The world premiere of the McLaren MP4-12C took place in Frankfurt in 2010, and even then it became clear that the rules in the world of sports cars must be rewritten.
The first production McLaren MP4-12C was shown on January 17, 2011 at the General Assembly Hall of the McLaren Technology Center (MTC-McLaren Technology Center), which is located in Woking (Woking, England). It went on sale at a price of £ 168,500 the same year in the UK, and for about € 200,000 in Germany, France, Monaco, Italy and Belgium.
McLaren already had famous supercars that left a bright mark on automotive history, such as the McLaren F1 and Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, but McLaren Group and McLaren Automotive CEO Ron Dennis decided it was time to open the next chapter in the company’s history. and start building revolutionary cars of the 21st century.
McLaren MP4-12C: the meaning of the name
McLaren MP4-12C stands for very simple. The chassis design of all McLaren Formula 1 cars since 1981 is designated “MP4”, “C” stands for a carbon fiber body, and 12 is the internal vehicle index of McLaren, combining the main parameters of a car: engine power, car weight, aerodynamic efficiency.
The McLaren MP4-12C is a two-door, mid-engined, rear-wheel drive coupe. Overall dimensions of McLaren MP4-12C, mm .: length – 4,507, width – 1,909, height – 1,199, wheelbase – 2,670 mm.
The unusually light weight of the car (1,434 kg.) Is due to its one-piece carbon fiber monocoque weighing only 80 kg., Like a McLaren MP4 / 1 F1 racing car. The motor and chassis are attached to the body. The rest of the car is also lightened: aluminum brakes, unusually light 19 “front and 20” rear wheels, and an almost weightless exhaust system.
This spatial body structure has set new standards in driving dynamics, efficiency and safety in sports cars, combining technologies used in the manufacture of both racing and road cars.
All elements of the McLaren MP4-12C are custom made, from the motor to the various buttons, this is a true McLaren from nose to tail, none of which has been borrowed from another car company. The British own development is the double wishbone suspension with coil springs, which provides maximum ride comfort.
Compact V8 McLaren M838T 3.8-liter engine with 600 hp. also made to order. Power unit with a maximum torque of 600 Nm at 3,000 – 7,000 rpm. equipped with VVT system and two turbochargers.
It works in tandem with a seven-speed dual-clutch SSG transmission that shifts gears using an interesting Pre-Cog system. When the driver touches a button, a signal is sent to the gearbox to prepare. With a second press, it confirms its intention, thus reducing waiting times and shifting gears in milliseconds.
There is also a “winter” mode and a launch control that allows you to start at the desired speed. The MP4-12C has a maximum speed of 330 km / h and accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 3.3 seconds.
The McLaren MP4-12C uses the Brake Steer electronic system pioneered in the 1997 MP4 / 12. When the car enters a corner too quickly, it brakes the inner rear wheel to keep it on track.
The McLaren MP4-12C driver has a variety of electronic assistants: ABS, ESP, ASR, EBD. The degree of their intervention in driving the car changes according to the selected driving mode: High Performance, Sport and Normal. Carbon ceramic brakes are available as an option in the McLaren MP4-12C, but the standard complex braking system is 8 kg lighter.
The McLaren MP4-12C rivals are supercars ranging in price from £ 125,000 to £ 175,000. Among them: Ferrari 458, Aston Martin DB9, Lamborghini Gallardo, Porsche 911 Turbo and Bentley Continental GT.
Slightly more expensive (ranging from £ 175,000 to £ 250,000) are GT cars with a front engine: Ferrari 612 and Ferrari 599 GTB, and a rival with a motor in the center: Lamborghini Murcielago.
But the technical characteristics of the McLaren MP4-12C are comparable to cars from the higher price category: Bugatti Veyron, Mercedes SLR McLaren and representatives of the “elite” that appeared after such legends as Ferrari Enzo and Porsche Carrera GT.
McLaren Interior MP4-12C
Everything in the cabin is driver-oriented. The steering wheel, which is not overloaded with unnecessary keys, is as precise as a racing car. Even though the outer dimensions of the McLaren MP4-12C are small, the inside is comfortable not only physically, but also emotionally.
This was achieved in part with a 7-inch touchscreen positioned vertically rather than horizontally. High quality music sound is provided by the Meridian system.
The safety level in the McLaren MP4-12C is good. The car passed all crash tests with excellent results.
The 2013 McLaren MP4-12C has grown in length by 2 cm, has become already 10 mm and received an engine that is 25 hp more powerful than the previous one. Due to this, the acceleration time from 0 to 100 km / h decreased by 0.2 sec. , the maximum speed increased to 333 km / h, but the fuel consumption in the combined cycle remained the same: 41.64 l / 100 km.
Through the unique Intake Sound Generator (ISG) system, the engine sound level in the passenger compartment can be adjusted to the desired level. With the help of another special system, the clearance (ground clearance) of the McLaren MP4-12C is increased by 40 mm at the front and 25 mm at the rear, when traveling at speeds up to 60 km / h.
Improvements have also been made to climate control, and the seats have been given an easy entry function, which makes it easier to access the car. As a result, to buy the updated McLaren MP4-12C 2013 will have to pay £ 2,000 more for it.
Fans of the model can test the McLaren MP4-12C in video games, such as the car featured in Need for Speed: Most Wanted 2012.
Evolution to 650S
At the Geneva Motor Show 2014, the McLaren 650S coupe and spider debuted, an evolution of the MP4-12C model (the cars had 75% of the common parts). And in April of the same year, the management of McLaren Automotive announced the discontinuation of the previous model in order to focus on the production of a new one.
At the same time, all McLaren MP4-12S owners from June 2014 can count on a free installation of a package that will help bring their car closer to the 650S. We are talking about new software for a complex of active aerodynamic elements, which allows the rear wing to act as an air brake during deceleration and, on the contrary, to lower it at high speeds, increasing top speed and improving driving stability on a straight line.
The package also implies an update of the infotainment system firmware, but you will have to pay extra for the installation of a new audio system and a rear-view camera.