Blue Thunder: The Maserati Mc12 Corsa

Simple question. If you were given the choice, what one ultimate driver’s car would you choose? Of course money would be no object, we are right in the middle of our Supercar Theme so it’s a time to not only look at some pretty wild cars, but also a time for us all to dream a little.

The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport we looked at yesterday may well be high on a lot of people’s wish list, but is it a driver’s car? Built for the sole purpose of raising the bar when it comes to power, top speed and overall engineering, it may fall short of a few qualities. If you really had to pick something visceral, a car so raw that you would in no time feel at one with it, there is a very good chance that a lot of you would just go for a fully-fledged race car. And that’s precisely what the Maserati MC12 Corsa we have here is. Once the sides of the transporter at Fuji Speedway swung upwards…

…  it was the chrome blue wrap that covers this very special Maserati that we all saw first.

Takada-san of MotorHead had told me that along with the Veyron, an MC12 would also be taken to the track, but I had no idea he meant one of only 12 Corsa versions ever built!

The owner of these two cars instantly became my hero; not only does he have the means to purchase cars like these but he takes them to the track for a bit of fun. With as much jealousy as respect I take my hat off to him…

… because he certainly knows how to enjoy his toys! With all eyes, or lenses rather, on the Veyron, the MC12 Corsa spent most of the day sitting in the pits and awaiting its turn. It wasn’t until all the photography had been taken care of that the car was taken out…

… and driven. Properly! Seeing it out doing its thing it just seemed to make so much more sense than a Bugatti. I’m in no way criticizing the Veyron of course, but for those that put driving above everything else…

… a race car like the MC12 Corsa just makes sense, something that was certified by the goosebumps that would hit me in waves each time it screamed by the pit wall.

Seeing that it was out for quite a few laps, its fastest being a 1’52”, I did manage to hit a few other locations around FSW to capture this rarity in action. The cherry blossoms in full bloom in the background were just a great bonus!

And there I was thinking that the thirty minutes with the Veyron flew by quickly. I had about the same amount of time with the Maserati…

… except there was so much more to see and take in. While I spent a lot of time admiring the beauty and design of the Veyron, the Maserati I approached in a very different way. This car is all about the details…

… starting off with its exterior panels; huge single-piece items latched down onto its lightweight chassis. Everything you see and touch is carbon fiber, the exterior covered in a protective vinyl film for obvious reasons. The owner has done the same treatment to a lot of other cars in his collection; vehicles that include an F40 and a Mercedes CLK GTR.

I love how the wrap even uses some of that M3 DINOC carbon-look film, covering and protecting the real carbon fiber beneath. Aside from a slightly shorter nose with a larger meshed grille opening…

… the Corsa sports a set of OZ Racing multispoked wheels shod in Pirelli P-Zero slick rubber – not forgetting the forged monoblock front and rear Brembo calipers…

… not to mention a redesigned and slightly longer rear tail section…

… a high-mount adjustable rear wing and a complex lower diffuser. The same Italian flag details that have been done to the front of the rear view mirrors have also been applied to the whole underside of the car. I’m not just saying this because I’m Italian, but that’s a cool touch!

It’s pretty easy to see how it differs from the ‘regular’ road car when it’s out on the track.

It is very much a thing of beauty; an aggressive beauty dictated by functionality.

Open the lightweight carbon door and the sheer rawness of the car starts to be revealed. The carbon fiber tub is exposed in all its glory; a part that the MC12 shares with its Ferrari cousin, the Enzo, or in this case, more like the FXX. The two OMP race buckets require a custom molded lower seat section just like in a race car, to fit perfectly around the rear end of the lucky driver.

The dashboard does away with the stock instrument binnacle of the MC12…

… everything being graphically and digitally read out through the color LCD display. As soon as you flick the power switch the display greets you with the MC12 logo…

… before switching to its default screen.

What isn’t already positioned on the steering wheel is moved onto the carbon center console from where the driver has access to all sorts of controls, from the engine starter and brake balance adjuster at the very top, to the lights and wiper controls further down.

This ready-to-race version of the MC12 boasts the more highly tuned version of the Enzo-derived 6L V12…

… the same engine that was used in the MC12 GT1 that competed in the FIA GT1 Championship.

With the 755 PS (745hp) on tap and weighing in at only 1,250 kg (2,800 lb) you can imagine the available performance. I kept the best for my last few minutes with the MC12 Corsa: a detailed look at the engine. I had to call in the help of a few people to remove the one-piece cover, so I could indulge in what can only be described as mechanical pornography. There is nothing particularly innovative or mind-blowing, it’s just a well executed – raw – but usual layout for a mid-engined race car…

… with the electrically actuated sequential transmission mounted in a transaxle position.

The in-board mounted Sachs dampers are activated through a pushrod system, connected via a pivot on each side to the double wishbones.

The roof scoop channels air into the big airbox that sits on top of the motor and feeds the 12 individual throttles.

Spent gasses are dumped into the complex manifolds…

… and exit through the two straight pipes. There is no trace of any sort of silencer; sort of obvious after having heard it fly down the FSW straight at close to 300 km/h. Earplugs are definitely a necessity!

Air jacks are of course part of the package.

So I guess after seeing the MC12 Corsa in detail…

… it all brings us back to our original question: what car would you choose if money was no object? Would it be more or less extreme than this particular Maserati? I think hearing your own personal choices will be the perfect ending to this feature so let’s hear what you have to say!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Instagram: speedhunters_dino

Supercar Theme 2013

Maserati stories on Speedhunters



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a 1981 Ferrari 308 GTSi,

and it's still doable at ~25k


equus bass 770 is what i'd take
or maybe the already featured coroner


DrewMalkin Rally cars are street legal, they must drive on public road from stage to stage and to do that they must be road legal


I would let Mazda make me a new Furai

Ildar Sadykov

Dino aren't only photographer but a Car poet! :)
I enjoyed reading your text, many thanks!


i'd get a stanced civic with volks wheels. vtecyo