The MP4-12C will be the first in the range of McLaren Automotive’s high performance stable, which goes into production in 2010 and in showrooms by late 2011.
Mark Harrison (Head of PR) and Lianne Daly (Head of Marketing) McLaren in March to manage the September launch and they have been joined by ex MINI PR man, Dan Connell who said: “Joining McLaren in the week of the launch was a baptism of fire, but it was the best way to start. It has been a privilege to work for MINI for the last few years, and I hope to take that experience of what is more than juts a car to a global audience. I have had a great time working on the MINI brand, but having met the team at McLaren and see the new MP4-12C, I know I’ve just moved up a level.”
The legendary McLaren F1 (1993-1998) is still considered to be one of the best supercars ever built, so the MP4-12C has very large shoes to fill.
What followed was the world’s best selling luxury supercar (2100 cars), the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren (2003-2009) and as good as it looked, had mixed reaction from owners and the press.
Ron Dennis, the equally legendary McLaren Formula One Team boss and the Chairman of McLaren Automotive has big plans for the group, and said: “It is a long-held dream of mine to launch a range of high performance sports cars that set new standards in the industry.”
Dennis, also said: “Forget about what you know about Sports car companies, McLaren is different.”
The MP4-12C should be worth waiting for. It’s a two-seat mid-engine supercar with a revolutionary carbon fibre chassis structure, the carbon MonoCell: a lightweight racing car engineering solution and a first for a production car.
It should be quick too with its bespoke M838T 3.8-litre, V8 twin-turbo engine producing 600bhp and 600Nm driving through a McLaren seven-speed Seamless Shift dual clutch gearbox. Not only will it be very, very fast, but also fuel economy and CO2 emissions are said to be class leading.
The car will also feature active aerodynamics to assist cooling, grip, handling and roadholding along with day-to-day useability.
Revving up to 8,500 rpm, a staggering 80 percent of torque is available from under 2000 rpm with a quick throttle response, so no need to floor the throttle to deliver high performance.
The MP4-12C will compete in a range of high performance segments, the core of which includes some very distinguished company: Ferrari 458, Lamborghini Gallardo, Porsche 911 Turbo and Aston Martin DB9.
A second segment will include cars such as the 599 GTB, 612 and Lamborghini’s Mucielago.
McLaren Automotive as so confident that they even mention the “ultimate’ group including Bugatti Veyron, Pagani Zonda and Ferrari Enzo as another group the McLaren might do battle with.
Either way, the MP4-12C should be a cracker of a drive and CarAdvice hopes to be able to bring you a road test of the car in 2011, but after Jay Leno, of course.