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Friday, December 14, 2012

2012 McLaren MP4-12c


Since Bruce McLaren first opened his doors as a manufacturer in 1963 the company has been a driving force in motorsport. Best known for its success in Formula 1, McLaren has also won the Le Mans 24 Hour race, dominated Cam-Am racing and won Indianapolis 3 times.

1992 marked the launch of the first McLaren road car in the shape of the ubiquitous F1. As radical a car as it was, it still hold the record for the fastest normally aspirated road car ever built, and 20 years since its original launch it is considered a must have for many serious car collectors and prices of the 76 road cars produced have sky rocketed.

It was always a vision of Bruce’s to produce a road car, and in 1969 the M6GT was a one off enclosed Can Am car that would often be seen on the road with its designer behind the wheel. The idea of no compromise was born in that car and 43 years later forms the backbone of the philosophy found in the McLaren Technical Center in Woking, where the MP4-12C was designed alongside our race winning Formula 1 cars.

The idea was simple, create the ‘and’ car. Throw out the idea of compromise. Make it lightweight and strong. Give the driver Performance and Economy. Handling and Comfort. Easy to say, difficult to engineer.
With a design brief that Form will follow Function, it made sense for McLaren’s engineers to utilize their expertise as the automotive world’s leading experts in Carbon Fibre technology. Every lesson learned from becoming the first F1 team to race a Carbon Fibre chassis in 1981 to date was put to use to create a Carbon Fibre Monocell made in such a unique way it was patented. In a world where weight is the enemy, McLaren was able to produce a tub with more strength and rigidity that any of its competitors’ aluminum space frames could come close to, and weighing in at only 165 pounds, it was both light and strong.

Add a suspension where the dampers are interconnected hydraulically and control the type of ride you want: Normal, Sport or Track by changing pressure in the system and get a level of adjustability that could never be achieved using mechanical sway bars.

Take systems directly from F1. Brake Steer is the perfect example. A system invented for the 1997 Formula 1 car, Brake Steer applies braking to the inside rear wheel under hard corning, helping you to keep a tight line and eliminate understeer.

Add innovation. For example the air brake. At speeds over 60 MPH applying the brakes will cause the rear wing to pop up and greatly increase the rear downforce, thereby pushing the rear wheels into greater contact with the road and increasing the efficiency of the rear brakes, leading to a 125mph to zero time of 5 seconds.

The engine is equally as impressive. A 3.8 Liter V8 which produces 616hp and an impressive 443ft/lbs of torque, it powers the car to an impressive 3.1 second zero to 60 mph. Weighing just 199 Kg with ancillaries the 12C becomes the only car in its class to be immune to the Gas Guzzler Tax….Powerful and Efficient. Developed exclusively for the 12C, the M838T is a lightweight and relatively compact power plant that’s positioned deep in its chassis to maximize the car’s low center of gravity and virtually perfect cornering capability with lateral G figure of 1.7, an off the charts figure usually reserved for flat out competition cars, all be it achieved using our optional Corsa tires. With that in mind, high-revving performance was at the forefront of every decision, and it shows as internals consist of lightweight Nikasil cylinder liners, a compact flat-plane crank, variable valve timing for both the intake and exhaust valves, and a dry sump oil system which ensures that perfected cornering capability is 100% sustainable.

Like everything else in the car, the gearbox is a bespoke item. The 7 Speed, dual clutch Seamless Shift Gearbox can be driven in differing modes to suit your mood, driving style and the road, or indeed track, ahead of you. In normal mode you will get the smoothest shift possible, perfect for driving around town in dense traffic, but at the switch of the dash mounted Powertrain controller your shifts will be lightening fast, down to 60 milliseconds.

Opening the single hinge, lightweight door and sliding into the cockpit really brings home the ‘nothing without purpose’ philosophy of the designers. The dual zone air conditioning controls sit on the inside of the dihedral doors, allowing a slimmer, portrait style center consul, which results in the driver and passenger being positioned more to the center of the car, improving weight distribution and therefore handling.

Ahead of you will be the instrument panel, with the tachometer taking center stage, with all the pertinent information a driver would want at their fingertips arranged around it, all using McLaren’s own font, which is easy to read even in direct sunlight. Touch screen navigation, Bluetooth and a Meridian sound system complete a simple but uncompromising interior created with the driver in mind. Designed unlike any other car, from the inside out, you will start to appreciate it from the moment you pull away.

So we come full circle. If you are only going to have one car, wouldn’t it make sense if it was able to transform its characteristics, from mild mannered road car to pace- setting track car….the ‘And” car.

The sale of this white glove McLaren includes a copy of the original window sticker outlined above, all the car’s original owner’s manuals, an official form confirming the car’s model year 2013 upgrade, and the optional Lithium-Ion battery charger listed on the window sticker.

This MP4-12C is one of the most impressive sports cars ever created, and it’s guaranteed to redefine its new owner’s definition of “ultimate”. While rarity doesn’t always ensure collectability, it’s safe to say that any road-going McLaren is exactly the kind of car that will anchor future collections. And best of all, this coupe’s new owner will have a blast getting there!


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