Maserati might build a new LaFerrari-based hypercar to succeed MC12 Stradale

Article by Anita Panait, on May 7, 2013

Speculations are increasing that Maserati is building a successor to its MC12 Stradale hypercar. According to reports, the new hypercar would employ many of the underpinnings and technology of LaFerrari, except that it would not be equipped with a complex hybrid powertrain.

Maserati chief executive Harald Wester declined to confirm a new hypercar project at the recently held Shanghai motor show but remarked that there is always a “right time for a halo car,” noting that the carmaker’s current focus is on the buildup for sales growth while saying that “there is an opportunity.”

According to reports, the new Maserati hypercar would use the LaFerrari chassis and suspension and would also share several ancillaries. The new hypercar would be powered by either a retuned version of LaFerrari’s 789bhp 6.3-litre V12 without the electric motor, or a heavily turbocharged version of the 3.8-litre V8 equipped in the new Maserati Quattroporte.

This means that the new Maserati hypercar could be lighter than LaFerrari, but internal politics could limit the top speed of the new vehicle. The original MC12 was powered by the Ferrari Enzo’s V12 that was detuned from 651bhp to 620bhp. It was a limited top speed of 205mph, compared to the Enzo’s 217mph. The new Maserati hypercar could have a price similar to the LaFerrari.

The new hypercar project is reportedly gaining momentum as demand for LaFerrari has exceeded its 499-example limit, making parent Fiat scramble for ways to extend its production run. Wester also welcomed the possibility of producing a Maserati version of the Alfa Romeo 4C, saying that it was a “nice idea.”

Every good result comes from a good plan. The sophistication behind the LaFerrari obviously necessitated extensive, intelligent, and innovative planning and design.

The conundrum for the Prancing Horse design team was to bulk up the LaFerrari yet still maintain a compact wheelbase and equitable weight distribution. They achieved this by positioning as close to the floor as possible to lower the center of gravity and between the two axles all of the masses of the LaFerrari. This has resulted to a LaFerrari which, despite its hulking but compact frame, is able to assure dynamic handling. Part of this can be attributed to the cabin lay-out. After much consultation with Scuderia Ferrari superstar drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, the Prancing Horse design team made the seat customized to the driver, similar to a single-seater. They also made the steering wheel and pedal box adjustable to the driver’s requirements and comfortability.

LaFerrari is fully loaded on the outside as well as on the inside. The chassis ticks on all relevant racing department checklist of must-haves. The LaFerrari has been equipped in the mold of a Ferrari Formula 1 race car, with four varieties of hand-laminated and autoclave-cured carbon fibre used in the design and manufacture, in the process maximizing other components like battery compartment and seats to further galvanize the stiffness of the beam and the rigidity of the torsion.

The LaFerrari is not just about tyres and speed. It also has features that make it a smart and dynamic speedster. The interior showcases F1 single-seater-inspired HMI, while the controls feature the HY-KERs system and active aerodynamics, an unprecedented move given that these have never been included in any previous road car of the Ferrari.

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