Maserati MC12 Designer Shows How The Styling Came To Be

Frank Stephenson’s name might not ring a bell for many tankers. However, while Stephenson did not receive Pininfarina or Scaglietti fame, Stephenson lets his repertoire speak for itself. In the latest episode of his How I Designed YouTube series, he goes through the thought process behind the Maserati MC12.

In addition to the design of the MC, Stephenson was behind several automotive greats such as the Mclaren P1, Ford Escort Cosworth and Ferrari F430. He also designed the post-BMW-fusion Mini Cooper and the new Fiat 500.

While there is a common misconception that the MC12 is just a rebadged Ferrari Enzo, the two supercars are quite different. Yes, the Maserati is built on the Ferrari Enzo chassis, but almost everything else is bespoke. As well as being longer, wider and taller, the MC12 works very differently from the Enzo. It has a lower top speed of 205 mph (330 km / h) to 217 mph (349 km / h) than the Enzo, and slightly lower braking performance as a by-product of its dimensions. greater.

Part of what makes Stephenson such a great designer is that he has mechanical knowledge to support his artistry. As the MC12 is a special homologation, he designed it not only to look good but also to be fast. He says young designers often overlook the mechanical limits of their designs and often have to fix the aesthetic at the last minute. He believes that if something is designed to work well, it will be inherently beautiful.

Besides its looks and design, the MC12 was a very important car for Maserati as it brought the company back into the racing world. While the GT racing rulebook states that you must build 25 road versions of your racing car, Maserati wanted to do something special. Unlike most of the big manufacturers who will modify their road vehicles to race, Stephenson and Maserati have decided to optimize the car for the circuit. The MC12 GT1 rider took a page from the old GT1 class that produced beauties like the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR and the Porsche 911 GT1.

The MC12 GT1 brought the Italian manufacturer great success without too much waiting time. In its second race only, the team supported by AF Corse took victory at Oschersleben with Mika Salo and Andrea Bertolini at the wheel. Although the approval of the MC12 has been disputed quite often, its initial performance on the track is difficult to dispute.

With the ACO and IMSA offering the Lemans Daytona Hybrid class, we would like to see the return of GT1 influenced vehicles back on track.

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