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McLaren celebrates 50th birthday with special edition 12C supercar (2013)

Fri, 24 May 2013

McLaren will build 100 special edition 12C supercars to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2013: 50 coupes and 50 folding hard-top Spiders. The birthday edition cars get bespoke lightweight components from McLaren Special Operations (MSO) and extra accessories, as well as a hefty price bump.

You'll pay £196,000 for a hard-top McLaren 50 12C, and £215,500 for the McLaren 50 12C Spider – a hefty £20,000 rise over the standard cars' price tags.

What special McLaren add-ons does my extra £20,000 buy?

Exterior-wise, there's a new carbon front bumper pinched from the limited-edition 12C High Sport, and a carbon-Kevlar front floor. It's not just for one-upmanship: McLaren claims there is a downforce benefit versus the regular 12C's snout. As standard, the anniversary 12Cs get McLaren's carbon-ceramic brake package, and a new alloy wheel design, measuring 19in up front and 20in on the rear axle. The 'Ultra Lightweight' slim-spoked rims are said to be 2kg lighter each than McLaren's 'Super Lightweight' wheel design.

McLaren's trademark turning vane side intake is also finished in carbon (proudly displaying one of several 'McLaren 50' logos), and customers get a choice of only three exterior colours: black, silver, or orange.

So it's just another orgy of carbon then?

Not quite. Inside, each McLaren 50 12C is treated to a full leather upgrade, and an anniversary plaque. There are also a few extra goodies: a free car cover, special key (in its own carbon presentation box) and a specially commissioned print signed by McLaren's design chief Frank Stephenson, who penned McLaren's P1 hybrid supercar.

A nice spec, but is the McLaren 50 12C good value?

Let's do the maths, as per CAR's supercar options exposé. McLaren charge £9770 for ceramic brakes on a 'normal' 12C, and £3820 for Super Lightweight forged wheels. The upgraded cabin comes in at around £3200, while a carbon front splitter costs £2130. 'McLaren Orange' paint? £3820 please Sir, and another £430 for the car cover while you're at it. That little lot (not including the carbon intake trim, don't forget) comes to a chunky £23,170 – meaning you save three grand.   

There you have it. A special edition £200,000 supercar that's actually decent value for money...

By Ollie Kew