McLaren Automotive is back, and back in a very big way. Seventeen years after the creation of the almighty McLaren F1 road car the company from Woking in Surrey is preparing its sequel.
McLaren wants to bring hypercar performance in to the supercar market. That means they reckon the MP-12C will be up there with the Bugatti Veyron for outright performance, but at a Porsche 911 Turbo price point. To put that in to numbers, McLaren expect their new creation will cost between £125,000 and £175,000 (AU$240,000-340,000) when it is ready for market release in 2011.
For pure performance numbers, the 12C will have a new 3.8 litre V8 ‘M838T’ engine good for a very healthy 600bhp and an impressive 600Nm of torque. At this point, McLaren haven’t published a kerb weight for the MP4-12C, but today’s press release has the words “light weight” scattered throughout. Expect the power to weight ratio, then, to be staggering. The 12C will have a seven speed Seamless Shift dual clutch transmission. McLaren is already pontificating about the engine’s fuel efficiency and comparatively low CO2 emissions.
This time there is a conventional two seat layout. What is not conventional, though, is the construction of the chassis. Made from carbon fibre, McLaren have dubbed it the Carbon MonoCell. It tips the scales at just 80kg and can be formed in around four hours. Lightness, longevity and torsional rigidity are just three of the benefits of the MonoCell.
The McLaren MP4-12C is bespoke car with no carry over parts from any other manufacturers. Production will be coordinated solely by McLaren Automotive. Ron Dennis, McLaren Automotive Chairman is clearly excited by today’s news. And there is more to come.
“It is a long-held dream of mine to launch a range of high performance sports cars that set new standards in the industry,” said Dennis.
“We began designing and building cars for aficionados of thoroughbred sports cars almost 20 years ago. Incorporating the leading edge technologies that the McLaren Group has built up within its various companies, I believe we are now perfectly placed to open up this new chapter in McLaren’s history as well as play a part in the regeneration of high-tech manufacturing in the UK and global automotive environment,” he concluded.
As a pure design statement, Frank Stephenson (of MINI fame) has created a car that speaks performance efficiency, albeit lacking the drama such supercars usually possess. However, one gets the feeling that the drama from this car will come from the driving experience which is sure to be devastating, and I mean that in a very good way.
There’s plenty of photos of the McLaren MP4-12C after the break, all accessible as wallpaper-friendly 2000px super images by simply clicking on each image. The press release is lengthy, and rather than reproduce it here, you can download the Word document by clicking here.