Traveling in the Enzo brother: Maserati MC12 – a rather rare guest

On the way in the Enzo brother
Maserati MC12 – a pretty rare guy

By Patrick Broich

Finding a Maserati MC12 in the wild is like winning the lottery. Now ntv.de has even managed to experience a copy behind the wheel. This test drive must be remembered.

If you own a Maserati MC12, you don’t really want to appear in public. No, as a rule, the person does not even want strangers to get knowledge of such properties. And supercar dealers with a matching portfolio advertise their vehicles but are reluctant to deal with such high-end gems.

Fortunately, there are also enthusiasts like Roman Wieser of RW Exclusive Cars from Papenburg, who take even the rarest collector’s cars from the air-conditioned hall onto the street – where they belong anyway.

The MC12 is special

The beast with orange livery is reserved for the track.

(Photo: Patrick Broich)

So that there are no misunderstandings: Wieser does not only have cars in the inventory that cost a million dollars. There’s also a powerful X5 for a modest six-figure sum among the cars, which, however, usually come from Ferrari, Lamborghini or McLaren. But a Maserati MC12 is also a special jewel for the Papenburgers. The specialist store not only markets the Stradale version, but also the Corse version intended for motorsport events – road approval is usually not granted here.

Anyway – you almost never see an MC12 on the open road. It was Maserati’s weapon for the Fia GT races. It is based on the Ferrari “Enzo Ferrari” (named after the founder of the company) including the modified Tipo F140 engine with 12 cylinders and in this case a displacement of six liters. Maserati built just 37 road homologation vehicles and 12 to 14 (depending on the source) with the Corse name for events such as track days. With 632 hp, the MC12 Stradale scores 28 hp below the Enzo – the Ferrari should not lose its crown after all.

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The rear wing provides powerful downforce.

(Photo: Patrick Broich)

However, the MC12, which Michael Schumacher was also involved in, is a real downforce monster. On the track, this is rewarded with fast lap times thanks to high cornering performance. Huge rear spoiler, monstrous diffuser and generally sophisticated aerodynamics characterize the MC12. Numerous ventilation slots, beads and channels show that the mechanics must have thought long and hard about how the air flows into the car. Therefore, unlike the Enzo, the exotic Italian may only drive “more than” 330 km/h – according to the wording in the datasheet. It is registered with a top speed of 351 km/h, which is probably less due to the small extra output. But in the end: speculation. Certainly because the gear ratio of the MC12 should be different from that of the Enzo.

MC12 ride means adventure

But as great as the potential for longitudinal and lateral performance with the MC12 may be, it will not be explored here and today. Even if the most experienced driver were behind the wheel, fast laps would fail because of the tires alone. Like the vehicle, they are absolutely original, so they are 18 years old. And with them, even a normal ride without overly dynamic inserts becomes an adventure.

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The MC12 is outrageously expensive, the interior looks bad.

(Photo: Patrick Broich)

Anyway, peeling first in the partial leather sports seats with the pronounced cheeks – works better than expected. The somewhat stubborn four-point seat belts are more of an obstacle. The problem is not getting them on, but they are hard to adjust. Be that as it may, it doesn’t really look suitable for everyday use. After all, an MC12 is an exceptional car.

But then. Switch on with the somewhat precarious-looking key (in general, the interior design also seems rather careless), press the blue start button – the twelve-point sniffs to life. The device apparently comes from a time when the EU had not intervened so hard in sound design and set volume requirements. In addition, the six-litre screams almost right next to the passengers’ heads. Crazy loud, crazy cool. Pull the paddle, the first gear of the automated six-speed gearbox engages audibly mechanically. The carbon racer gently rolls onto the road and is initially given a few miles of moderate run-out to warm up the 11.5 liters of engine oil. It goes without saying that this unit pumps its lubricant to the liners via a dry-sump system. The risk of the oil film tearing off at high lateral acceleration would be too great.

The racer wants to be checked

But the MC12 doesn’t get any real fire anymore, it has stood still for a long time and the 19-inchers of the 345 class are eager to transfer the concentrated torque (652 Newton meters at 5500 rpm). Soon built up a little too much speed – and the static friction says goodbye. Narrow roads curb the urge to go as fast as possible. After all, there should not be a single scratch on the 2.10 meter wide beast that is worth several million.

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Below the ventilation slots is the tempting-sounding twelve-cylinder.

(Photo: Patrick Broich)

Yet. Enjoying the angry, dull-sounding 65-degree twelve-cylinder also works quite well with a personal speed range ending on this side of 6000 rpm. You also have to be careful with the load. Logically, the highly developed four-valve engine could cheer up to 7500 trips and really go forward. But that’s not what it’s all about, it’s more about the feeling of actually driving an MC12.

If it were all about dynamics, the effort to get this homologation model for a ride would be wasted. The racer, which weighs about 1.5 tons, needs about eleven seconds before the speedometer reaches 200 km/h. That was fast in 2004. Today, however, cars interrupt seven seconds in this discipline. And they cost a fraction of what you should spend on an MC12.

Exception Maserati nothing for everyday use

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Unfortunately, most MC12’s don’t leave the showroom.

(Photo: Patrick Broich)

Crazy thought – would an MC12 be conceivable for everyday use? If money were a secondary factor, at least maintenance wouldn’t be the issue. However, the dimensions pose certain challenges. The Italian is not only more than two meters wide, but also more than five meters long, which in combination with the scarce brightness (there is no rear window to see through) can cause problems. The MC12 easily overcomes obstacles such as speed bumps on the road. The lifting system raises the chassis and sounds a little tired with a grumpy tone, but still immaculate after 18 years.

Maybe a ride now and then would be the compromise. Outrageously expensive collector cars should also be driven rather than just sitting in air-conditioned display cases. This appeal is not just for MC12 owners, but for all owners in similar price ranges. And to be honest – it would be nice to be able to admire super rare cars every now and then.

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