This pair here, this is what dreams are made of. Sitting before me, are the pair of Ferrari Enzo and Maserati MC12. While the Enzo has seen life outside of the Naza Italia showroom, it is perhaps unfortunate that the MC12 is possibly destined to forever stay inside a compound.
The red car, the Enzo, was named after Ferrari’s founding father, and revealed to the world in 2002 at the Paris Motor Show. In case you were wondering, the car’s official name is Ferrari Enzo Ferrari – so you see, the Ferrari LaFerrari isn’t that weird after all. Initially limited to just 359 units, Ferrari produced 50 more units, bringing the total count to 399 units. Or as Ferrari likes to put it, one unit less than customer demands. Some years later, in 2004, a 400th Enzo was built, and then presented to the Pope.
When it comes to cars like this that sit at the hypercar sphere of things, I think performance is secondary. Of course this doesn’t mean the Enzo is slow by any means; that 6.0-litre V12 behind you makes a healthy 651hp/657Nm and does the century sprint in a little over 3 seconds. No, when it comes to cars like this, the most important element it needs to have, is how it makes you feel. Not just as a driver, but also as a spectator.
Swing into the car and you know immediately the car is driver focused. Look around and you realize just how spartan things are in here. Most exciting bits are probably the large, red “Start” button and the steering wheel. If memory serves the right, the steering wheel on from the Enzo was the first to have the LED rev counter. It was also the first to have the indicator buttons, positioned on the steering wheel itself, with modern Ferraris now adopting similar features.
Designed by Pininfarina, some have called the Enzo ugly. Naturally, everyone have a different perspective of things but when I first read about the Enzo in car magazines, it was THE car I wanted in a poster, on my bedroom wall. To me, the Enzo is elegant, beautiful, even today. Or maybe I’m a sucker for cars with wings.
And here we have Maserati’s entry into the hypercar sphere, simply named the MC12. Its purpose was simple – developed specifically for racing in the FIA GT Championship, the manufacturer needs to have a minimum of 25 road going cars to be homologated and produced, before the car would be allowed to compete. Maserati produced 50 road legal cars, all of which were pre-sold to existing customers. Of the 50 cars, 49 had the white/blue colour scheme and only 1 unit left the factory as a black car. If you’ve seen any other MC12 with a different colour scheme, that’s an indication the car has been repainted (or maybe wrapped!).
On the inside, we’ve read that the MC12 was designed to have a, umm, luxurious interior. You can see a lot of carbon fibre, blue leather, and Maserati’s patented “Brightex” material; strong pliant fabric that essentially looks like carbon fibre, and is used across the dashboard, seats, and door inserts. Just like the Enzo, there is a massive blue “Start” button… and no radio. There’s not much left to describe, honestly. Especially when there isn’t much to begin with!
Technically, much of the MC12 was taken directly from the Enzo, including the chassis, engine, gearbox. However, the car sits lower, wider, and taller than its Enzo sister. Front lifters are not an option, so I cannot imagine how anyone could drive this on our pot-holed roads. Although much of its tech and components are shared, the MC12 has a slower century sprint (3.8 seconds) and a lower top speed (330km/h vs 350km/h). It does have a lower drag coefficient and when paired with the correct rubbers, it doesn’t have to be slower. Out on the Top Gear test track and in the arms of the Stig, the MC12 managed a 1:18.9 timing, 0.1 seconds quicker than the Enzo on the same track.
Anyway, since I had some private time with this duo, I thought I’d share some of my pictures with you. They’re not DSLR quality as I did not have one at the time, but I hope you enjoy nevertheless.