The Italian Junkyard

Thoughts, ideas, criticism about cars. Interesting news and facts from the world of the automobile. Events in Italy and Modena. What you can find elsewhere, filtered through the eyes of a discerning enthusiast. Design, style, everything on the chopping block. Nobody is safe anymore.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

16.2 Up close and personal with the Maserati MC12 Versione Corse, aka Moby-Dick

There is something about the MC12 I always liked, and it wasn’t until the Versione Corse was released that I realized it was exactly what I didn’t like. Its rawness, and the fact it is purpose built in a way it’s hard to come to grasp.
I liked its design when I saw the first images, I even more I liked the racing version of the car, even if I was well aware how much the paint job on racing cars can be deceptive.

More after the jump.

Anyway, when I saw both cars in the flesh during the Italian round of the FIA GT in 2004, at the Imola race track, I was a bit disappointed. While the road going car was just huge, and ridiculously long, the GT1 version was on the other hand too wide, specifically because of the rear end. It wasn’t only the rear wing, rather the whole bonnet and its flatness.
It was still quite attractive, but also disproportioned, reminded me of some sort of fish which has just been stranded. I guess the whitish and blue paint job wasn’t helping. On the other hand there is a dark blue car in France, and it seems even longer.

Then the Versione Corse, or just MC12 Corsa, came out and something started making sense. The time I saw it for the first time it was at the 2007 Modena Terra di Motori, and I think I looked at it for no less than a couple of hours. It isn’t a beautiful car by any means, but with this untamed bodywork it was clear this car and its bodywork were born with just one mission in mind, and that has been achieved largely. The detail I always loved were the enlarged front wheel arches, flattening the car to the ground and giving it a much more impressive stance. The slightly longer noose also helped creating a more fluent shape, and while I was exploring the whole picture, something started coming out of it.

It may be a little hard to imagine, but just try to remove, ideally, the whole front end of the car from the windshield onwards, and then remove also the rear end, except for the engine cover with its pointy shape.
Now what should be left is the cockpit, and the bodywork surrounding the engine. Looks like something you know? It does, to me. It’s a drop! Perhaps it is just me, but I really do see a drop shaped car, stripping the most of bodywork off it, that is. Which is brilliant, like a huge bridge between those cars from the early automotive days and this ultimate track killer.

On the other hand, heading towards the tail, you can’t really say that the rear end is a good looking one. The need to evacuate a lot of hot air from that engine bay is quite underlined by that extra large air vent, which honestly is shaped in a way that just doesn’t cut it. There isn’t something else on the car that can be paired with it, and that’s something wrong. I thought that after the nineties people started actually care about rear ends and their looks, abandoning all those squared or grilled tails. Even if this car is made to race in win and little else, I just can’t say this was the most efficient design available.
And that’s pretty important, because that’s the only part of the car you will likely see, unless it’s parked that is.

All Pictures Copyright: Damiano Garro

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