top of page

Covering Sports cars & Supercars

The Design of Speed

Maserati MC12 hood strakes (with correction!)

📸: Photo courtesy

There's a lot to like about the Maserati MC12, but for our "Cool Designs" series, we're going to focus on those outrageous "strakes" that dominate the cutouts in the hood. Based on the Ferrari Enzo, but wearing a body designed for Maserati by Frank Stephenson, the MC12 was originally meant to be a racecar first, road car second.

📸: Photo courtesy

Job number one for the MC12 body was to create as much downforce as possible, which explains those huge vents on the front hood of a mid-engine car. That this was all cast in carbon fiber is rather amazing.

📸: Photo courtesy

From a practical standpoint, these strakes have zero functionality. They exist only because they look good, which is basically the bottom line truth for every supercar ever made. And we love them all the more for it!

CORRECTION: Yesterday, we heard directly from designer Frank Stephenson, who kindly explained the reason for this design: "The strakes DO have a function. There's a regulation on the maximum 'hole' area (measured in square centimeters) that is allowed for any apertures on the front hood area of a car. It's to ensure that a person's head doesn't go into it if a pedestrian is hit. Weird fact but true. So the strakes are there to reduce the overall opening size of the vents." Thank you sir!

  • Black Instagram Icon
Follow on Instagram:
bottom of page