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Here's How the Maserati MC12's Wild Design Came to Life

Road & Track logo Road & Track 7/17/2020 Brian Silvestro
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Many people will tell you the Maserati MC12 is just a Ferrari Enzo with a different badge. But that couldn't be farther from the truth. Sure, it shared the Enzo's underpinnings, but has its own distinct personality and direction. Let the car's designer, Frank Stephenson, explain how it came to life.

Stephenson, the same genius mind behind the Ferrari F430, the reborn Mini Cooper, and most modern McLarens, outlines his experience designing the MC12 in his latest YouTube video above. He explains that Maserati's objective was to go racing, so the car needed a body that could channel air effectively, produce downforce, and dissipate heat. That's how the front nose fins, exaggerated rear end, massive wing came into fruition. Unlike most cars in the World Endurance Championships, which were race cars modified for racing, the MC12 was the opposite. It was built as a race car first, then homologated for the road.

a drawing of a person: The MC12 was designed to be a race car first, and a road car second. © Frank Stephenson - YouTube The MC12 was designed to be a race car first, and a road car second.

While the MC12 is now an icon, Stephenson explains he wasn't totally happy with the design. Constraints in the bulkhead and door angle from the Enzo meant he couldn't get the side window shape he wanted. A small compromise considering how wild the rest of the body is, we'd say.


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