McLaren Motorsports Video

Would you say no to the McLaren MP4-12C GT3?

McLaren MP4-12C GT3

Chris Harris was offered an impromptu drive of a McLaren MP4-12C GT3 and, for our benefit, of course, he cancelled his plans and took to the track. He discovered the brakes are first class, but the car’s front-end didn’t talk to him like he thought it might. A connection to the MP4-12C road car? Not so much.

Watch the video after the break to see if he enjoyed himself.


McLaren MP4-12C ‘Project Alpha’ revealed

McLaren MP4-12C Project Alpha

The McLaren Chicago dealership is behind the latest special edition created by McLaren’s Special Operations. Dubbed ‘Project Alpha’ the limited run MP4-12C will extend to just six models.

Starting with a 2012-build car the first change is to bring Project Alpha up to 2013 specification. Then they are adorned with a selection of cosmetic enhancements. Aside from the change to 2013-spec there are no performance modifications.

Cosmetic enhancements include:

  • Gloss black roof
  • Gloss black front splitter
  • Louvered front wings
  • Rear deck gloss black painted
  • Gloss black GT3 graphic (rear)
  • Carbon fibre air exits (rear)
  • Gloss black light weight and diamond cut alloys wheels
  • Branded floor mats featuring milled badge
  • Brushed stainless steel ‘Project Alpha’ badge
  • Black alcantara cluster cover
  • Black alcantara grips on steering wheel
  • Carbon fibre steering wheel inserts

The existence of the Project Alpha cars was tipped off to the Autoblog and Jalopnik websites. Michele Shapiro, Public Relations Manager for McLaren North America, confirmed the tip off with Autoblog: “These are cars commissioned by our Chicago dealer in response to customer demand using options from the existing McLaren Special Operations catalogue,” Shapiro said.

“MSO offers a specialization service that varies from trim and bodywork changes—as witnessed by this car—to a whole new car, for example the X-1 project recently shown at The Quail in Monterey, California.”

[Source: Autoblog]

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.


2013 McLaren MP4-12C now with more power

2013 McLaren MP4-12C

McLaren has updated its MP4-12C sportscar by giving it more power. It now has 625PS, up from 600PS. An entirely appropriate thing to do, we think. They say they have made the 12C even more rewarding to drive, thanks to a few drivetrain improvements, including revisions to the 7-speed SSG transmission. This is a commendable approach, as well.

But, we’re not entirely sure what to make of the programmable Intake Sound Generator. This allows the driver to tweak the “aural drama” from three modes depending on their mood. Perhaps, this too is an entirely sensible approach. Perhaps, also, it’s just a bit fake.

The extra power on offer, on paper anyway, doesn’t make a lot of difference. You’re still going to need the full 3.1 seconds to sprint to 100km/h that the older spec required, but you can shave a tenth from your 0–200km/h time. Similarly, the 12C’s standing 400m time has been improved by a single tenth and now takes 10.6 seconds. The real gains, it seems, are at the stratospheric end of the speed spectrum; 0–300km/h now takes 26.5 seconds, a full second faster than before.

If you’re already lucky enough to own a 12C then you’d need to be upset that you’re going to miss out on these MY13 changes. Head on down to your local McLaren dealer and they’ll happily remap your engine and gearbox; and, yes, even your sound generator thingy too. Best of all they’ll do it for no charge.

Now that’s what we call service!

Full details on the 2013 model upgrade can be read below.


McLaren MP4-12C hunting for rich oil deposits

McLaren MP4-12C in Dubai

McLaren has just released this promo to announce the arrival of the MP4-12C in Dubai, or more accurately the opening of its new dealership. We’ve already seen this week how promos can go wrong, but we reckon McLaren has done a better than half decent job with this one.


McLaren MP4-12C shooting brake

McLaren MP4-12C shooting brake

McLaren is working on a direct competitor for the Ferrari FF, Auto Express reports. Basically that would mean we’re faced with the very real possibility of being presented with a very cool McLaren MP4-12C ‘shooting brake’.

We suspect there may be a fair bit of water to pass under the bridge before this speculation is confirmed, but so far, we like what we see. Indeed, based on these renders we reckon the Mac leaves the FF for dead.

[Source: Auto Express]

McLaren Video

Chris Harris on the McLaren MP4-12C

McLaren MP4-12C

Chris Harris is fast forging himself a solid niche with his extended video reviews for Drive. At 10–15 minutes in length they are long enough to allow the reviewer to provide in-depth feedback, without being so long as to bore the audience.

In his latest edition Harris takes up the cause for McLaren and its much hyped, but often maligned, MP4-12C. Via his Pistonheads blog Harris introduces his thoughts by asking:

Has the media treated the MP4-12C too harshly? Maybe. The odd technical gremlin isn’t such a problem. Even the biggest names have bad days, but perhaps what has undone the McLaren more than even the punchy rhetoric is the sheer expectation of a new supercar made by McLaren. Did the prospect of the values that built the Technology Centre being transposed onto a street car propagate unrealistic expectations?

I think they did. Flip those group test results on their head and you’re left with a brand new car, from a company with zero experience in this sector, that ran the best car Ferrari has ever made very close. That is a mighty impressive result.


McLaren MP4-12C now on display in Sydney

McLaren MP4-12C at Trivett Sydney

Thanks to AUSmotive reader Jono for sending in these pics of the McLaren MP4-12C from the Trivett dealership in Alexandria. Apparently the finishing touches for the McLaren showroom were taking place with signage being installed yesterday when these pics were taken.

If you dig the 12C and would like to get your hands on one we understand there’s going to be a bit of a wait. For now, make do with these pics of what is probably the first 12C to be seen in Australia.


McLaren MP4-12C Spider rendered

McLaren MP4-12C roadster rendering

TeamSpeed brings us some nice renderings of the McLaren MP4-12C Spider. It’s believed the model will be badged as the MP4-12S. Supposedly the car will feature a retractable carbon fibre roof that folds back into the space between the seats and the engine bay.

A flatter rear deck complemented by two roadster-style tunnels will house a clear engine panel, leaving the bespoke 3.8 litre V8 twin turbo engine on constant display.

Based on these renderings the 12S looks pretty damn good with its roof up or down. It’s expect McLaren will release official pics and info before the year is out.

[Source: TeamSpeed]


McLaren opens new Production Centre

McLaren Production Centre

McLaren Automotive officially opened its new Production Centre in Surrey last week. The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, was on hand to do the ribbon cutting. The Production Centre sits alongside the McLaren Technology Centre, which opened in 2004 and is the home of their Formula One team.

As to be expected the new production facility is slick, shiny and it probably would be clean enough to eat your meals off the floor as a part-built MP4-12C whirs by.

After the break there’s a couple of videos from McLaren, the first gives a brief looks inside the Production Centre while the second has highlights from the official opening and interviews with Ron Dennis, Executive Chairman and Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive Managing Director.