Such a stunning colour and has given us some great ideas for future projects.
The McLaren MP4-12C, later known simply as the McLaren 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, which ended production in 1998. The car’s final design was unveiled in September 2009, and was launched in mid-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 592 hp (441 kW; 600 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 under steer. Power is transmitted to the wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
A convertible version of the car called the MP4-12C Spider, renamed the 12C Spider in 2012, is also available. In February 2014, McLaren announced the related 650S, with revised bodywork, upgraded engine and other technical improvements. In April 2014, McLaren announced the end of production of the 12C
McLaren started developing the car in 2007 and secretly purchased a Ferrari 360 to use as a test mule. The mule called MV1 was used to test the 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. The car also featured side vents for additional cooling which were later incorporated in the final production model. Later in the year, the company purchased an Ultima GTR to test the braking system and suspension components, that mule was called the MV2. The space frame and body of that car were modified in order to accommodate the new components. Later another prototype was purchased which was another Ferrari 360 dubbed the MV3 which was used to test the exhaust system. McLaren then built two prototypes themselves called CP1 and CP2 incorporating the Carbon Monocell monocoque which were used for testing the heat management system and performance. The final car was unveiled to the public on 9 September 2009 before the company’s launch in 2010.
In 2008, McLaren hired Frank Stephenson as design director for their reborn production car project.
As with the McLaren F1, carbon fibre is used extensively in the vehicle to minimise weight. The MP4-12C weighs 1,301 kg (2,868 lb) dry.
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, Ilmor and Ricardo. The design of the engine was based on a racing engine which was designed and developed by Tom Walkinshaw Racing for the IRL Indy Car Championship but never raced. 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 M838T engine is manufactured for McLaren at the Ricardo Shoreham Technical Centre in West Sussex.
The engine is connected to a seven-speed automatic dual-clutch gearbox made by Graziano Oerlikon. 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.
DragTimes.com posted a YouTube video of a stock McLaren 12C accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and from 0 to 100 mph in 6.0 seconds. DragTimes.com also recorded a quarter mile time for the McLaren 12C of 10.27 seconds at 218 km/h (135 mph), the 3rd fastest verified time for a stock production car at the time. The manufacturer has a claimed top speed of 207 mph (333 km/h) but a top speed of 346.6 km/h (215 mph) was achieved in the MP4-12C Spider, which is 3 mph “slower” than the coupe. The Coupe (in reality) can do 218.61 mph (352 km/h). It 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.
2011 McLaren MP4-12C has a power to weight ratio of 2.39 kg (5.27 lb) per horsepower.
2013 McLaren 12C has a power to weight ratio of 2.29 kg (5.05 lb) per horsepower.