40% of the MP4-12C units that McLaren has produced sold in the U.S.

Article by Christian A., on May 1, 2012

The fact that 40% of the MP4-12C units that McLaren has produced were bought in the U.S. is a surprise. But more so to McLaren Automotive boss Antony Sheriff who had warned the company that it might not do so well in the U.S. As of February, McLaren had built 1,000 units of the MP4-12C. Sheriff knows quite a bit about the issue since he has been working in Europe for numerous years.

He was born in the U.S. and grew up there, later getting engineering and economics from Swarthmore College before starting his career as a product planner for Chrysler in 1987. At the Geneva show, he revealed that as a kid, his friends in the U.S. didn’t know McLaren and would certainly never wake up at 6 am to watch Formula 1 with him on ESPN.

Most of the racing fans weren’t too crazy about the sport and would engage in it during the weekend or would just go to a few IndyCar races. He also said that the popularity of the Bruce and Denny show has passed by then. He was referring to Can-Am series of the late ’60s founded by Bruce McLaren and Denis Hulme, who made the thundering orange McLaren M8 sports racers legendary.

So that’s why McLaren planners were cautious on their sales estimate for the MP4-12C in the U.S. Sheriff wasn’t sure if the McLaren is famous enough to get the attention of buyers from the Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

Sheriff said that he, along with the company, underestimated how much Americans know about the brand and how many of them were fans. Anyone who test-drives the MP4-12C would be impressed with its twin-turbo V-8, the chassis’ responsiveness, and the outstanding ride quality. It’s arguable whether a Ferrari 458 is better but being compared to the benchmark Ferrari already speaks volumes.

Dynamic benefits are not the only thing the 12C MonoCell is bringing to the table as it also has the basic engineering opportunities that serve as the foundation of the highly unique quality of this model. Designed to make sure that the overall structure is narrower, this makes the model more compact ensuring a drive that is more rewarding and easier to maneuver on the highway.

At its core is the Carbon MonoCell. Not surprising as McLaren was the first to utilize a carbon composite for their Formula 1 MP4/1 model back in 1981. This distinct construction approach would later become the standard from which all other Formula 1 would soon follow. Through the 1993 McLaren F1, the brand introduced for the first time the use of carbon fiber for road cars.

What McLaren did was to use their previous experience in manufacturing the SLR, which not only had a body in carbon fiber but the chassis too. While it followed the same stringent standards, the main difference was that the 1993 F1 displayed higher volumes. This is the reason why today, many of the highly expensive exotic cars continue to have a chassis in carbon fiber.

For those in the upper segment of society, the costs of such models are dependent on how complex the carbon fibre chassis was designed and later built. Indeed, using carbon composite has a number of advantages as it has a light weight, excellent longevity, and superior torsional rigidity and strength. Through the 12C MonoCell, the brand is once again stirring things up as it brings with it the benefits of using such a material but placing it in an a more affordable class.

This was made possible through the innovative engineering which is the one-piece moulding. There is no doubt that a carbon fiber chassis being made this way has never been seen before. However, the 12C MonoCell is not just about making full use of carbon technology.

It has the highest specific power output while having superior power-to-weight ratio and torque-to-weight ratio. In addition, its Proactive Chassis Control system is able to deliver on innovative ride comfort and handling. Further by putting emphasis on occupant packaging, it offers suitability on a daily basis and raises everyday comfort to new heights.

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