McLaren already testing next-generation F1 road car

October 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

With McLaren’s MP4-12C now on sale through the company’s growing global sales network its on to the next project for the brand. The next new car in development is the successor to the now legendary McLaren F1. If recent reports coming out of the UK prove true the first prototypes of this much anticipated machine are already being tested in various regions of Europe.

Nicknamed the Mega Mac, the new F1 is ambitiously being built to beat all other performance exotics that are available right now including the top dog Bugatti Veyron. Ferrari, Porche and Pagani aren’t running scared just yet but they are certainly on alert. To beat the pack McLaren is looking at a 5.0-litre V8 powertrain similar to the MP4-12C’s motor, it will be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and produce a power output of around the 600kW mark.

With that sort of grunt expect the 0-100km/h sprint to be covered in around 2.9-seconds and a terrifying top speed. The Mega Mac chassis will be a carbon-fibre monocoque design with F1-style pushrod suspension and plenty of electronic aides to keep the beast on track. There will be a raft of high-tech equipment including a built-in video camera for recording high-speed shenanigans. Continue reading “McLaren already testing next-generation F1 road car” »

First details on McLaren’s “Mega Mac” F1 successor

May 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

There’s been rumours and speculation floating around about McLaren’s new top spec F1 successor since the release of its MP4-12C last year. Now, thanks to fresh reports, key details have been divulged and McLaren’s tasty new supercar dubbed the “Mega Mac” sounds like an absolute monster.

Aimed squarely at the world’s top supercars like the Bugatti Veyron and Pagani Huayra the Mega Mac plans to defeat them all and jump straight into number one spot. To achieve this it will use a 595kW (799 hp) 5.0-litre V8 motor which has been developed in collaboration with Ricardo. The huge amounts of power will be put to the ground through a Graziano seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Keeping light is vital and the car will feature a carbon fibre Monocell, similar to that seen on the MP4-12C. Interior appointments will also put function before luxury in pursuit of a low kerb weight.

With the emphasis on total power and light weight, performance will be nothing short of breathtaking. Early indications expect the coupe to match the Lamborghini Aventador in the 0-100kph sprint, hitting three figures in just 2.8 seconds. While that’s a few tenths slower than the Bugatti Veyron, the Mega Mac will generate more momentum as it goes reaching the 200 mph (321kph) mark in just 20 seconds flat, a full 2 seconds quicker than the Veyron. Continue reading “First details on McLaren’s “Mega Mac” F1 successor” »

McLaren MP4-12C officially begins production (+video)

February 3rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Following more than five years of development McLaren Automotive’s brand new MP4-12C has officially entered production at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking, England.

McLaren has plans to build up to 1,000 examples of the MP4-12Cs this year. While chassis 01 is currently being built at the existing MTC facility, most of the cars will be manufactured in a new £40m McLaren Production Centre, which is due for completion in May on a site adjacent to the MTC facility.

The MP4-12C was initially shown to the public at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England in July 2010. After that, it was given a North American debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August of the same year.

The MP4-12C packs a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 engine with 447 kW and 599 Nm of torque. The powerhouse motor is mated to a seven-speed “Seamless Shift” double-clutch transmission. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h is less than 3.8 seconds and top speed exceeds 300 km/h.

To mark the beginning of production McLaren has released a new short film called ‘Best of 2010′, which has appearances from F1 racing aces Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, as well as footage of the car winter testing at Dunsfold Aerodrome. Check it out below. Continue reading “McLaren MP4-12C officially begins production (+video)” »

McLaren prices MP4-12C supercar at $300k NZ

January 21st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

McLaren has just released pricing for the States on its first road car in nearly a decade. To get your own all-new, carbon-fibre tubbed MP4-12C you’ll need $229,000 USD ($301,500 NZ). That’s just for starters.

As many predicted, the 12C’s pricing is very similar to its primary competition from Ferrari with its 458 and Lamborghini with the latest Gallardo LP-570-4.

The base price for the MP4-12C doesn’t include any of the fancy extras. Apparently McLaren plans on offering a host of upgrades to the 12C, ranging from special lightweight alloys and bespoke paint to a clever three-camera interior recording system for track days. Ordering details should be released soon, but even if you have your 300k expect waits of up to two years before your brand new MP4-12C will be delivered. Continue reading “McLaren prices MP4-12C supercar at $300k NZ” »

McLaren to develop and campaign MP4-12C GT3 race cars

December 20th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It’s been twelve years since the last six F1 GTR “Longtails” hit the tarmac at Le Mans but McLaren is now busy developing its next racing machine. The British supercar maker has been working with the CRS Racing Team on an MP4-12C-based GT3 racecar. Details have just been revealed and the MP4-12C GT3 will be available in limited numbers starting from 2012.

The McLaren F1 GTR was a very successful racecar, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans on its debut, leaving big shoes to fill for the new car. But by using an advanced one-piece carbon fibre chassis and finely tuned aerodynamic body, the MP4-12C will provide a solid base for the development of the racing version.

“The 12C’s architecture and design was always aimed at high-performance and ease of maintenance – two key criteria for potential customers. Combine that with the vast amount of racing experience in our automotive team, and CRS Racing’s specialist development experience, and the 12C GT3 should be an exciting proposition for the top teams planning to race in GT3 from 2012″, said Martin Whitmarsh, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team Principal.

To further the development process, McLaren and CRS Racing will enter 12C GT3 prototypes in select European GT races next year. Then a limited number of cars will be made available to privateer teams in the 2012 FIA GT3 Series before McLaren looks at taking on other championships.

McLaren MP4-12C public launch at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

July 15th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

McLaren MP4-12C public launch at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

McLaren MP4-12C makes screaming debut at Goodwood (+video)

July 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

McLaren has just made public a video of its brand new MP4-12C making its public debut at last weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

To honor its unveiling, Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive Managing Director, was the first person to drive up the hill on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton got their chance behind the wheel.

Sheriff said about the event, “The visitors to our stand were the perfect blend of car enthusiasts and potential customers; I’m delighted that we chose Goodwood Festival of Speed to unveil the 12C to the public. Two British Formula 1 World Champions were behind the wheel of the car as we led the field up the hill. A major landmark, delivered to McLaren’s high standards.”

The MP4-12C is a true supercar and features a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 pumping out 447 kW (600 bhp) and 599 Nm of torque. Power is put to the road by a seven-speed “Seamless Shift” dual-clutch transmission, this powertrain enables the car to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in less than 3.8 seconds and reach a top speed in excess of 300 km/h (186 mph).

Click on the box below to view the video of the MP4-12C’s first run. Continue reading “McLaren MP4-12C makes screaming debut at Goodwood (+video)” »

McLaren Automotive announces 35 cities to get showrooms

May 25th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

McLaren Automotive has just announced the 35 cities globally where the MP4-12C will be available when it goes on sale next year. It looks like New Zealand has missed out in this initial dealer allocation. For now dealers in the 19 countries on the list are still being evaluated and at least 23 of them will be confirmed by McLaren prior to the public unveiling of the new sports car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.

All of the usual suspects are represented including Paris, London, Los Angeles and Tokyo. Not surprisingly the Middle East is well represented with seven locations in total, including two in Saudi Arabia. The UK is also well catered for with shops in London, Manchester and Birmingham, while those of us in the States have numerous McLaren outlets. The Asia-Pacific region is represented by stores in Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. No word on a dealership here in NZ despite it being Bruce McLaren’s country of origin

Over 500 dealers applied for the first 35 showrooms and McLaren even expects some expansion in 2012. That remains dependent on demand, but over 2,500 prospects have expressed interest in buying an MP4-12C so far, McLaren look well-positioned to cash in.

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