McLaren MP4-12C debuts, coming to UAE & GCC
McLaren Automotive has launched their all-new exotic sports car, originally known as the P11 project. Now unimaginatively dubbed as the McLaren MP4-12C, this jumble of letters and numbers is the closest thing to a successor for the groundbreaking McLaren F1 supercar of the 1990s. The McLaren MP4-12C will go on sale in the Middle East in 2011.
The 2011 McLaren MP4-12C features a revolutionary carbon-fibre chassis structure. Known as the Carbon MonoCell, it is supposedly the first time a car in this market segment has been based around this lightweight racing car engineering solution and the first time any car has ever featured a one-piece carbon-fibre structure.
All the parts of the 12C are unique to this car. Everything from the engine right down to the tailor-made switches and buttons is pure McLaren. Nothing has come from another manufacturer’s parts bin.
The two-seater mid-engined 12C is powered by a custom McLaren ‘M838T’ 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine producing around 600 hp and 600 Nm of torque at 3000 rpm, driving through a McLaren 7-speed dual clutch automanual gearbox. About 80% of peak torque is available from just 2000 rpm, while the engine redlines at 8300 rpm. The 12C can do the 0-100 kph sprint under 4 seconds, with a top speed of over 320 kph.
Weight reduction has been a top priority, with its lightweight Carbon MonoCell structure, a deliberately narrower body, brakes with forged aluminium hubs saving 8 kg, lightweight exhaust pipes exiting straight out the rear of the car, airflow-assisted Airbrake deployment system, a compact downsized engine and transmission, lightweight alloy wheels, and radiators mounted at the rear close to the engine to minimise the pipework.
Weighing less than 1400 kg, McLaren says the MP4-12C is smaller than its Italian rivals but with a longer wheelbase, as well as more interior room and luggage space. Up to 16 levels of driver-enabled suspension and transmission settings are available, as are electronic aids such as ABS, ESP, ASR traction control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Hill Hold and Brake Steer. The customisable exterior and interior can be individually specced out by buyers.
British pricing for the McLaren MP4-12C comes in between the equivalent of Dhs 750,000 and Dhs 1,050,000. Around 1,000 cars will be built in the first year, considerably more than the McLaren F1, but also costing much less.
McLaren Automotive will launch three other models by 2015, based on the MP4 platform. The company has already confirmed that it is seeking retailers in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It is also looking at the possibility of establishing a service centre in Lebanon. McLaren Automotive is the independent car division based at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, England, home to McLaren’s Formula One racing team.