The Maserati MC12 | Part Two

The Maserati MC12

Masearti MC12

Light, Rigid Structure

The Maserati MC12 is a two-seater coupe with targa roof and a long wheelbase (2800 mm). It is powered by an impressive 630 hp six-litre mid-rear V12 with a 41%-front and 59%-rear weight distribution. Highly advanced composites and alloys have enhanced its structural rigidity and kept its overall weight to a minimum. The MC12’s bodywork is entirely carbon fibre, while its stress-bearing chassis is made from a carbon fibre and Nomex honeycomb sandwich. Two aluminium sub-chassis’s support the ancillaries, help absorb bumps, and guarantee an excellent standard of safety.

Styling And Aerodynamics

As a result of its imposing dimensions (5143 mm long, 2100 mm wide and 1205 mm high), the MC12’s styling was very much inspired by its functionality. Intensive wind tunnel testing and advanced mathematical computations, combined with many hours of testing on roads and work on the track and road, have resulted in an extraordinarily efficient form that absolutely exudes power and personality. The air intakes, vents and other aerodynamic components have been designed to optimise the car’s internal fluid dynamics and air flows to ensure optimal downforce (vertical load) and aerodynamic efficiency values.

The bonnet is characterised by the sinuous lines formed by two large tapering apertures, culminating in the classic Maserati grille opening with a Trident at its centre. The bonnet and wheelarches, into which the Bi-Xenon headlamp units are set, are a one-piece moulding which is also removable.

A channel along the side of the car stretches from the front wheel vent to an inlet just in front of the rear wheel. This solution contributes to aerodynamic downforce whilst also improving aerodynamic efficiency.

Above the hard top, there is a snorkel for the engine compartment. The rear section is dominated by the engine and the carbon wing and, at its base, a small spoiler in which the third level brake light has been inserted. The inverted half moon design of the exhausts is the most striking part of the tail section. The whole underside of the car has been faired in and sealed and there are two generous diffusers also which deliver maximum "ground effect."

630 HP SIX-LITRE ENGINE

The MC12 benefits from all of the Ferrari Maserati Group’s most advanced technologies and competition experience. It boasts a powerful naturally aspirated 12-cylinder 65° V engine that displaces 5998 cc and punches out 465 kW (630 HP) at 7500 rpm. Designed to meet the specific needs and characteristics of a road-going Maserati, it also offers absolutely excellent drivability. The MC12 delivers a maximum torque of 652 Nm at 5500 rpm and remains exceptionally nimble and fluid, even at low engine speeds. It has an aluminium crankcase, titanium conrods, and extremely aerodynamically efficient four-valve cylinder heads to boot. Distribution is by way of four overhead camshafts per cylinder which are gear-driven, a solution that offers perfect timing control. The dry sump lubrication also boasts a highly efficient scavenger pump.

continues... | Part Three
Published 22 May 2004 Melanie Carter

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