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McLaren MP4-12C Revealed

Wed, 09 Sep 2009

McLaren has released details of their new supercar - the McLaren MP4-12C

Known for so long by its code name – P11 – this MP4-12C is the first real McLaren since the legendary F1. And on the face of it it certainly looks like it has enough to offer to stand proud as the inheritor of McLaren’s reputation for exceptional road cars.

Not scheduled to go on sale until 2011, the MP4-12C is aimed at the heart of Supercar sales, expected to go on sale at a price a small notch above the latest offering from Ferrari – the 458 Italia – at around £160,ooo.

But the MP4-12C seems to offer more than the Ferrari. Not surprisingly, McLaren has gone the carbon fibre route with the MP4. McLaren has developed a Carbon MonoCell skeleton for the MP4 – a one piece structure which is clothed in aluminium and plastic body panels. The MonoCell weighs just 80kg, and is at the heart of the new McLaren’s light kerb weight, expected to be around 1.3 tonnes.

But what powers this mighty new McLaren? Not, as many expected, a McLaren engine based on a Mercedes block, but an entirely bespoke 3.8 litre, twin turbo V8 producing around 600nhp, which should give the MP4 performance of around 3.0 seconds to 60mph and a top speed of over 200mph. And McLaren reckon this new engine will give the lowest CO2 emissions per bhp of anything on the market – including hybrids – of less than 300h/km.

Electronic goodies? Yes, there are some, even though McLaren are seeking to make this a car that rewards the driver. There’s Brake-Steer, which uses the inside rear brake to automatically dial-out understeer. There’s also a new gearbox which McLaren has dubbed SSG (Seamless Shift Gearbox). Unlike a DSG ‘box which ‘Guesses’ which gear you are going for next, SSG works on a the same sort of basis as autofocus on a digital camera. A small touch on the box in the direction you want to go next warns the ‘box where you’re heading, and the SSG pre-selects it so the change, when it comes, is instant. Clever stuff.

Visually the MP4-12C sports scissor doors an looks every inch the Supercar. But McLaren hasn’t produced a be-winged ‘Look at Me’ supercar. The MP4-12C is subtle – even if the launch colour isn’t.

You won’t be surprised that McLaren has lots to say on the MP4-12C. Pages and pages of it. So if you want evcery single nut and bolt detail have a look at the McLaren MP4-12C Press Release. We’ll also get the rest of the photo gallery up in the next few hours, and a selection of McLaren MP4-12C wallpapers. We know you want them!

McLaren are back.

Update: Full photo gallery of the McLaren MP4-12C now posted below.

By Cars UK