It seems that McLaren is pretty busy preparing the market debut for their latest sports car, theMP4-12C. The MP4-12C may be getting its covers ripped off in Paris, but in the USA, 12 prototypes are being put to the test in the blazing heat of Arizona!

The prototypes are beating the roads between Lake Havasu City - where the team was based - and the town of Flagstaff, further west in Arizona in order to test the capability of the super car on a mixture of driving surfaces. During these tests, the McLaren has a 28-strong team of engineers, technicians, and vehicle development partners which alternated the test vehicles, running two VP cars and one XP car everyday and night over three weeks. We just hope that the prototypes were able to withstand the 155 degrees Fahrenheit Mother Nature was beating down on them!

In the USA, the MP4-12C will be sold in Beverly Hills, Chicago, Dallas, New York, San Francisco, Tampa Bay, Miami and Toronto. McLaren will also be announcing retailers for Newport Beach in Orange County, California, and Philadelphia very soon.

Press release after the jump.

Press release

From the start of the 12C development programme in 2007, more than 40 prototype vehicles have been built by McLaren Automotive to undertake real world testing. The latest iteration of 12C concept-phase vehicles is codenamed Validation Prototype (VP). McLaren VP and XP (Experimental Prototype – the previous phase of 12C concept car) 12Cs are being continuously tested in the UK and across Europe. More recently, an intensive extreme weather testing programme was undertaken by the McLaren Automotive development team in Arizona, USA.

McLaren MP4-12C prototypes testing in Arizona High Resolution Exterior
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With temperatures peaking at 46 degrees Celsius (115 degrees Fahrenheit), a 28-strong team of engineers, technicians and vehicle development partners ran two VP cars and one XP car day and night over three weeks on a mixture of driving surfaces between Lake Havasu City - where the team was based - and the town of Flagstaff, further west in Arizona.

The 12C prototypes began testing on a dynamic handling platform and high speed circuit at a proving ground near Yucca, and then completed the programme at high altitude on public roads in Flagstaff.

Tony Joseph, Regional Director for McLaren Automotive North America, said:

“Feedback from prospective customers we received at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance clearly indicates that Americans are keen to see McLaren succeed in this market, so it is vitally important that our development team undertakes test programmes in North America.

McLaren MP4-12C prototypes testing in Arizona High Resolution Exterior
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“The combination of extreme ambient temperatures in a high altitude environment is perfect for testing components including the 12C’s bespoke heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, which has performed exceptionally well in Arizona. Amassing mileage in these conditions is invaluable in proving the 12C’s new engine, which was equally impressive throughout significant changes in the test environment.”

Andy Beale, a Vehicle Development Engineer working on the programme said: “Between Lake Havasu City and Flagstaff the development team passed through Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Our 12C prototypes received great comments from motorists along the way, relating in particular to the car’s design and its exhaust note.”

What do you think?
Show Comments


  (544) posted on 11.15.2010

Many, many people have been saying this car looks too generic, but the fact is they have crammed all that hardware, pseudo-F1 tech and even some luxury into something the size of a Cayman.

  (798) posted on 11.4.2010

With the exception of engine note, this engine will eat the V10 in the LF-A for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, just look at the
incredible specs. I am really digging this car more and more. Will love to see how it stacks up to the 458 Italia.

  (387) posted on 10.28.2010

Anyone know if this thing will be available with an MT?

  (518) posted on 10.15.2010

it’s not meant for Americans, they don’t have these roads, the car is not suitable for America. why would you buy this car if you have no corners to squeeze it?

  (461) posted on 10.3.2010

It just struck me how similar this thing is in shape to an Elise.

  (1211) posted on 10.1.2010

I mentioned that a few weeks ago in the "TopSpeed is Listening" post! Guess they didn’t hear that one.

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