|Assembly||Woking, Surrey, England|
|Body style||2-door coupé
|Layout||Rear mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive|
|Engine||McLaren M838T twin-turbo 3.8 L V8|
|Wheelbase||2,670 mm (105.1 in)|
|Length||4,507 mm (177.4 in)|
|Width||1,909 mm (75.2 in)|
|Height||1,199 mm (47.2 in)|
|Kerb weight||1,399 kg (3,084 lb)|
|Problems listening to this file? See media help.|
The McLaren MP4-12C is a sports car designed and manufactured by McLaren Automotive. It is the first production car wholly designed and built by McLaren since the McLaren F1 in 1998. The car's final design was unveiled in September 2009, and was launched in 2011. The MP4-12C features a carbon fibre composite chassis, and is powered by a mid-mounted McLaren M838T 3.8-litre V8, twin-turbo engine developing approximately 616 bhp (459 kW; 625 PS) and around 443 lb·ft (601 N·m) of torque. The car makes use of Formula 1-sourced technologies such as "brake steer", where the inside rear wheel is braked during fast cornering to reduce understeer. Power is transmitted to the wheels through a seven-speed Seamless Shift dual-clutch gearbox.
The chassis is based around a F1 style one-piece carbon fibre tub, called the Carbon MonoCell, weighing only 80 kg (176 lb). The MonoCell is made in a single pressing by using a set of patented processes, using Bi-Axial and Tri-Axial carbon fibre multiaxial fabrics produced by Formax UK Ltd. with the MonoCell manufactured by Carbo Tech in Salzburg, Austria. This has reduced the time required to produce a MonoCell from 3,000 hours for the F1 and 500 hours for the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, to 4 hours for the MP4-12C.
The car has a conventional two side-by-side seating arrangement, unlike its predecessor the McLaren F1 which featured an irregular three seat formation (front centre, two behind either side). To make up for this however, the car's central console is narrower than in other cars, seating the driver closer to the centre. Interior trim and materials can be specified in asymmetric configuration – known as "Driver Zone".
The car is powered by the M838T 3.8 litre twin-turbo V8 engine, designed and developed by McLaren in partnership with Ricardo. The design of the engine was based on the Nissan VRH35 racing engine, which was developed and owned by Tom Walkinshaw Racing and used in the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans. However, other than the 93 mm bore, little of that engine remains in the M838T. It produces 592 bhp (441 kW; 600 PS) and 443 lb·ft (601 N·m) of torque. It has a redline of 8,500 rpm, with 80% of torque available at just 2,000 rpm. When first announced, McLaren claimed that it would have a higher horsepower to carbon dioxide emission ratio than any internal-combustion engine available at the time.
McLaren announced a small number of improvements to become available in October 2012, with the option to be retrofitted to existing cars free of charge. The engine now produces 616 bhp (459 kW; 625 PS) and no change to the CO2 emissions which remain at 279 g/km. This power output has also become standard on the 2013 model.
The engine is connected to a seven-speed automatic dual-clutch gearbox made in Italy by Graziano. Dubbed the "Seamless Shift Gearbox" or SSG, the gearbox features a system dubbed "Pre-Cog" that allows the driver to preselect the next gear by lightly tapping the paddle.
McLaren have stated the MP4-12C can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.1 seconds and 0 to 200 km/h (124 mph) in 8.9 seconds. The car has a top speed of 207 mph (333 km/h) and can brake from 200 km/h (124 mph) to a complete stop in under 5 seconds. Braking from 100 km/h (62 mph) to zero can be done in under 30 metres (98 ft), around seven car lengths.
The name of the new McLaren sports car is MP4-12C. 'MP4' has been the chassis designation for all McLaren Formula 1 cars since 1981. Since 1997, 'MP4' has stood for McLaren Project 4 (from 1981 to 1996, when McLaren's title sponsor was Marlboro, the "M" stood for this), resulting from the merger of Ron Dennis' Project 4 organisation with McLaren. The '12' refers to McLaren's internal Vehicle Performance Index through which it rates key performance criteria both for competitors and for its own cars. The criteria combine power, weight, emissions, and aerodynamic efficiency. The coalition of all these values delivers an overall performance index that has been used as a benchmark throughout the car's development. The 'C' refers to Carbon, highlighting the application of carbon fibre technology to the future range of McLaren sports cars.
MP4-12C shares its name with the MP4/12 Formula 1 car that raced in the 1997 season. This car featured a second brake pedal discovered by photographers to counter understeer on the exit of the corners by selecting the inside rear wheel, similar to the computer controlled "brake steer" system of the MP4-12C.
Produced at the new £50m McLaren Production Centre, which is located next to the existing award winning McLaren Technology Centre in Surrey, the building is designed to serve as the future production site of McLaren Automotive's road cars. British Prime Minister David Cameron officially opened the building on 18 November 2011.
All of the major components are produced by external contractors, with only final assembly, paint and inspection/shipping occurring at the McLaren Production Centre. Final assembly starts with the MonoCell, around which all components are then placed and fitted.
On 10 July 2011, the MP4-12C set the second fastest lap around Top Gear's test track, posting a time of 1 minute and 16.2 seconds. The car was developed and tested by McLaren on the Top Gear test track as part of their product development, long before its appearance on the show. This was 1.1 seconds slower than the Ariel Atom 500, and 2.9 seconds faster than its key performance rival, the Ferrari 458 Italia.
The MP4-12C finished second behind the Ferrari 458 Italia in Car Magazine's July 2011 group test. It placed third behind the 458 and Porsche 911 GT2 RS in the lap times set at Rockingham Speedway by racing driver Ben Collins. At an EVO magazine test it was over a second slower than the Ferrari around the Bedford Autodrome West track, it was also slower in Fifth Gear and Car Magazine. The MP4-12C also lapped the Nürburgring in 7 minutes and 28 seconds.
The 12C Spider is a convertible version of the MP4-12C with a retractable hardtop. Because the coupe was designed from the outset with a convertible version in mind, no additional strengthening was needed for the Spider and it weighs only 40 kilograms (88 lb) more than the coupe.  McLaren has worked to preserve the coupé's 204 mph (328 km/h) top speed and up to 196 mph (315 km/h) is possible roof down. Meanwhile, the dihedral doors of the coupé are retained.
The McLaren MP4-12C HS is a one-off bespoke project of five cars from the McLaren Special Operations division. The HS stands for “High Sport” and all five cars are owned by one of McLaren’s clients. Changes to the HS from the standard MP4-12C include a carbon fibre high down force rear diffuser, wheel arch louvres and a modified airbrake calibration. The HS also has new lightweight wheels with HS style polished spokes and carbon fibre vented rear deck and engine cover vents.
Reports suggest that the HS has a power increase of around 75 hp (56 kW). The five HS were specified in four different colours, with numbers #1/5 and #5/5 finished in Pearl White and #2/5, #3/5 and #4/5 finished in Sapphire Black, Mclaren Orange and Volcano Orange respectively.
In December 2010, McLaren announced that they would produce a small number of MP4-12C cars in order for them to compete in the FIA GT3 European Championship. McLaren stated that they will provide maintenance for the cars and will begin racing in 2012 with the CRS Racing team. The MP4-12C will be the first car to compete in sportscar racing for the company since the F1 GTR. It received its début with a single car entry for the Spa Francorchamps round of the British GT championship. This was followed by a three car entry in the 2011 Spa 24 Hours. Another car was also entered in the GT cup of the 2011 Macau Grand Prix, driven by Danny Watts.
In March 2012, McLaren readied 25 MP4-12C GT3 cars for a full racing season in the 2012 FIA GT1 World Championship, and its GT drivers tested the car on its Dunsfold test track, the same test track as used in the Top Gear BBC television show. McLaren released several promotional videos for the MP4-12C in the lead up to the racing season, including one of Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton driving the car at locations in the U.S.
Compared to the road car, the MP4-12C GT3 produces less power with only 493 bhp (368 kW; 500 PS) due to homologation. The car features a new bespoke six-speed gearbox that is 80 kg (176 lb) lighter than the road car's seven-speed, developed with Ricardo. The steering wheel is lifted straight from the McLaren MP4-24 Formula 1 car.
- "The New McLaren MP4-12C Official Details". motorimpress.com. Retrieved 9 April 2011.[dubious ]
- "Autozine McLaren MP4-12C". Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- "McLaren MP-12C:First Batch of details and images surface". Autoblog.
- Ireson, Nelson (8 August 2008). "Mclaren hires Frank Stephenson as new design director". Motor Authority. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- "McLaren MP4-12C First look". Edmunds.com. 13 October 2009.
- "McLaren MP4-12C – Full Specs Announced [Video]". Worldcarfans.com. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- "Carbo Tech to produce carbon fibre monocoques for McLaren sports cars". Reinforced Plastics. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- "New Ricardo engine assembly facility commences pilot production". ricardo.com. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
- "Car & Driver: 2012 McLaren MP4-12C Tech Trickledown". "2011-2-01". Retrieved "2011-3-27".
- "The Official McLaren Automotive Website". 2010-02-03.
- "McLaren MP4-12C – the first official P11 story". 8 September 2009.
- Tisshaw, Mark (7 June 2012). "Upgraded McLaren MP4-12C gets 616bhp". Autocar. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- English, Andrew ("2011-02-14). "McLaren MP4-12C review". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- McDonald, Matt (17 February 2012). "2011 McLaren MP4-12C". topspeed.com. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
- Sherman, Don (1 February 2012). "2012 McLaren MP4-12C - First Drive Review". CarAndDriver.com. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
- "2011 Mclaren MP4-12C Super Sports Car Hitting the US Market". arizonafoothillsmagazine.com. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
- "McLaren opens new £50 million factory… – BBC Top Gear". Topgear.com. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- "Top Gear Power Laps". 10 July 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
- "TopGear Stig Power Laps". BBC. 20 October 2008. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
- "McLaren MP4-12C supercar group test". Car Magazine. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
- "Ferrari 458 beats McLaren MP4-12C". evo.co.uk. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- "MoterSport-McLaren MP4-12C : Nürburgring test".
- "MCLAREN 12C NAMED MIDDLE EAST ‘CAR OF THE YEAR’". The Car Addict.
- Comer, Colin (January 2013). "No Roof, No Change, No Problem". Road & Track 64 (5): 44–49.
- "McLarenAutomotive.com 12C Spider". McLaren Automotive. 3 July 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- "McLaren Confirms MP4-12C HS Edition Limited to Five". GTspirit. 8 January 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
- "All Five McLaren MP4-12C High Sport Editions in One Photo Shoot". Gtspirit.com. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "McLaren MP4-12C HS". Flickr. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
- "McLaren MP4-12C GT3 Announcement website". Mclarengt.com. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
- Elizalde, Pablo (17 December 2010). "McLaren MP4-12C to race from 2012". autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 18 December 2010.
- Phillip, Sam (20 April 2011). "McLaren MP4-12C GT3: a Top Gear exclusive". Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- "Qualifying". 19 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "McLaren MP4-12C GT3 Top Gear Track Test Video And Racing Debut - Autos & Trends". Ibtimes.com. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "evo: McLaren MP4-12C GT3 racing car: new pictures and video". Retrieved 5 May 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: McLaren MP4-12C|
|McLaren Automotive road car timeline 1990s–present|