McLaren Automotive cars proved their worth on racetracks for decades. With the 2012 MP4-12C, McLaren conquered regular roadways. The sports car was the first-ever production vehicle entirely designed and built by McLaren, and the company’s first production road car manufactured since the McLaren F1.
“The MP4 has the moves of a master and the brains of a child prodigy,” Car and Driver enthused. “It verges close enough to perfect that Ferrari will feel the heat of a serious competitor while other supercar makers will struggle to match this combination of value, performance, and technological intrigue.”
On the Fast Track
In keeping with the McLaren racing heritage, the 2012 MP4-12C could reach 60 mph in the low 3-second range. On July 10, 2011, the MP4-12C set the second-fastest lap around Top Gear’s test track, posting a time of 1 minute and 16.2 seconds.
Light Makes Might
The McLaren MP4-12C is powered by a M838T 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V8 engine. As with its F1, McLaren uses carbon fiber extensively in the automobile to minimize weight. The MP4-12C also benefits from a unique hydraulic configuration to suspend the vehicle in lieu of more traditional coil springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars.
A notable feature of the MP4-12C is its upward-opening doors. More conventionally, it has a side-by-side seating arrangement, unlike its McLaren F1 predecessor. The F1 has a three-seat formation (front center, two behind either side). The MP4-12C also incorporates Formula 1-sourced technologies including “brake steer,” in which the inside rear wheel brakes cut down on understeer during fast cornering.
2012 McLaren MP4-12C Specs:
- 592 hp
- 3.8-liter, twin-turbo, V8 engine
- seven-speed dual-clutch transmission
- 3,161 lb curb weight
- 15 city / 22 highway mpg