Its designer explains what inspired the dramatic design.
Influential automotive designer Frank Stephenson has made staying home just a little bit easier over the last few months, as he has taken to YouTube to share the captivating stories of how he designed icons such as the Ferrari F430 and the original BMW X5. In his latest video, Stephenson unpacks the inspiration behind the extreme Maserati MC12.
In case you forgot, the MC12 was based on the Enzo Ferrari and just 50 road-going versions were ever made to meet homologation regulations. If you want to get your hands on one today, you'd better have some seriously deep pockets. Significantly larger than the Ferrari, the MC12 remains visually impactful all these years later and, after a long wait, is soon to be succeeded by the Maserati MC20.
In the video, Stephenson had free rein to create a modern Maserati racer and is keen to point out that the MC12 was a lot more than a copy of the Enzo Ferrari, starting with its extremely long body which was based around controlling the airflow. He details the differences in designing a race car relative to a purely road-going car as he sketches, which explains the MC12's proportions.
The dramatic strakes on the hood, once again, were functionally required yet ended up being one of the MC12's most distinctive visual elements. He also goes on to say that if something works well, it will generally look great, and since every element of the MC12's body was designed around creating the best possible race car, it's little wonder that visually it left such a strong impression.
That's all before you even started this beast up, of course. The MC12 made use of a 6.0-liter naturally aspirated V12 that generated 621 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque. It got to 62 mph in around 3.8 seconds. Although this is quick, there are four-door family sedans capable of outpacing the MC12 today, which shows just how far we've come in the last 15 years or so.
As engaging as it was, Maserati's racer was also criticized for being challenging to drive, lacking a rear window, and feeling too large. And, considering it's nearly as long as a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, we get the point entirely. But there is nothing that looks quite like Frank Stephenson's Maserati MC12.