Built as an edition of only twelve examples, this was to be an exclusive model for use at Maserati-supported track days, similar to Ferrari's FXX program
The MC12 marked Maserati's re-entry into the ultra-exclusive supercar market and international racing scene. A tangible symbol of Maserati engineering and a worthy descendant of the company's greatest racing machines, the MC12 was designed from the outset to conquer the FIA GT Championship.
Thanks to its relationship with Ferrari, Maserati utilized the Enzo as a platform from which a total of 50 road-going MC12s would be built between 2004 and 2005 to meet homologation. Also borrowed from the Enzo was the 6.0-liter, 12-cylinder engine, which developed 630 hp. The MC12 boasted a 0 to 100 kph time of just 3.8 seconds and a top speed in excess of 205 mph. All this power was harnessed by Maserati's Cambiocorsa 6-speed transmission.
In 2006, Maserati elected to build a limited series of MC12s, developed directly from the MC12 GT1. Designated Versione Corse or simply Corsa, twelve fortunate clients were specifically chosen by Maserati to buy the cars and to drive them in track events specially organized by Maserati. As Edward Butler, one of Maserati's General Managers, stated, "The MC12 Corsa has been developed in response to the customer demand to own the MC12 racing car and fueled by the growth in track days, where owners can drive their cars at high speeds in the safety of a race track without the obvious constraints of normal road use. Without doubt the MC12 Corsa is the ultimate track day car!"
The Maserati MC12 Corsa presented here is the last of the twelve examples built, finished in 2008, and is entirely new, never having left the Maserati factory in Modena, as the current and only owner never took delivery. Every element, both cosmetically and mechanically, is in brand new condition.
|Vehicle:||2008 Maserati MC12 Corsa|
|Number Produced:||50 Stradale, 12 Corsa|
|Original List Price:||$810,000 Stradale, $1,350,000 Corsa|
|Tune Up Cost:||$3,000|
|Engine Number Location:||Middle of the V by oil filter|
|Club Info:||Maserati Club International, PO Box 1015 Mercer Island, WA 98040|
This 2008 Maserati MC12 Corsa sold for $1,058,750, including buyer’s premium, at RM’s Ferrari Leggenda e Passione auction on May 17, 2009, in Maranello, Italy.
Appreciating the MC12 requires an understanding of the history of Maserati, which is founded on the Maserati brothers and their skill at building race cars. It is peppered with fascinating sidebars like an ill-fated deal with Argentinean dictator Juan Peron to trade wheat with the Italian government for Maserati machine tools, but racing is Maserati’s core. The Maserati brothers entered the automobile business just after the turn of the 20th century, building Grand Prix cars for Diatto, an Italian automobile manufacturer. They capitalized on their success by starting an automobile company of their own. Their cars competed at the top levels of racing on most every continent on earth and they won. In their era, the Maserati brothers were racing royalty.
The brothers subsequently sold the company to the Orsi family of Modena, who continued the racing tradition but with a focus toward selling production cars. As the Orsi’s ownership passed to Citroën in the 1960s, and then on to DeTomaso, racing became a luxury Maserati could no longer afford.
In the early 1990s, the Italian government made Fiat a deal it couldn’t refuse, and the company became the new owner of Maserati. Fiat gave Ferrari full operating control of Maserati and out of the fire came the Phoenix. Under Luca di Montezemolo’s skilled leadership, and backed by piles of Fiat’s euros, new facilities were built, new cars were designed, and Maserati was reborn. As a way of saying “we’re back,” a commitment was made for Maserati to return to racing.
Enzo not designed for serious racing
The intended purpose of the MC12 project was to build an FIA GT race car. The project was called MCC for Maserati Corse Competizione. The Enzo was designed for high-performance work but not for serious racing, so while the MCC started with an Enzo tub and powertrain, both required modification for racing applications. The secret weapon was to give the MCC the optimum surface for the aerodynamics engineers to work with. Compared to the Enzo, the MCC is huge. It is 2.6 inches wider, 2.2 inches taller, has a 5.9-inch longer wheelbase, and is a massive 17.4 inches longer. The bulk adds up to an unfair advantage only an engineer could love, but it worked.
When introduced to the public, the MCC was called the MC12 Versione Competizione or MC12 GT1. They have been raced by the factory and by privateers since 2004, with exceptional results. Through 2008, MC12s have won two manufacturer’s cups and two driver’s titles, with 15 victories and 32 podium finishes-and they’re not done yet. The cars are still being raced today and still returning podium finishes.
The FIA requires a minimum production run before a car is allowed to race. Maserati met that requirement by producing a street version of its competition car. The MC12 Stradale retained most of the specifications of the Competizione but was designed to meet the safety and comfort needs of a street car. Approximately 50 Stradales were produced, and all were quickly gobbled up by collectors around the world. A few have even made their way to the U.S.
The MC12 Corsa sold at this auction was yet another member of the MC12 family. This model was designed for the private owner who wanted to experience the Versione Competizione but with more comfort than the full competition version. The Corsa is a serious rocketship, with 200 kph coming in just 6.4 seconds. It is derived from the MC12 GT1 rather than the Stradale. It is 407 lb lighter than the Stradale, with an additional 255 horsepower. Shocks are manually adjustable and data acquisition hardware is standard equipment. Built in an edition of only twelve examples, the Corsa is not homologated for street use, so you won’t be driving it to the track; in fact, most owners will probably be leaving their MC12 Corsa at the factory, where it will be looked after and updated by the Factory R&D team and driven at Maserati-supported track days in a manner similar to Ferrari’s FXX program.
Weekends at the clubhouse could be lonely
A friend who retired very young used to say there was no one to play golf with because all his friends had to work. There’s a strong parallel with these exclusive track cars. Plenty of people can afford them, but few have the time to play with them. Roger Penske has an FXX, but can you imagine the difficulty he would have putting together three days to play with the FXX at a China track day? Much of the value of these factory-backed programs is the membership in the private club. With only twelve members in the Corsa club, weekends at the clubhouse could be lonely.
So was this a good buy or a good sale? On one hand, the buyer got entry into an exclusive club, both literally and figuratively. On the other, he’s paying up to join. I don’t see any short-term appreciation for the car, and at a million dollars, it would take a lot just to cover the holding cost. For the buyer, this is like a boat-the happiest day was buying it and the next happiest day is selling it. The seller paid approximately $1,350,000 for a car he never drove or put into his garage, and his net after commission is less than $1,000,000, a big hit on a car that has yet to provide him with any visceral pleasure. Chances are there was no upside to holding it longer and he smartly cut his losses. The values of MC12s will probably float in their current range, until they are replaced by the next “latest and greatest” model from Maserati. So on this auction day, the supply of one met the demand of one, and both parties did reasonably well.