Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Maserati MC12 GT

The MC12 is one of the most successful GT cars of recent years. On the international scene alone, since 2004 the MC12 has won eight titles (two Manufacturers' Cups, two Drivers' titles, three Team championships, and one Citation Cup). It has also secured 15 victories, 32 podiums (19 second and 13 third places) and has been victorious in the Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours twice in succession (2005 and 2006).

The racing version of the MC12 is derived from the standard, road-going version. It was created using Maserati's know-how and technological excellence, and its styling stems from an original idea by Giugiaro. The MC12 was developed by Maserati technicians in the wind tunnel with the invaluable contribution of Frank Stephenson, then head of concept design.
Maserati's Reparto Corse, under the direction of Giorgio Ascanelli, ensured that the car conformed to the regulations laid down for competing in international championships.

The roadgoing version of the MC12, from which the GT1 derives, is a long wheelbase (2800mm), two seater coupé-spider that features an extended tail section. Like the typical sports-racer, it has a removable roof. The engine, a 12 cylinder, V65°, naturally-aspirated unit, totals some 5998 cm3, and produces 630bhp at 7500rpm. As the engine is mounted in the centre of the rear section, the MC12 is capable of reaching 330 km/h with a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 3.8 seconds.

In order to provide structural strength and lightness, cutting edge composite materials and alloys were used. The bodywork is in carbon fibre; the monococque chassis was built from a 'sandwich' of carbon fibre and nomex honeycomb. Two aluminium sub-frames give the engine parts more support and contribute to improving impact absorption, meaning the car boasts elevated safety levels.

The extensive wind tunnel tests, mathematical calculations, track and road shakedowns have produced an extraordinarily efficient car, one full of character. Air intakes and outlets and other aerodynamic elements are designed to assure the greatest possible downforce (vertical load) and superb aerodynamic efficiency.

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