across as exotic, but also quite livable. Once comfortably inside, there's little of the claustrophobic closeness found in many exotics.

Unlike the Enzo, which is awash in carbon fiber, the Maserati's cockpit displays the material more sparingly, preferring instead to artfully combine leather, aluminum and the very hip-looking BrighTex fabric, which originally came from the fashion industry. Front and center is a large silver tachometer with huge, almost cartoon-like digits that quickly prove invaluable once underway. The seats and steering wheel are also Enzo-sourced pieces, but again, they're given a lower-key treatment. The overall effect is strangely subtle in an odd blue leather and carbon-fiber sort of way.                             Hit the blue Start catch and all consideration rapidly concentrates on the burble radiating from the four extensive fumes channels. The MC12 utilizes basically the same 6.0-liter V12 motor and 6-speed consecutive gearbox as the Enzo, which means it shares the Ferrari's 65-degree vee point, twofold overhead cams, four valves for each chamber and dry-sump grease. In Maserati pretense, this demonstrated powertrain pumps out 630 bhp at 7500 rpm and 482 lb.- ft. of torque at 5500 rpm. That is 20 bhp not exactly the Ferrari, yet the MC12 is likewise 100 lb. lighter (3125 lb. versus 3230 lb.), which everything except levels out execution. We couldn't run any instrumented tests, however anticipate that speeding up numbers close will the Enzo's (3.3 seconds to 60, and 11.1 sec. through the quarter mile) and a top velocity of more than 205 mph. 

Out and about, this strong merging of road auto and race auto is unadulterated invigoration. Be­cause of its opposition prepared center, there's no squandered vitality when driving the MC12. Step on the gas in the lower gears and the enormous 345/35R-19 back Pirellis connect so quick that it takes a sharp eye on the tach to snatch the following apparatus in time. Every draw on the Cambiocorsa system's correct oar delivers an extremely quick upshift and another ear-sticking surge of speeding up. Speed amasses exponentially, yet as quick as it gropes impacting through the riggings, power conveyance stays smooth and incredibly direct all through the rev range.   At MC12 speeds, corners have a habit of coming up very quickly. Thankfully, the brakes are up to the task, shedding speed with confidence and control. This should come as little surprise, as the Maserati is fitted with big Brembo calipers (6-piston front, 4-piston rear) and massive, hubcap- size vented cast-iron discs (15.0 in. front, 13.3 in. rear) supplemented by ABS and electronic brake force distribution. Besides the already powerful brakes, additional braking credit goes to the MC12's body­ work and the corresponding downforce it produces at higher speeds.

Carve through a series of turns and the Maserati's race-car personality quickly comes to the fore. Double wishbones and pushrod-actuated coil-over shock absorbers keep the chassis planted at all four corners, while traction control helps keep the tail safely aligned with the nose. As you'd expect, there's little to no dive under braking, and body roll is barely perceptible in any­thing but the most severe maneuvers. Driven at fast, public-road speeds, the chassis feels almost understressed, its limits are so high and the grip it offers so good.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              An easy handler at ordinary speeds, the MC12 wakes up as the pace climbs and cornering loads increment. Like any great race auto, the huge Maserati offers more input the harder the body is pushed, reacting with expanded levels of hold, control and guiding feel. Any past clue of corner-section understeer vanishes with expanded skeleton loads. Mid-turn conduct is dependably shake strong and wagging the tail in anything besides first and second apparatus turns requires a conscious push to back the auto off the street. What's more, once into triple digits, downforce contributes further to the car's grip, adding an unusual element of faith to negotiating fast sweepers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Soundness stays four-finger secure above 170 mph and ride solace demonstrates shockingly enlightened for a hyper-outlandish. Not that the MC12 is an auto anybody would need drive every day, except it has enough ride solace to make the prospect enticing. What's more, notwithstanding such considerable outside measurements, the auto's responsive nature blesses it with a much littler feel from in the driver's seat. All things considered, the long nose (which can be raised electronically to clear garages) and the absence of a rearview mirror will probably consign the MC12 to a weekend thrill ride. 

It ought to come as meager shock that the MC12's cost is as breathtaking as its execution. At generally $795,000 (600,000 Euros) it's madly costly, additionally to a great degree restrictive. A quarter century were assembled (and sold) a year ago and the current year's 25 are as of now represented. (Shockingly, it's not for the U.S.) As for one year from now, it stays to be seen whether there will be a 2006 creation keep running by any means. 

So how does the world's most current supercar stack up against its prominent rivalry? Amazingly well, most definitely. It's blindingly quick, shockingly reasonable, determinedly secured and a demonstrated race victor. All of which looks good for its less fascinating creation auto kin. On the off chance that the MC12 is any marker of Maserati's more execution situated center, the future guarantees to be an energizing one.               

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