McLaren MP4-12C road car revealed

McLaren MP4-12C - the new sports car by McLaren

McLaren MP4-12C - the new sports car by McLaren

F1 car history provided the inspiration for the naming of the McLaren MP4-12C, the new sports car revealed by the company today.

The car shares the same naming convention used by the team’s F1 cars. It falls between McLaren’s 1997 MP4-12 (which won three Grands Prix) and the 1998 MP4-13 (which won both world championship titles).

This is probably because of the ‘brake steer’ technology fitted to the car, which is related to the same innovation which appeared on the 1997 and 1998 McLaren F1 cars. It was banned by the FIA early in 1998.

Brake steer applies the brakes to the inside rear wheel during high-speed cornering to reduce understeer. On the F1 cars this was operated by an extra brake pedal, but on the MP4-12C the system is electronic.

The car is powered by a 600bhp 3.8-litre V8 engine built by McLaren, making it an all-McLaren production. Its predecessor, the McLaren F1, used an engine supplied by BMW.

It also has a Formula 1-style seamless shift gearbox but does not have the distinctive central driving position of the McLaren F1.

The MP4-12C is seen as the successor to the F1 road car, designed in 1993 by Gordon Murray and Peter Stevens. Murray is not involved in the new project and is developing a new supercar design of his own, which he says will not rival the performance of the F1. He is also currently working on a compact, low-emissions city car called the T25.

The MP4-12C has been Ron Dennis’s project for the road car division since he stepped down from the race team earlier this year and the company will build around 1,000 per year. Now more than ever, McLaren is becoming a rival for Ferrari off the track as well as on it.

Read more

Advert | Go Ad-free


78 comments on McLaren MP4-12C road car revealed

  1. Adrian said on 9th September 2009, 8:51

    Right so that’s one more reason to get into the RAF then save every penny I can..!!

    • mp4-19b said on 9th September 2009, 9:00

      What will you do if they deploy you in Iraq or Pakistan? :(

      • Adrian said on 9th September 2009, 11:14

        If I got posted overseas I would put the car into storage in my Dad’s garage and let him have use of it in return for him making sure it was looked after…

        It was only meant as a joke anyway. Even if I saved every penny I could, I doubt I’d be able to afford a super-car…ever!!

      • Ididnt said on 9th September 2009, 12:02

        I didn’t know the RAF were deployed in Pakistan..

  2. Steph90 said on 9th September 2009, 9:15

    I preferred the Ferrari 458 Italia, but that said neither are real beauties imo. I think it’s the front of the mclaren (it reminds me of a Tesla :S what I just don't care about, rest is alright though. Though tbh if I had either I'd rather drive in them than look at them anyway.

  3. Sorry, but I don’t see any personality in this design, you can put any brand you wish except the traditional ones: ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini.

    McLaren have one of the best F1 design of the grid, they should work harder with this new project.

    The front is quite similar to the Ferrari 430 with more curves over the front wheels, btw.

  4. mp4-19b said on 9th September 2009, 9:24

    I just wanted to know if Kimi or Massa are allowed to own this car?

  5. I like the look of it, but I don’t like the name MP4-12C. Using McLaren’s usual naming system the name MP4-12C would be used for a development of the 1997 Formula 1 car MP4-12, just like the 2003 car MP4-17D was a development of the 2002 MP4-17.

    In one of the links already provided it has this to say about the name

    The MP4 bit is the chassis designation of all McLaren Formula 1 cars since 1981 – harking back to the merger from Ron Dennis’s Project 4 organisation. The twelve refers to McLaren’s internal benchmarking system for rating its own cars and rivals, ranking power, weight, efficiency and so forth. The C apparently refers to carbon, although we wonder if it shouldn’t stand for coupé as there will be a roadster MP4-12 too.

    I thought McLaren would have come up with a similar but new naming system as they intend produce several different cars in years to come. I didn’t think there was that much wrong with P11, the car’s original codename. By the way does anyone know how they came up with P11, and if it was something like Project 11 what were the first 10 projects?

    • Harv's said on 9th September 2009, 12:48

      so the 458italia was code named f148 what were the other 147f’s, it supoze that it coresponds with mp4 11, they also had a p12 concept which will use a v10, aparently will have 700-800 bhp

  6. So no road cars to ever have KERS?

    • mp4-19b said on 9th September 2009, 14:41

      Now that’s an important question that you rise. But you must know that this mp4-12c is a supercar & it wouldn’t give a damn for fuel consumption & efficiency. And Kers is supposedly “mercedes technology” & mclaren, it seems don’t want to involve merc in any of their future projects. I think, again this is purely my thought a split is imminent. Actually i wouldn’t call the McLaren-Mercedes a grand success at all. In 15 years of their partner ship all that they’ve managed is 59 victories out of around 250 odd races, so their sucess ratio is less than 25%. meanwhile with honda as their engine partners in the late-80’s & early nineties mclaren achieved 44 victories out of 80 races, winning 55% of the time. After all these years of partnership with mercedes all mclaren have to show is 3 WDC & 1 WCC. so this partnership isn’t a “grand” success at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if they part ways in the near future.

    • But I raised the question as there have been rumours, but nothing has come of it?
      KERS for a road car would be like the new NOS lol.

  7. Nitpicker said on 9th September 2009, 11:00

    Shame it doesn’t have the central driving position, it was one of the things that all the reviewers raved about when they tested the F1 road car. It could have been a McLaren signature feature.

    Electronically-controlled brake steer? Surely that also goes by the name ESP/ESC/electronic stability? As far as I know it works in the same way: monitoring the speed of each wheel and independently braking them to keep the car pointing straight. I suppose using this tech to turn the car more sharply is what makes the McLaren system different… or the exact opposite, even!

  8. Fer no. 65 said on 9th September 2009, 11:07

    Looks like a Lotus…

    i prefer thr 458! but this one is not that gar away…

  9. Bartholomew said on 9th September 2009, 12:09

    Congratulations to Ron and Mac ! as a fan, I am happy. However, the car looks a little generic. I like the SLR and the Stirling Moss Replica better. Of course, these are front – engine cars …. McLaren has to find its signature look in rear engine cars.

  10. Prisoner Monkeys said on 9th September 2009, 12:25

    It’s like somebody mated an F430 with a McLaren F1.

  11. Chalky said on 9th September 2009, 12:28

    It looks very nice. Can’t wait to see the Stig get hold of it.

    I wonder if McLaren can now move some R&D costs onto this project when an F1 budget cap comes along?

  12. Antifia said on 9th September 2009, 12:46

    Any idea about the price this thing will be selling at?

  13. mp4-19b said on 9th September 2009, 14:47

    Potbellied Haug admits Rosberg is McLaren 2010 candidate.

  14. I think it’s a bit bland and not unique for a supercar, I don’t like the name even if it is relevent, and although McLaren should be using orange, they shouldn’t be using that shade of it.

  15. How is “brake-steer” different from the stability control program in my wife’s Passat wagon, that uses the brakes in cornering, in theory, to keep us out of the scenery? Who knew the old barge had F1 tricks up its sleeve? I will now be taking on-ramps at 10/10ths to try it out.

    Anyway, this car comes up way short of my expectations. How come no mass-damper, pneumatic-valvetrain, traction-control steering wheel paddles, front wheel spats or KERS? In any event I want to make sure Kovalainen, if he gets one at all, gets a slightly more draft version.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.