Making its debut at the Bologna Motor Show is the Maserati MC12 Versione Corse, a car designed to offer a highly select clientele the chance to try their hand at driving one of the most extreme supercars now available on the market.

The MC12 Versione Corse is based on the MC12 GT1 which won the FIA GT1 Manufacturers’ Championship in 2005, the Team Championship in 2005 and 2006, the Drivers’ Championship in 2006, and two consecutive editions of the Spa 24 Hours, in 2005 and 2006. The main differences between the two vehicles are: the 755 horsepower (MC12 Versione Corse) compared to the 600 horsepower (MC12 GT1), electro-hydraulic Cambiocorsa in the Versione Corse compared to the manual gear change in the GT1, the passenger seat in addition to the driver’s seat fitted to the Versione Corse.

The MC12 Versione Corse is available in the official “Blue Victory” colour, but it can be customised on request with a number of optionals, including colours and livery, manually adjustable shock absorbers and data acquisition.

The price (identical for all markets) is €1,000,000 plus taxes. It is marketed worldwide starting from December 2006.

Andrea Bertolini, behind the wheel of the Vitaphone Team’s Maserati MC12, came through as FIA GT Champion 2006 at the end of a very successful season in which the MC12 also achieved its second consecutive win at the Spa 24 Hours.

Maserati won two FIA GT 2006 titles: the one for drivers, won by Andrea Bertolini and Michael Bartels one race early; and the team championship, which Team Vitaphone took home for the second year running, two races before the end of the season.

The MC12’s last triumphs came in the 6 Hour race at Vallelunga by the MC12 of Team Racing Box (Perazzini/Cioci/Lamy) and in the Tricolore Championship with first place in the final rankings for Toni Vilander and Giambattista Giannoccaro of the Playteam.

During a year in which the aim was to deliver the same number of cars as in 2005, while awaiting the new arrivals for 2007, Maserati is perfectly in line with its own forecasts.

Sales in the United States, now established as Maserati’s top world market, grew by a further 4% during the first ten months of the year, while in August Maserati recorded its best month ever in the US in terms of sales of its 2-door models – GranSport, GranSport MC Victory and GranSport Spyder.

Italy held on to second place among Maserati’s world markets, consolidating its position as European leader and relying on an extensive network of dealers throughout the country, totalling 29 dealers. The best-performing region was the Triveneto area, which registered a significant increase in the number of new registrations at the end of November, with the Quattroporte in particular. The Italian market also recorded the most significant percentage increases for the Coupe and Spyder categories, compared to the average of Maserati’s eight main markets.

Great results from Eastern Europe and the Far East: the figures are significant, demonstrating the ongoing growth trend: up by 65% in China, where ten Quattroporte were sold at the end of November, during the Peking Motor Show; an increase of 55% in Russia, +36% in Spain and +18% in Australia. Performances in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Taiwan also improved.

The Maserati name is continuing its worldwide expansion, with a network of new dealers and importers. Its latest venture is Bulgaria, which this autumn became Maserati’s 58th largest world market.

Equally significant in terms of company growth and expansion is its collaboration with Alfa Romeo, to produce the 8C Competizione.

The award from the German magazine Auto Zeitung at the end of November takes the number of international awards won by the Maserati Quattroporte to 28, since the day of its launch. For the third consecutive year, readers of Auto Zeitung paid tribute to the Trident flagship car, which triumphed in the category “Imported Luxury Sedans” collecting a third of all votes.

Another international tribute came from the Netherlands, where thousands of readers of Fem Business chose the Maserati Quattroporte as “Executive Car of the Year”, from a field of 30 luxury cars selected by the magazine.

A Maserati Quattroporte Executive GT was sold for the incredible sum of $2.5 million, at a charity auction organised in Qatar. The auction was organised in early November, in support of the Rota (Reach Out To Asia) projects to help schoolchildren in the Middle East and Asia. The Quattroporte — colour Bordeaux Pontevecchio with ivory interior and finishing touches reminiscent of “1001 Nights” such as the wood and silver dashboard, was sold twice in the same evening: the first bidder managed to win it at a price of $1.8 million, but then wanted to donate it back to Rota. In the second bid, the same car notched up a further $700,000 from the second bidder, for a total of $2.5 million.

But the success of Maserati is not just about the Quattroporte: with the approach of the festive season, from the United States comes the all-exclusive special consumer guide from the prestigious lifestyle magazine Robb Report, featuring the Maserati GranSport MC Victory on the cover.