British performance car magazine, ‘Evo’, is claiming to have smashed the production car lap record at the tortuous 20 km German Nurburgring race track in a Maserati MC-12, taking just 7:24.29 minutes to lap the circuit name as ‘the green hell’ and regarded as the ultimate test of a super car.
Armed with a fleet of supercars provided by a German collector, which included a Ferrari Enzo, the Koenigsegg CCX, the Pagani Zonda F Clubsport and the Porsche Carrera GT, as well as the Maserati, ‘Evo’ borrowed American Le Mans Series race driver, Marc Basseng to do the driving.
While none of the cars could, in any way, be described as ‘slow’, the car that was the least quick around the track was the Koenigsegg CCX, which, while staggeringly fast in a straight line thanks to its 672 kW, had trouble using its immense power in the corners, humps and hills of the Nurburgring Nordschleife. In the Porsche, Basseng matched the time set by the legendary Walter Rohrl during the final testing of the Carrera GT, but it was only sufficient to finish in fourth place. Next came the Ferrari Enzo, just behind the Pagani, which averaged more than 165 kmh, yet was still shadowed by the mighty Maserati MC-12.
What makes the performance of the Maserati MC-12 all the more impressive was the fact that not only was it the heaviest of the cars tested – a fact that has added significance on a track that goes up and down a mountain during a lap – and was also running with conventional dampers and steel brakes. The magazine concluded that while it was not the quickest on the straights, the Maserati MC-12 triumphed thanks to the balanced chassis and race-bred aerodynamics and an engine that provided easily accessible power, a combination that enabled Basseng to get the power earlier and harder than its rivals.
This balance that enabled the MC-12 to capture the Nurburgring record is hallmark of all Maserati designs and is just as evident in the Maserati Quattroporte and GranTurismo models, with their engines placed behind the front axle line and, in the GranTurismo S, a rear transaxle to ensure optimum weight distribution. This allows Maserati drivers to fully exploit the potential of their cars with confidence as the chassis is both responsive and consistent in its performance, an ability that is further enhanced by the smooth and effortless power provided by the Maserati V8 engine.
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