With a quarter mile in the high 10 second bracket, one run down an Australian drag strip and you'll be banned without the fitment of a roll cage. With optional Corsa tyres, the MP4-12C will rocket from a standstill to 100km/h in just 3.1 seconds and will do the standing kilometre in under 20 seconds. Ferrari's 458 Italia will be mincemeat for this twin-turbo V8 monster.
To achieve this, certain parameters were considered essential for this segment. For example, McLaren aimed for the lowest CO2
output and best fuel consumption against its competitors. McLaren wanted the highest power with fastest acceleration and braking across all typical benchmark speed and distance criteria. It also aimed for the lightest weight, and therefore highest power to weight ratio.
At 1300kg (with the lightweight options) you can certainly see that this has been achieved. But what's more remarkable is the price goes head-to-head with the Ferrari 458 and Lamborghini Gallardo. As far as performance goes, they don't stand a chance.
Ron Dennis, McLaren Automotive's Executive Chairman, was effusive.
"We have long held the dream of building a range of innovative McLaren sports cars. Sports cars that take the raw elements of Formula 1 principles, processes and performance and forge them into a unique package that adds the requirements of quality, efficiency, comfort and reliability – traditionally opposing goals that I know we can deliver.""McLaren’s modern history began 30 years ago with an operation of 50 people dedicated solely to winning Grands Prix. Everything we have achieved as a well-honed and fiercely competitive team over the past three decades has prepared us for this moment," said Mr Dennis. "McLaren Group and McLaren Automotive now employ around 1,500 people – all dedicated and passionate about being the best. And about launching a new car company and our first car, of which I am very proud. The 12C and the future range of McLaren sports cars will support the long-term development of McLaren and our people."
Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive's Managing Director, was equally as enthusiastic.
"The overriding principle that has driven us to where we are today is that every car will be ‘pure’ McLaren. This means that each and every component has been conceived, designed and produced to McLaren’s specification to meet the extreme requirements of the 12C.""There are no carryover components, because they were not good enough. Similarly, our test programmes, production processes and aftersales plans are also brand new and bespoke to McLaren," said Mr Sheriff. "We have considered everything from a blank sheet of paper to be the best. Being “as good” as everyone else is not good enough; we need to be the best. This approach has given us a remarkable car with ground-breaking performance in all areas."
Production cars have already begun rolling out of the Woking factory with another production building coming on-line in April.
Australia should begin to see its allocation around November.
McLaren MP4-12C performance data
|Engine||Power||600 PS (441kW)||592 bhp|
|@ 7000 rpm||@ 7000 rpm|
|Torque||600 Nm||443 lb-ft|
|@ 3000-7000rpm||@ 3000-7000rpm|
|Weight||DIN weight||1434 kg||3161 lbs|
|Dry weight||1336 kg||2945 lbs|
|Dry weight||1301kg||2868 lbs|
|(with lightweight options)|
|Efficiency||CO2||279 g/km||279 g/km|
|Fuel consumption (combined)||11.7 l/100 km||24.2 mpg (UK)|
|Power to weight||461 PS/tonne||455 bhp/tonne|
|(with lightweight options)|
|CO2/power||0.47 g/km per PS||0.47 g/km per bhp|
|Speed||Maximum speed||330 kph||205 mph|
|Acceleration||0-100 kph (62 mph)||3.3 s||3.3 s|
|(3.1 s with Corsa tyre option)||(3.1 s with Corsa tyre option)|
|0-200 kph (124 mph)||9.1 s||9.1 s|
|(8.9 s with Corsa tyre option)||(8.9 s with Corsa tyre option)|
|0-400 m / ¼ mile||10.9 s @ 216 kph||10.9 @ 134 mph|
|0-1000 m||19.6 s @ 272 kph|
|Braking||Braking||200-0 kph 123 m||124-0 mph 403 ft|
|100-0 kph 30.5 m||62-0 mph 100 ft|
All figures apply to a European specification MP4-12C