Maserati MC12

Maserati MC12 Italian supercar

The Maserati MC12 cost £515K to buy. Just 50 were sold - 25 more than were required to allow the competition version to race in the FIA GT world championship. For your half a million quid, though, you got a Ferrari Enzo, too. Well, sort of! Much of the MC12 was based on the Enzo - as a by-product of the Ferrari Maserati Group partnership. Replication ran to the carbon monocoque, the V12 engine - and the steering wheel and windscreen. The MC12's 6-litre motor was detuned a tad from that of the Enzo - but still managed to provide a cool 622bhp, at 7,500rpm. Top speed was 205mph. 0-60 was 3.8s.

Remarkably, the MC12 took a mere twelve months to make. Maserati's engineers were, of course, aided by the Enzo factor. Even so, to take a top-grade supercar from drawing board to production line in a year, was highly impressive. A glance alone tells you all you need to know about the aerodynamics of the MC12. It was seriously slippery! Design duties fell to Frank Stephenson. He had previously masterminded the Mini Cooper.

The MC12's white and blue paintwork referenced the Maserati 'Birdcage' racers - from the early Sixties. The racing theme continued inside. Lots of lightweight carbon-fibre was used for the contents of the cabin - including the fully-harnessed seats. One practical problem came in the form of the rear window - or lack of it! A quick removal of the targa top, though, soon sorted the shortcoming. Other than that visibility 'glitch', the MC12 was reasonably user-friendly - certainly, as far as supercars go, at any rate. Sequential gear-changing was straightforward, steering nimble, and the ride smooth. Probably, the sole problem, then, for an owner, was sourcing spare parts. Best way around that would have been to buy a Ferrari Enzo - as back-up. Or - better still, from Maserati's viewpoint - two MC12s!

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