Edo swiftly persuaded one unnamed company to produce the 15.6-inch ceramic brake discs that work with the standard calipers that now sit just 3mm off the 19-inch alloy wheels. That's when the tires' inept performance under hard braking came to light, and a set of Enzo's Bridgestones found themselves smeared onto the rims. The Bridgestones were developed specifically for this chassis; whereas the O.E. Pirellis on the MC12 are mighty tires in normal circumstances, they proved the root cause of the car's handling imbalance.
"Without a doubt this was the biggest change I made to the car," Karabegovic explained. A fully adjustable suspension, again from a mystery supplier, was an integral part of the process, as the fixed Boge dampers that found their way onto the factory car replicated a Japanese earthquake at speed. It was an afterthought for a marque more interested in sorting a racing car. Karabegovic created a comfortable and confidence inspiring car at speed that would undoubtedly attract live TV coverage over here. The Maserati now works at speeds so far removed from the usual road car remit most customers would never have found them anyway.
And this car will evolve, if Karabegovic gets his way and strips 440 pounds of excess baggage. The car doesn't need more power, he says, weight is the big factor now. And the interior certainly won't miss the poorly constructed dashboard with a clock that barely fits, carbon-fiber-look cloth and leather cladding. His other plans include a racing rear wing, but he'll have to make his own after his request to buy one from the motorsport arm was politely declined. He already constructed the front headlight fairings, molding them directly to the front section. One slip, one burn, and Karabegovic would have personally ended up with a hellish bill to replace that elegant mass of aerodynamically-tuned vanes and bulges. Typically, he told me its value as I removed it from the scene for pictures. Never have I been so careful with a piece of carbon-fiber.
An extra 70 bhp that brings the MC12 conveniently up to and beyond Enzo spec was all too easy to find. A mild ram air effect helped raise the horsepower at high revs, and the rest came from the exhaust and a local electronics whiz coming up with a new 8500-rpm redline and a new gearbox program to cope with the extra torque throughout the range. Our amiable, if slightly eccentric, German friend was planning a 400-km/h run by winding the revs up to unhealthy levels for a 10-minute stint, too; with a headwind this could actually beat the Veyron.
And the noise at its upper reaches is the food of the gods. It may have a trident badge, but the engine note is pure Ferrari as the revs raise and the flat burbling exhaust note hardens to a high-pitched scream. Maserati's stock exhaust was a monumental 60-pound piece of kit, packed with so much insulation that this machine "sounded like a Nissan Primera." A new unit of Edo's own design weighs in at a much more spritely 15 pounds and comes with a neat trick attached.
On the key fob are two buttons which operate the "quiet" and "loud" modes by a pair of electronically controlled flaps in the back box. In quiet mode the MC12 R will pass any inspection, support conversation and creep as quietly down the street as any 6-liter V12 ever will. Hit the loud button, though, and every rev suddenly permeates the cabin, the engine sings as the decibels reach a level the local police would not be so happy with. It's fantastic. "I don't make cars for the disco, I make cars faster and I also like fun things like this," Karabegovic said. He is also not into bulk selling wheels. He likes complete projects and I get the feeling more of his work will grace these pages in the coming months.
Edo Karabegovic's MC12 is one of the most spectacular cars on the road today--and just maybe the fastest supercar on Earth. He has built an Enzo beater and then some. That scribble on the door, by the way, belongs to Michael Schumacher, who warmed this particular car up round Fiorano. Given a second crack, he'd like this car a lot more.
Edo Competition Maserati MC12 R
Longitudinal mid-engine, rear-wheel drive.
6.0-liter V12, dohc, four valves per cylinder Edo Competition software, ram air intakes, sport exhaust
Fully adjustable coilover suspension from anonymous supplier
Ceramic discs, 15.6-inch front, 14.2-inch rear
Bridgestone Potenza Scuderias, 245/35-19 (f) 345/35-19 (r)
Headlight fairings, Edo livery
Peak power: 700 bhp @ 8200 rpm
Peak Torque: 527 lb-ft @ 4830 rpm
0-60mph: 3.7 sec.
Top speed: 248 mph (est.)