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Saturday, 19 February 2011

Supercar Saturday!!


Welcome to Supercar Saturday, a new feature that exists purely due to alliteration (and because smallblocks are for Tuesdays). This Saturday it's the most recently released supercar, the McLaren MP4-12C. The mouthy name is supposed to be the code that McLaren uses for all its roadcars henceforth. According to McLaren's lengthy Press Release, It breaks down like so:
  • 'MP4' has been the chassis designation for all McLaren Formula 1 cars since 1981. It stands for McLaren Project 4, resulting from the merger of Ron Dennis' Project 4 organisation with McLaren.
  • The '12' refers to McLaren's internal Vehicle Performance Index through which it rates key performance criteria both for competitors and for its own cars. The criteria combine power, weight, emissions, and aerodynamic efficiency. The coalition of all these values delivers an overall performance index that has been used as a benchmark throughout the car's development.
  • The 'C' refers to Carbon, highlighting the unique application of carbon fibre technology to the future range of McLaren sports cars.
Lovely, but couldn't you have put a word on the end too? Something like the McLaren MP4-12C "Brooklands", or the 12C "Goodwood", perhaps take a leaf out of Ferrari's book and call it the 12C Britannia, or the McLaRon? Maybe not the last one. Oh well, for know we'll just have to shorten it to "Twelve-C".


I won't go on at length - I've been doing too much of that - but this has some serious tech on board, such as a "Carbon MonoCell" (the black bit in the above image that isn't a seat) one-piece carbon fibre tub that weighs only 75kg, the lightweight Seamless Shift gearbox that eliminates that brief pause during a gear change, a V8TT (McLaren's first road car engine) with the highest horsepower-per-CO2 of any combustion engine ever, hybrid or otherwise. That makes this orange supercar greener than a Toyota Prius! Sort of.

Basic Specs

0-60: 3.3 seconds (3.1s with optional sports tyres)

Top Speed: 205mph

Engine: McLaren "M838T" 3.8 litre Twin-Turbo V8

Power/Torque/CO2: 600PS (592bhp) / 443lb/ft / 279g/km

Weight: 1336kg (1301kg with "Lightweight Options")

Price (UK): £168,500 + optional extras

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