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by Jez Spinks

The McLaren MP4-12C supercar from the famous Formula One team has been dramatically reduced by up to $102,000 in Australia as the company launched an attack on “overpriced” rivals.

McLaren launched the MP4-12C in Australia only last year, its first road car since the fabled McLaren F1 that was the world’s fastest production car in the 1990s.

The company, however, has announced pricing for the 12C coupe is being cut from $493,100 to $398,000, while the more recently released 12C Spider now costs from $441,780 instead of $543,900.

“McLaren believes the super luxury sports car segment has been historically overpriced in Australia, with a number of the ‘core’ manufacturers employing premium-pricing policies in this market,” the company said in a statement.

McLaren Automotive says the revised pricing “reflects the changing expectations of customers in this category in Australia, many of whom have become accustomed to paying significantly less than the advertised RRP, as competitors in the category heavily discount”.

McLaren has sold only seven cars so far in 2013 locally, but the changed pricing makes the MP4-12 duo a relative bargain compared with the rival Ferrari 458 Italia that costs $526,950 in coupe form and $590,000 in convertible (Spider) form.

The company, which imports its cars to Australia through the Trivett Group, says it will support existing MP4-12C owners by reimbursing them at trade-in time – though stipulating it would be for a new model within McLaren’s limited range.

McLaren’s move follows Rolls-Royce’s decision last November to reduce the pricing of its Phantom line-up by up to $280,000.