McLaren celebrates 50th anniversary with special 12C coupe and spider

Article by Christian A., on May 24, 2013

In order to mark its 50th anniversary, McLaren unveiled two commemorative models dubbed McLaren 50 12C and McLaren 50 12C Spider. As expected, the production of the two models will be limited to a maximum of 100 globally, split between just 50 examples of the 12C and 50 of the 12C Spider. Each model will feature a number of bespoke styling and specification enhancements to mark the milestone event, which will be celebrated on 2 September.

Some of the features include a redesigned front bumper, inspired by the limited-run HS Edition models. The lower section of the bumper is made from carbon fiber, while the front floor is made race-derived carbon Kevlar. Above the bumper, we find a McLaren F1-inspired heritage badge, previously available only to MSO clients, fitted on the bonnet.

The McLaren 50 12C and 12C Spider models are fitted as standard with carbon ceramic brakes featuring 394x36mm discs at the front, and 380x34mm at the rear.

These sit behind the bespoke McLaren 50 Ultra Lightweight wheels finished in Satin Black. According to McLaren, the wheels, 19-inch at the front and 20-inch at the rear, offer a combined 2kg saving over the optional Super Lightweight wheels. Inside, we find full leather upgrade, while subtle branding to the carbon fibre sill panel and floor mats.

These are complemented by an anniversary dedication plate on the driver’s door, which highlights the limited run.

The limited edition models will be available only in three striking colours: Carbon Black, Supernova Silver or heritage McLaren Orange. Each of the McLaren 50 models will be presented with a monogrammed black and silver car cover, limited edition key, carbon fibre presentation key box and a specially commissioned print signed by McLaren Automotive Design Director, Frank Stephenson. Pricing starts at £196,000 for the McLaren 50 12C and at £215,500 for the McLaren 50 12C Spider.

Starting in October 2012, the McLaren MP4-12C will feature an array of upgrades ranging from tweaks on its engine and transmission to improvements in its other functional values. The upgraded 12C now comes with an enhanced engine – the ever-reliable 3.8-liter twin turbo V8 mill. Engineers at McLaren Automotive managed to hike the output of this unit by 25 PS from 600 PS (592 hp) to 625 PS (616 hp). The increased output was thanks to a redesigned engine mapping, which in no way has affected the efficiency of the M838T engine. In fact, the V8 engine still emits 279 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer and consumes 11.7 liters per 100km (24.2 mpg as per EU combined cycle).

Moreover, McLaren tweaked the 12C’s seven-speed SSG transmission to ensure that it delivers crisper throttle response as well as improved clutch control, thereby making gear changing faster and smoother.

Amazingly, the McLaren MP4-12C is equipped with the groundbreaking Intake Sound Generator (ISG), which could control engine intake noise within the cabin at various levels. The amount of engine noise that penetrates the cabin depends on the selected Powertrain mode: Normal, Sport and Track. ISG enables the engine noise in the cabin to change as throttle power is applied and the rpm increases. The upgraded 12C now allows the driver to choose the level of engine noise on each mode using an electronic menu on the instrument cluster.

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