McLaren MP4-12C public debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed

McLaren Automotive’s new sports car, the MP4-12C was given its public world debut at the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed, held last week, with current Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button and 2008 Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton driving a McLaren Orange Validation Prototype 12C up the famous Goodwood Hill.

The MP4-12C was the first car to be driven up Goodwood Hill on Friday 02 July, effectively opening the show, with McLaren Automotive Managing Director, Antony Sheriff at the wheel. The 12C was subsequently granted pole position in every Supercar Run over the course of the weekend, a fitting gesture to two Formula 1 World Champions that are accustomed to leading from the front.

Many of the 176,000 visitors to the Goodwood Festival of Speed were also drawn to a 12C rolling chassis displayed on the McLaren stand. By viewing firsthand the car’s hydraulic suspension arrangement, its carbon Monocell chassis, compact 3.8-litre twin-turbo engine and unique transmission unit, visitors with an appreciation for innovation and technology had a rare glimpse of what lies under the skin of the 12C.

The company’s first car, the MP4-12C, is expected to enter the regional market in early summer 2011. The car has already received over 2,700 expressions of interest registered on their website, with huge interest from Arab car enthusiasts. This means that the initial interest in the 12C has already exceeded the first year’s allocation, which will be limited to just 1,000 MP4-12Cs globally. Up to 20% of these will come to the Middle East as GCC-spec cars. Subsequently, McLaren Automotive will move to a full model range of high-performance, two-seat, mid-engine sports cars; the aim then is to sell around 4,000 models annually by the middle of the decade.

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