New McLaren MP4-12C details and images

New McLaren MP4-12C details and images

Yesterday was the big day for McLaren. After it ambitiously launched its own separate automotive division to chase down arch-rival Ferrari, the British race engineering firm has finally released its long-anticipated new supercar. Called the MP4-12C, it’s a totally in-house development, and features the latest automotive technology taken straight from F1.

The MP4-12C is built around a very light but rigid carbon fibre tub. The body panels are all made of carbon fibre and composites, which does make the new McLaren more expensive to build than its competitors and results in a hefty £160,000 ($379k NZ) price tag — more expensive than the new Ferrari 458 Italia or the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, but lighter than both also.

Motivation comes from a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 engine producing around 600 horsepower and 433 lb-ft of torque. For some green credentials McLaren is claiming the engine offers the highest horsepower to CO2 ratio of any internal combustion engine on the market. The engine is entirely McLaren developed without any Mercedes assistance and features a flat-plane crank, dry sump and can rev up to 8,500 rpm, with 80% of the torque apparently available from as low as 2,000 rpm. Predicted performance figures are a 0-100 sprint time in the low threes and a 320+ kph top end.

McLaren have rejected carbon ceramic brakes in favour of conventional discs that it says actually weigh less. They’re aided by a Brake Steer system that brakes the inside rear wheel to combat understeer. But the real trick technology system is the cars seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, where ‘Pre-Cog’ lets the driver load up the next gear by half-squeezing the paddle and then engaging it with lightening speed.

With the new MP4-12C, McLaren is backing the popularity of the vehicle and is planning on building 1000 units in 2011, a quarter of which will go to the domestic UK market and a quarter to the United States. A roadster version may also be planned to join the coupe.

Yesterday was the big day for McLaren. After it ambitiously launched its own separate automotive division to chase down arch-rival Ferrari, the British race engineering firm has finally released its long-anticipated new supercar. Called the MP4-12C, it’s a totally in-house development, and features the latest automotive technology taken straight from F1.

The MP4-12C is built around a very light but rigid carbon fibre tub. The body panels are all made of carbon fibre and composites, which does make the new McLaren more expensive to build than its competitors and results in a hefty £160,000 ($379k NZ) price tag — more expensive than the new Ferrari 458 Italia or the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, but lighter than both also.

Motivation comes from a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 engine producing around 600 horsepower and 433 lb-ft of torque. For some green credentials McLaren is claiming the engine offers the highest horsepower to CO2 ratio of any internal combustion engine on the market. The engine is entirely McLaren developed without any Mercedes assistance and features a flat-plane crank, dry sump and can rev up to 8,500 rpm, with 80% of the torque apparently available from as low as 2,000 rpm. Predicted performance figures are a 0-100 sprint time in the low threes and a 320+ kph top end.

McLaren have rejected carbon ceramic brakes in favour of conventional discs that it says actually weigh less. They’re aided by a Brake Steer system that brakes the inside rear wheel to combat understeer. But the real trick technology system is the cars seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, where ‘Pre-Cog’ lets the driver load up the next gear by half-squeezing the paddle and then engaging it with lightening speed.

With the new MP4-12C, McLaren is backing the popularity of the vehicle and is planning on building 1000 units in 2011, a quarter of which will go to the domestic UK market and a quarter to the United States. A roadster version may also be planned to join the coupe.

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