McLaren MP4-12C: tech specs and performance figures released

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 14, 2011

Finally, McLaren revealed today the official specs of the new MP4-12C supercar, new model set to challenge legendary sports cars manufacturers such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche. For those who don’t know, the car is powered by a 3.8-liter twin turbo V8 engine delivering 600 hp @ 7000 rpm and 600 Nm (443 lb-ft) of torque @ 3000-7000 rpm.

Regarding the performances, the new Mclaren MP4-12C is capable to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.3 seconds (3.1 seconds with Corsa tyre option), 200 km/h (124 mph) in 9.1 seconds (8.9 with Corsa tyre option) and a top speed of 330 km/h or 205 mph.

Furthermore, the new supercar does the ¼ mile (0-400 m) in 10.9 seconds@216 km/h (134 mph) and 1000 m in 19.6 s @ 272 km/h or 169 mph. Regarding the fuel consumption, according to McLaren, the MP4-12C will deliver 11.7 l/100 km or 24.2 mpg (UK).

Regarding the engine, this is mated to the M838T dual clutch, seven-speed ‘SSG’ transmission which uses the Active Dynamics Panel situated in the centre console of the 12C’s cockpit.

The driver can select three different settings - Normal, Sport and Track modes – each providing a progressive immediacy of gear shift, operated through finger-tip controls mounted on a rocker behind the 12C steering wheel.

McLaren MP4-12C is designed based on the same principles of McLaren’s Formula 1 cars and the celebrated McLaren F1, where everything is done for a reason and the lines, details and surfaces are designed and styled with a function in mind. This makes sure that the 12C, through its styling, complements its engineering and will endure the test of time as part of automotive design.

Frank Stephenson, Design Director of McLaren Automotive, says that most cars deliver a “look-at-me”, “in-your-face” image that can be “wearing and boorish.” The ultimate indirect flattering remark would be that “it was of its time”. However, great design is ageless and stays significant later on. Consider the McLaren F1 as an example.

Stephenson hopes that through the 12C, the company has created a car that looks great not only today but in the years to come. The body of the 12C has been designed to support sector-leading downforce levels. This downforce contributes to sector-leading levels of stability and lateral grip.

Air flow has been dealt with to support each performance figure and lightweight target. For instance, placing the radiators next to the engine reduces weight and keeps a narrow profile. However, this leads to a big challenge of guaranteeing sufficient air flow to the radiators.

This results to the large air scoops on the sides and the integrated turning vanes that are remarkable yet entirely functional. It is not smaller or larger than needed. The challenge of the designer is to add personality to the styling purpose motivated by engineering aspirations.

For this reason, the air scoops bear a resemblance to the McLaren logo in form just like the other features of the car. There are only two pure lines flowing around the car and if combined with numerous dramatic concave and concave surfaces, they offer a low, compact and well-balanced car.

Ron Dennis stated that he is confident that this is the best time for McLaren Automotive to manufacture a complete line of high performance sports cars. There is a strong worldwide demand for cars with high performance due to the great cars coming from great competitors.

When McLaren joins the list, the demand will grow stronger, even more. The company is offering a new approach to the market by means of a solid, skilled, risk-managed, debt-free company. Dennis declares that it is timely for McLaren to take this step right now and support the future growth of technologically advanced engineering and manufacturing in the UK.

The high performance sports car market has significantly grown since the start of the century. McLaren separated the market into segments that consist of comfort-oriented GT cars and hard-edged supercars intended for road use.

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