McLaren 12C Spider chases snow bunny

McLaren 12 C Spider

A hot car, a hot blonde and the promise of some après-ski action? Well, two out of three ain’t bad I guess.

This is a new video from McLaren showing the 12C Spider with Rhys Millen at the wheel chasing snowboarder Chanelle Sladics down the Loveland Pass, some 3655m above sea level, in the Rocky Mountains.

The clip was directed by JF Musial from Drive, too, so it’s a bit of an all in collaboration here.


VIDEO: McLaren MP4-12C Spider

McLaren MP4-12C Spider

A week or so after McLaren released the first pictures of its MP4-12C Spider they’re back with a couple of promo videos. The first one starts off making the connection from F1 car to road car, before ending up in the mountains of Andalucía, Spain.

“We know 12C drivers love the Formula 1 technology DNA that runs throughout their cars,” said Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive Managing Director. “With the 12C Spider, owners will have an even greater opportunity to create their perfect driving experience.

“Top up or top down, the sports car with highest performance among the competition just became even more breathtaking. The exhilarating aspects of driving the 12C Spider are captured beautifully in this great new film.”

The second video illustrates the retractable hardtop roof opening. It takes 17 seconds to open the roof, which, for those keeping count, is five seconds longer than the new fabric roof on the Porsche Boxster.


McLaren MP4-12C Spider revealed

McLaren MP4-12C Spider

“The 12C Spider delivers all the thrills characteristic of a high performance roadster, and yet transforms into a raucous track beast at the flick of a switch.”

They’re the words used to describe the new McLaren MP4-12C Spider from Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive Managing Director. It’s a bold comment too, when you consider the 12C hardtop has been criticised for being too anodyne.

So, is the 17 seconds it takes to open the retractable hardtop roof enough to inject the 12C some soul? Sheriff promises, “12C Spider owners will love the opportunity to lower the roof and hear the unhindered howl of a V8 twin turbo engine at full throttle. It undoubtedly enhances an already euphoric 12C driving experience.”

Certainly the designers have nailed the look. The 12C is very much a car that has more presence in the metal than it does in pictures and we think the Spider will look even better away from a computer screen.

Mechanically speaking the Spider is pretty much a carbon copy of the coupé. That means you get McLaren’s own 3.8 litre twin-turbo V8 and the plentiful 625PS/600Nm it brings. A 7-speed SSG dual-clutch gearbox ensures nothing is lost in translation as you take the car to 100km/h in just 3.1 seconds, 200km/h in 9 seconds flat and onto a top speed of 329km/h.

If the 12C Spider has piqued your interest take the jump for McLaren’s official press release and more pics. Or why not head over to their online configurator and have a play.


McLaren announces MP4-12C Spider

McLaren MP4-12C Spider

McLaren has announced it will be revealing full details for its MP4-12C Spider om 3 July. Based on the regular hardtop 12C, McLaren promises the Spider “will be more usable than any car this exciting has a right to be.”

For now they’ve given us the teaser image above and questionable video featuring Jenson Button (see below) telling us how nice it is to drive a hairdresser’s car.


McLaren MP4-12C: Official specs & performance data

McLaren MP4-12C

McLaren has officially lifted the wraps of its new MP4-12C supercar. There’s a monster press release available after the break, but to get to the point the key performance numbers are listed below:

  • Engine: 3799cc V8 twin turbo
  • Valvetrain: 32-valve, DOHC, dual VVT
  • Transmission: 7 Speed SSG with Pre-Cog
  • Power: 600PS (592bhp) at 7,000 rpm
  • Torque: 600Nm between 3,000 – 7,000 rpm
  • Dry weight (with lightweight options): 1301kgs
  • 0 – 100kph in 3.3s (3.1s with optional Corsa tyres)
  • 0 – 200kph in 9.1s (8.9s on optional Corsa tyres)
  • Top speed: 330kph (205mph)
  • 1/4 mile: 10.9s @ 135 mph

Perhaps the most impressive thing you will read about the 12C in coming days comes courtesy of Chris Harris from Evo, “It’s faster than a Ferrari 458 Italia, has more useable performance, rides better, has more mechanical grip.”

UPDATE: Autoblog has a great in-depth review of the MP4-12C, it’s well worth a read.


McLaren announces UK and Euro pricing for MP4-12C

2011 McLaren MP4-12C

McLaren Automotive has set the price for its upcoming MP4-12C supercar. Pricing starts at £168,500 for UK buyers, while European customers will be coughing up €200,000 plus. Those of us in other markets will have pricing confirmed at a later date.

For comparison, an Aston Martin DBS will cost you £170,500, a Porsche 911 GT2 RS is £167,915, while a Ferrari 458 Italia will set you back £169,545. Importantly, the Perodua Myvi 5dr pricing begins at £7,799, so you could by 21 of those if the 12C doesn’t float your boat.

Full detail available after the break.

McLaren Motor Shows

McLaren MP4-12C at the 2010 Goodwood FoS

McLaren MP4-12C

The official public reveal of the new McLaren MP4-12C supercar took place at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend. In fact, it was the first car to make the run up the hill this year, informally opening the show, as it were.

McLaren have released a short video of the weekend’s activities and the sound of the 3.8 litre V8 is rather tasty. From the footage shown Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton weren’t exactly hanging about, either.

Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive Managing Director, reckons Goodwood was the ideal place to debut the company’s newest road car, “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.”

More after the break.


Sydney named as location for McLaren Automotive dealership

McLaren showroom rendering

McLaren Automotive have just announced the locations for their initial dealership rollout. The good news is Australia is on the list. Well, Sydney is, more specifically. The bad news is the Sydney showroom will be launched in the second of two stages.

There are plans for 35 dealerships around the world to begin with. The first stage will see 23 locations open across Europe, North America, South Africa and the Middle East in the second quarter of 2011. No firm dates have been given for expected opening dates for the second batch, although Dealer Principals will be appointed later this year.

Locations included in the second stage of dealerships include Sydney, Hong Kong and Tokyo from the Asia-Pacific region. Also joining the party will be Spain and further additions to the United States and the Middle East.

The first car to grace the new McLaren showrooms will be the MP4-12C. The eagerly anticipated 12C will make its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.

Full details available from McLaren after the jump.


McLaren MP4-12C Configurator

McLaren MP4-12C configurator

McLaren are pushing their MP4-12C supercar pretty hard. And that’s not pushing the performance envelope, either. While they are doing that, no doubt, they are also hyping this car and making sure it remains at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Remember, the 12C isn’t due for customer deliveries until early 2011 (or possibly late 2010).

The most recent method of hyping the 12C is to launch a configurator on the McLaren website. It’s just a bit of hit and giggle at the moment, especially as no pricing has been announced. However, it is quite a bit of fun. You can select paint colour, minor exterior trim detail as well as wheel and brake packages. Inside you can fiddle around with seat fabric colour and infotainment equipment. Oh, the track data option is a must, naturally.

More pics and a press statement after the jump. Including the obligatory opportunity to roll out Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

After the press release I’ve also included a few screen grabs of my preferred option. It’s got Titanium Silver exterior colour, with super-lightweight forged alloys. There’s carbon ceramic brakes, too, with the calipers painted in McLaren Orange. And to set it off on the inside there’s a mix of leather and alcantara. What do you think? Let us know your options in the comments section below.


Highlights from McLaren Automotive launch

McLaren Automotive launch

If you haven’t read all 30,000+ words from the press release on the McLaren Automotive launch, and who could blame you, then you can watch a four and a half minute highlights package straight after the break. In fact, you’d probably be well advised to watch this, and if any of the MP4-12C‘s technology grabs your fancy you can refer back to the full press release and read some more detail.

For example, the Seamless Shift Gearbox uses a semi-pressed state to prime the transmission prior to its next change, in much the same way a digital SLR camera will auto focus with a light press of the shutter release. Then there’s Brake Steer technology. Not to mention the on-board diagnostics system that can contact McLaren headquarters as soon as a fault arises, and the list goes on.

McLaren has initial plans to set up a dealer network in 19 countries, including Australia. No official pricing on the company’s first model, the MP4-12C, has been announced yet, other than to say the twin-turbo 3.8 litre V8 powered coupé will be priced between £125,000-175,000 (AU$205,000–287,000). Similarly, no official performance figures have been declared, but during the launch Managing Director Antony Sherrif did reveal the 12C’s expected key performance data.

There is little doubt this latest development for the Woking-based company is the realisation of a life goal for Executive Chairman Ron Dennis. He uses the term “pure McLaren” quite a lot when describing the new venture. Dennis is one that often polarises opinion, but, like him or loathe him, you have to admire the drive and passion he has invested in creating Britain’s newest automotive manufacturer.


Jenson Button & Lewis Hamilton test the McLaren MP4-12C

McLaren MP4-12C

Formula One world champions Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton recently got their hands on a pair of prototype McLaren MP4-12Cs and were given an empty Goodwood track to test the car. With a 3.8 litre V8 ‘M838T’ engine producing 600bhp and an impressive 600Nm of torque, coupled to a, F1-like Seamless Shift Gearbox with seven gears, the lads were sure to have some fun.

Given their current employment status it’s no surprise that Button and Hamilton reckon the 12C is a tidy bit of kit. Jenson exclaims, “I was amazed by the car’s great stability at high speeds. It’s very quick in a straight line, too. In fact, the biggest problem with driving this car on a circuit is that sometimes you forget it’s a road car!”Meanwhile, Lewis says, “The 12C is a real driver’s car; it delivered on all my expectations. The visibility is great from the driver’s seat. You really appreciate that in tight corners. I loved the McLaren F1 when I drove it and, like that car, the huge front windscreen of the 12C allows you to take in all the information needed for perfect lines through apex turns.”

By the time the MP4-12C goes into final production more than 50 engineers will have driven 40-plus development cars in excess of 1,000,000 miles. That’s a lot of testing. Around 12 venues were used for testing, including the Top Gear test track and the Nürburgring Nordschleife. The 12C has also been pushed to extremes of another kind by being tested at temperatures of -50°C and +50°C.

There’s more after the break, including video of Jenson and Lewis at the wheel of the MP4-12C.


McLaren Automotive – The launch of a new car company

McLaren MP4-12C

The live launch of McLaren Automotive has just finished and with it comes a plethora of press material. There is a lot of information included in the official press release, including transcripts from today’s launch. Actually, the amount of material below is overwhelming. I suggest you get yourself a nice warm cuppa and sit yourself down for a while.

However, McLaren is approaching their new sportscar venture, and the MP4-12C, in a methodical and considered way. As such there are numerous interesting factoids below and if you missed the launch I recommend you take in as much of the material as you can.

To close here before making the jump, the 12C is simply the first of McLaren’s new sportscar range. There’s already two other cars undergoing development. No rest for the wicked, hey.