New McLaren MP4-12C, the low down!

Ron Dennis, McLaren Automotive Chairman says of the McLaren MP4-12C, “we respect and admire our competitors in the high performance sports car market, just as we do in the world of Formula 1, but I also believe that fierce competition drives technology and innovation and produces ever better products.


With the McLaren MP4-12C we are determined to deliver the best car in its sector by almost any measure. It is our philosophy to push what is possible in-car design and engineering and bring innovation and engineering excellence to the performance car world. We have an incredibly dedicated team at McLaren who continue to drive this company to ever greater achievements, and the 12C represents the passion within, as the first of this new range of performance cars from McLaren.”

But what do the impartial auto journalists say in the early test drives?  Here are some of the early comments I have discovered:

Andrew English, The Telegraph writes: If the Italians are all sound and passion, the McLaren, with its more sober Frank Stephenson design, is more serious.

A stunning debut, then, for a supercar that’s arguably more practical than its rivals. McLaren aims to build 1,000 this year and 1,500 per annum after that. I doubt it will have many problems selling them.”

AutoExpress said: “The MP4-12C is a remarkable product from a remarkable company. It distils the values of the McLaren brand – technological expertise, efficiency and sheer speed – into a stunningly useable package. 

Our only criticism is that it’s a little lacking in character, in the way it looks and sounds. Still, never before has so much performance been so accessible. This is a worthy successor to the original F1, and a fantastic way to launch a new company.
Our favourite supercar of 2010 is still the champ, at least until we can officially drive the McLaren in the UK. The 458 Italia is the definition of mid-engine V8 high performance, and looks great. This is set to be a battle royal.
Chris Chilton of Car Magazine says: “Quite simply, this is the most complete supercar the world has ever seen. Quicker than a McLaren F1, easier to live with than an Audi R8 and more economical than a BMW M3, it rides like an executive saloon when you’re not in the mood but thrills like any supercar should when you are.”
Jason Barlow in Top Gear Magazine, says: “Very, very, very good indeed. The 12C is quite simply an astonishing piece of engineering. It’s beautifully made, has a cabin that immediately and brilliantly becomes an extension of the driver, an engine and transmission that have gone from being drawings on a clean sheet of paper to challenging Ferrari’s best in barely five years
Not enough for you, then for more on the McLaren MP4-12C visit the McLaren website or
Headline performance figures include:
  • 600PS (592bhp) at 7000rpm; 600Nm (443lb ft) torque from 3000-7000rpm
  • 330km/h (205mph)
  • 0-100km/h (62mph) in 3.3sec (3.1sec with Corsa tyres);
    0 – 200km/h (124mph) in 9.1sec (8.9sec with Corsa tyres)
  • 100 – 0km/h in 30.5m (100ft)
  • 1/4 mile: 10.9sec @ 135mph 
  • 1301kg (2868lb); 461PS (455bhp) per tonne
  • CO2 emissions of 279g/km
  • 24.2mpg combined

Personally, would I like one, yes, would I want one more than a Ferrari 458 Italia, I don’t think so, but now I’m not so sure. 

Rival: Ferrari 458 Italia


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