Autocar took the new McLaren MP4-12C GT3 out for a spin on the race track. Andrew Frankel takes to the track to sample the raw delights of McLaren’s endurance racer. Check the video to see what the British magazine things about the famous race car and let us know if you agree with them!
The MP4-12C GT3 is powered by the same 3.8-liter twin turbo V8 as found in the standard model, but tuned to racing specifications. The engine is mated to a 7-speed SSG dual-clutch Graziano transmission operated by a bespoke paddle-shift system developed specifically for racing.
Compared to the standard MP4-12C, the GT3 version has received a new aerodynamics package in compliance with GT3 regulations, incorporating a new front splitter, door blade, rear wing, diffuser, and louvers in the front fenders.
When Ferrari was putting together the finishing touches on the 458 Italia Spyder, we knew it would just be a matter of time before the rumored MP4-12C Spyder would come to fruition. Finally, we can say that this gorgeous drop-top sports car is getting ready to bust out into the automotive scene. McLaren has just dropped the first teaser image for the second model in its line-up, with a promise that the official details will be released on July 3rd, 2012.
The future McLaren MP4-12C Spider will be built on the same super stiff carbon fiber MonoCell chassis as its hardtop sibling, making it just as dynamic to drive. The model will obviously be offered with a retractable hard-top, but it will still "dial up the sensations experienced, the emotions felt and the noise heard. And true to McLaren’s ethos of offering high performance without compromise, the 12C Spider will be more usable than any car this exciting has a right to be."
Under the hood, McLaren kept the same twin-turbo V8-engine featured in the updated version of the MP4-12C coupestandard MP4-12C: a 0 to 60 mph sprint time of 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 207 mph.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed brings together a number of supercars ever year, and this year, we’ve already collected a number of vehicles that are tackling the hill, including the Pagani Zonda R EVO and the Alpine A110-50 Concept. McLaren is now joining the bunch with a unique MP4-12C GT3.
This special MP4-12C GT3 will be adorned with a unique livery, which highlights McLaren Group’s support of the "GREAT" campaign launched this year by the Prime Minister’s Office and Department for Culture, Media, and Sport. It is because of this that the GT3 has been named the "Great" Briton and was designed by McLaren Racing’s own graphic design team.
The Great Briton MP4-12C GT3 will be running in Batch 3 of the Hill program on June 29th, June 30th, and July 1st, 2012. Next to this unique GT3, McLaren has also promised to unveil an exciting new version of the recently updated MP4-12C supercar. More details on these two new supercars will be unveiled in the next couple of days, so stay tuned!
It’s hard to imagine that it’s been exactly twelve months since the McLaren MP4-12C went on sale and since McLaren Automotive began its massive worldwide expansion of dealerships and showrooms which now stretches to no fewer than 22 countries across the globe. Yet by some miracle, the past 12 months have flown by.
When compared to its main competitor, Ferrari, having dealerships in 22 countries may not sound very impressive but when you consider that all of this has been achieved in 12 months, it’s a remarkable achievement.
Additionally, in just 12 months, the English brand has managed to sell 1,000 units of the MP4-12C with more orders coming in by the day. Up to 400 of these units are believed to be heading towards the U.S., so there’s no doubting the fact that American streets will be filled with 12C’s in the coming years.
The McLaren Automotive network now reaches the U.K, Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, Japan, South Africa, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Canada, U.S.A, Monaco, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Germany and France.
While speaking about the matter, Managing Director of McLaren Automotive, Antony Sheriff stated, “This is a proud moment in time for everyone at McLaren where, in only 12 months, the 12C has established itself as one of the most acclaimed high performance sports cars in the world amongst a very discerning customer. From the day that Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button officially opened our very first showroom in London, McLaren is now present in 38 cities in 22 countries across the globe.”
“At the heart of this journey is a single-minded focus on the very highest quality and personal care and support wherever our customers are in the world. That is what our customers expect after they buy the car, and are just as important as a fast lap time”, he concluded.
With McLaren Automotive’s massive expansion well under way, the British firm recently entered its 21st global market with the announcement that the brand will be entering the Nordics in the coming months with a new Stockholm dealership and showroom planned to be completed by the end of 2012.
After recently entering the Middle Eastern region, this latest move is yet another brave move by McLaren as it obviously believes that the Nordics should be a productive area for MP4-12C sales, as well as the additional McLaren models planned for the coming years.
Exclusive car specialists, Autoropa will begin selling MP4-12C’s this month prior to the completion of the Stockholm dealership. Autoropa has an illustrious history of dealing with high end exotic sports cars, with it actually being one of the very few authorised service workshops to perform maintenance on the McLaren F1.
“I am very pleased to confirm Autoropa as our Nordic retailer and a key partner in our plans to launch McLaren Automotive and the 12C around the world,” stated Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive’s Managine Director.
“With a rich motor racing heritage, and many sports car enthusiasts, the region will be an influential guide as to our success in Europe. In order to be part of the McLaren family, it is vital that our retail partners understand our business, our prospective customers and the technological innovations at the heart of the 12C. Autoropa was the obvious candidate in this regard and will make the perfect introduction in Sweden and throughout the Nordic region for McLaren Automotive,” he concluded.
Additionally, Fillip Larsson the Managing Director of Autoropa stated, “It is a huge honor to be part of the McLaren Automotive project. There is clearly a lot of excitement and great anticipation from customers for the brand to arrive in the Nordics. As a service partner for the legendary McLaren F1 supercar, I’ve witnessed first-hand the extraordinary level of service which McLaren offers customers. I’m very excited to now be involved in retailing and servicing the breathtaking 12C and the future models from McLaren.’’
Any fan of supercars remembers the mighty F1 from McLaren. With its BMW sourced V12, center seat driving position and gold lined engine cover the car was truly exotic. It held many records and for longer than most other machines are able to. It shot the company right to the top of the automotive stratosphere and helped them grow into a healthy and sustainable racing company. Several years ago McLaren spent a reported 300 billion pounds to design and build the McLaren Technology Center meant to encompass all aspects of the company. That was finished back in 2003, so what have they been up to in Woking, England for the past 7 years? Quite simply they have been designing the next and possibly most formidable challenger to the Ferrari 458 Italia.
Engineers and designers at McLaren are currently developing several new and highly innovative sports cars to bring to the global market. The MP 4-12C is now in production signaling the beginning of the rebirth of a company that has not had a distinct production vehicle for over a decade. Its stunning performance and efficiency have caught the eyes of the automotive press since McLaren first began testing mules at their facility and now we get to see it in final form.
UPDATE 06/07/2012: McLaren has officially confirmed that, for the 2013 model year, the MP4-12C will come with an additional 25 HP, an Innovative Intake Sound Generator (ISG), and more color and leather finish options. Also, existing 12C owners will be offered complimentary upgrades to the latest specifications. Check out the full 2013 additions after the jump!
Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 McLaren MP 4-12C. Full story
McLaren has continually stated that it will stop at nothing in order to turn the MP4-12C into the world’s greatest junior supercar, and as we know from past experiences from the legendary F1, perfection in McLaren’s eyes is just around the corner and development will not end until it is reached.
In line with this popular statement, or motto, McLaren has revealed that all early MP4-12C owners are now being offered a free power upgrade to help bump the supercar into what McLaren hopes will be its very own league. This bump will be well above all rival cars, including the Ferrari 458 Italia and the recently launched Porsche 911/991.
Power is said to be increased by 25HP, lifting the car’s overall output to 625 horsepower which is around 50HP more than the top-of-the-line 458 Italia, meaning Ferrari better be planning something special with its upcoming 458 Scuderia. It’s unclear if any torque gains have been achieved through the simple remapping of the engine’s computer system, but we this is the case.
In addition to this relatively large change in power, McLaren is also said to be offering remote passenger door opening to try and get around the MP4-12C’s notoriously difficult to open doors, while a programmable engine note and a few tweaks to the high-end Meridian sound system will also be conducted free of charge.
All of the aforementioned changes should be fitted to cars by October 2012, before McLaren finishes its upgrades on the new IRIS navigation system which we suspect will also be fitted to all 12C’s once the British marque has perfected every last component of the system.
In line with McLaren Automotive’s massive expansion across the globe, which includes the construction of more than 30 dealerships, the British brand recently opened its latest showroom in the Middle East with McLaren Abu Dhabi. Now they are celebrating the occasion with the release of another video promoting the MP4-12C and the firm itself.
Mark Harrison, McLaren’s Automotive Regional Director of the Middle East and Africa, stated: “We wanted to produce this video to highlight our presence across the Middle East and reaffirm our commitment to establishing our brand in the region. The 12C is as comfortable on the road as a premium sedan, yet faster than any competitor car in its segment and this excellent video shows this fact; capturing the beauty of the desert, the emotion of the urban environment and the drama of a world famous Formula 1 circuit – three locations where the 12C is supremely confident.”
Don’t for one second, however, think that this was a poorly executed marketing scheme by McLaren as its team actually invested thousands into the production of this 5 minute long video, even utilizing the latest in RED camera technology which captures images in four times the resolution of High Definition.
McLaren Abu Dhabi is now the fourth McLaren retailer in the Middle Eastern region, and the remaining two will be completed by years end. So all up, the wealthy upper class in the Middle East will have access to McLaren Bahrain, McLaren Doha, McLaren Dubai, McLaren Jeddah, McLaren Kuwait, and of course, McLaren Abu Dhabi.
It’s currently unclear how many orders have been placed for the MP4-12C in these regions, but it’s clear that McLaren is targeting this area for its sole model as well as all the additional models it has planned, including the McLaren MP4-27.
As always, the Grand Prix of Monaco provided a fairly spectacular showing, likely one of the few in this year’s F1 series. As most would expect, Circuit de Monaco lap-time record holder and five-time winner, Michael Schumacher took the pole position, but officials forced him back five grid positions after he caused a collision during qualifying. With the technical nature of Monaco, that pole position is very important and Schumacher’s penalty was an ominous sign that this would not be a good race, as he retired due to fuel issues 63 laps in.
Schumacher’s penalty propelled Red Bull’s Mark Webber into the pole position. Webber held onto that pole position, despite a lead change during a pit stop, and took home the checkered flag on a rain-coated Circuit de Monaco. As we said in our preview of the 2012 Grand Prix of Monaco, this race had some serious overall points influence, as the leaders were only separated by a few points each.
This victory for Webber places propels him up to a second place tie with Sebastian Vettel at 73 points and puts Fernando Alonso, who finished third, in the points lead at 76. An impressive run by Nico Rosberg placed him in second, just behind Webber, proving that his wide margin of victory in China was not just a one-time deal. This superb finish by Rosberg jumps him up two slots to fifth place overall.
From the looks of it, this season is shaping up to be a rather close points race with a few new faces near the top. Unfortunately, the leader board, for the most part, looks identical to the 2011 and 2010 seasons. The lack of parody in F1 has really been its Achilles heel in recent history. An overall points victory by Nico Rosberg would certainly be a push in the right direction for F1, so we’ll keep a close eye on his performance.
Click past the jump to see the complete placement board for the 2012 Grand Prix of Monaco and the overall points standings. Full story
Despite the McLaren F1 and McLaren MP4-12C having been built by the same company, the British marque has faced such dramatic changes since the inception of the F1 that one could consider the MP4-12C to have been built by a completely new firm. And it’s little wonder why many would believe that.
With production of the F1 ending in 1998, McLaren stopped producing road cars and instead focused on developing technology for its hugely-successful Formula One team, but over the past few years all of that has changed.
Not only is McLaren’s production facility clean enough to resemble the inside of an expensive hospital but it also features a huge selection of technologically-advanced systems all of which help aid the company to produce the aforementioned MP4-12C. And on top of all that, it’s got a pretty cool name too, being dubbed the ‘McLaren Technology Centre.’
And in the latest episode of Driven on the Drive YouTube network, J.F Musial was privileged enough to get a first-hand tour of the center, after his other recent visit to Pagani’s headquarters in the heart of Italy. In what can only be described as an extremely informative and enjoyable 26-minute video, it looks in detail about what makes this facility as unique as it is as well as some in-depth discussions about the MP4-12C itself.
Well, that’s enough talking for now, so check out the video above and enjoy it!