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McLaren gives MP4-12C power and gadget upgrade

Thu, 07 Jun 2012

McLaren has announced a surprise package of upgrades which will be offered to existing owners of its MP4-12C supercar, free of charge. Owners will benefit from more power, a tunable engine noise and fewer foibles - yes, the tricky swipe-to-enter door handles are banished for good.

So what exactly has changed on the McLaren MP4-12C for 2013?

On the dynamic front, the headline is a power hike for the twin-turbo V8 engine. A simple remap ups output from 592bhp to 616bhp, all of which is transmitted through a modified seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which has been tuned to offer improved throttle response and clutch control.

McLaren is very proud of the fact that adding muscle to the MP4-12C has not damaged its surprisingly strong - for a supercar - eco credentials. Class-leading CO2 emissions of 279g/km and 24.2mpg remain unaltered despite the performance boost.

Occupants will also enjoy more of the engine's aural talents thanks to McLaren's programmable Intake Sound Generator, designed to modulate the amount of engine noise transmitted into the cabin depending on driver preference. Flick between Normal, Sport and Track settings depending on how much V8 burble you want to gorge on.

And the alterations to the 12C's niggles?

You can't fault McLaren for not listening to its customers. 2013 cars will swap the temperamental touch-sensitive doors for a simple push-to-open button. Settings for the automatic headlights and climate control have also been changed for simplicity's sake.

CAR also understands that, at long last, McLaren will address the Iris touchscreen infotainment system, which has so far lain dormant in all MP4-12C's delivered, blamed on delays further down McLaren's supply chain.

Any other new McLaren accessories?

A nose-lifting system will be made available for the 2013 model, as will new exterior paint finishes, personalisation options for the leather interior, and new lightweight alloy wheel designs. Expect to see factory-fresh MP4-12Cs fitted with all these upgrades rolling out by the end of 2012.

Now, if only they'd do something about that pesky name...

By Ollie Kew