AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS

Frankfurt 2009: McLaren MP4-12C to rewrite the rulebook

Frankfurt 2009: McLaren MP4-12C to rewrite the rulebook image

Text: / Photos: McLaren Press | posted September 11, 2009 12:34

McLaren Automotive introduces the McLaren MP4-12C

Through a rich modern history, McLaren's automotive division has already built the world's most critically acclaimed supercar, the McLaren F1 (1993-1998) and the world's best-selling luxury supercar, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren (2003-2009). McLaren Automotive now looks to the future with a new range of revolutionary sports cars.

The first car from the new company, the McLaren MP4-12C, is a high performance two-seat mid-engine model in the 'core' sports car market segment for cars costing between 125,000 and 175,000 euros. The 12C is pure McLaren, featuring no carryover parts from any other car, and will be produced by McLaren in the UK. It goes on sale through a dedicated, worldwide retailer network in early 2011.

The elements of its name represent everything that the McLaren MP4-12C stands for: 'MP4' represents the racing bloodline; '12' represents the focus on complete performance and efficiency; 'C' represents the revolutionary Carbon MonoCell

The 12C is powered by a bespoke McLaren 'M838T' 3.8 liter, V8 twin-turbo engine producing around 600bhp and 600Nm of torque, driving through a McLaren seven speed Seamless Shift dual clutch gearbox (SSG). Taking power and emissions in combination (measured by its horsepower to CO2 ratio), the 12C delivers its power at greater efficiency than any other car on the market with an internal combustion engine, including hybrids.

At its heart, the McLaren MP4-12C features a revolutionary carbon fiber chassis structure, the Carbon MonoCell: which weighs less than 80kg. The first time a car in this market segment is based around such a strong and lightweight racing car engineering solution and the first time any car has ever featured a one-piece carbon fiber structure.

Another of its many highlights is the Pre-Cog function on the gearshift rocker that effectively primes the gearbox ready for the next change, ensuring a more satisfying and faster gear change.

The Proactive system suspension is based on double wishbones with coil springs. The dampers are interconnected hydraulically and provide adaptive responses depending on both road conditions and driver preference. It allows the car to maintain precise roll control under heavy cornering while decoupling the suspension in a straight line for excellent wheel articulation and compliance.

The interior's simplicity belies a world-class level of comfort and safety features that will include a full quota of airbags, fully automatic dual zone climate control, sophisticated telematics and audio systems, parking sensors, trip computer, cruise control and electric memory seats.

Not only is McLaren establishing a new company, a new production plant, an all-new high performance sports car engineered and developed in house... it is also building a global network of retail distribution partners.

This small number of super operators will deliver the dedication and purposefulness necessary to ensure an ownership experience for the 12C that is as good as the car itself.

Early planning indicates that 25 percent of sales will be made in the UK, 25 percent in the USA and the remainder to the rest of the world.

The 12C will be available in a broad range of exterior paint colors and interior colours and configurations, while carbon fiber components and lightweight forged wheels will reduce weight yet further.

"Forget what you know about sports car companies, McLaren is different," Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive Managing Director concluded.