First McLaren since the F1, here's the MP4-12C supercar. Faster than a Ferrari 458 Italia.
By Stephen Dobie of evo magazine
It’s the firm’s first road-going performance car since the legendary McLaren F1, which made its debut two decades ago.
The MP4-12C is a different kind of car to the 240mph+ F1, though. It will fight its battles in the supercar, rather than hypercar class, taking on the Porsche 911 Turbo S, Ferrari 458 Italia and Lamborghini LP570-4 Superleggera.
And the MP4-12C is faster than the lot of them.
Its 600bhp, 443lb ft twin-turbo V8 takes the 1300kg MP4 (dry weight) to 124mph in sub-10sec: the Porsche, Ferrari and Lambo take 10.8, 10.4 and 10.2 respectively. The McLaren brakes from 124mph to standstill in just 5sec, from 60-0mph in less than 30 metres and complete an 11sec quarter mile sprint.
The MP4’s top speed is north of the magic 200mph, too. And its £175,000 price lets it fight the Ferrari and Lambo directly.
Speed isn’t everything for McLaren, though. The company’s MD, Antony Sheriff, puts top-notch customer service above a fast lap time, and much of the recent press conference talk was of completely surpassing rivals, offering a fully useable supercar and putting exclusivity and excellence above being the biggest supercar manufacturer. In a market that’s had such tumultuous times of late, that seems a wise philosophy to have.
Technology is a forte of the MP4-12C too, of course. Part of its development took place on the McLaren’s motorsport simulator, the most advanced of its type in the world, while the MP4’s brake-steer and airbrake tech (full details in our MP4-12C tech piece, here) are Formula 1-inspired.
Extensive levels of engineering know-how have been ploughed into the MP4, too. It has hit one million miles of development testing, between temperatures of -50 and +50 degrees Celsius.
Its carbon tub saves weight and is incredibly strong, withstanding two 56mph crash tests with not a speck of damage, while the desire to keep mass to a minimum is almost obsessive – to save 2.4 grams from the kerb-weight, the McLaren logo is engraved, rather than embossed onto the instrument panel.
A bit OTT, perhaps, but it’s entirely befitting to McLaren’s belief. ‘Everything needs to be the best. Because in McLaren, good enough is not good’ says Sheriff.
That's McLaren's Formula 1 driver, the great Lewis Hamilton, at the wheel of the new car.