McLaren MP4-27, 2012

McLaren MP4-27 launch – first pictures of McLaren’s 2012 F1 car

2012 F1 carsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

McLaren MP4-27, 2012
McLaren MP4-27, 2012

McLaren have revealed their latest F1 contender.

The MP4-27 is the car the team hope will allow Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton to compete for the championship in 2012.

Button said: “As you can see, this is a beautiful car. Many you see will not be.”

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh added: “Cars really do look beautiful if they win races. But beauty is more than skin deep and there’s some beautiful engineering under the skin.”

Hamilton described the new car as a “strong base”. The 2008 world champion said: “I’ve been keenly following the development of MP4-27 over the winter and I?ve been really encouraged by the results and the data that the engineers have been showing me.

“I think we already had a very strong base to build upon: Jenson and I won six races with MP4-26 last year and I think we?ve been able to retain all the strengths and the reliability of that design while also incorporating lots of improvements and new ideas into the new car.

??Of course, the biggest changes for 2012 are the modifications to the exhaust regulations ?ǣ that will reduce the downforce and grip that we had last year, but it just puts the emphasis on the designers to try and claw some of that back in other areas.”

According to McLaren, the new car features narrower rear bodywork, to improve airflow at the rear of the car. The revised cooling system re-directs air to the gearbox oil-cooler. The distinctive U-shaped sidepods of the 2011 car are gone, which McLaren say is a consequence of the FIA?s new exhaust regulations.

McLaren finished second in the championship for the last two years, and so have the numbers three and four on their cars once again. Whitmarsh said: “Having finished second in the constructors? championship for the past two seasons, we?re determined to mount a sustained, hard challenge for both world titles.

“Our engineering team continues to develop and grow: while the key names who head the department are well known ?ǣ Tim Goss, Paddy Lowe and Neil Oatley ?ǣ it?s the strength in depth within the department that continually impresses. I?m extremely proud of our efforts to invest in and recruit young graduate engineers and to develop and school them in the ways of Formula 1.”

Test driver Oliver Turvey will be first to drive the car at Jerez next week.

More information on the 2012 F1 season.

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Images ?? McLaren, F1 Fanatic

177 comments on “McLaren MP4-27 launch – first pictures of McLaren’s 2012 F1 car”

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  1. It’s chrome, says Vodafone on the side and has a normal nose. It looks brilliant!

    1. Looks rather boring, in my opinion… last year’s looked far more aggresive.

      This one looks conventional… It’s still pretty tho!

      1. Yeah it’s a test car the proper kit will come for the last test at least. What i want to know is were you there keith if so why didn’t you ask any questions? I couldn’t believe the crowd, jenson lewis martin and more stood there waiting for questions and a room full of journalists can’t think of anything to ask. I felt embarrassed for crofty when he decided to take the onus upon him self. o.o

        1. Because when I’m at a launch I’ve got half-a-dozen things to do at once – including taking pictures, writing stories, transcribing and updating the site. As you can see!

          If I’d had a question I particularly wanted to get across I would have set aside time for it. But basically everything I would have asked (that might have got a half-decent answer) was covered.

      2. The U-sidepods from last year’s cars were the worst looking of the grid.
        I think this is one of the best looking cars since 2009 regs.

        1. I didn’t like it at first but it grew on me. It looked aggressive, but it wouldn’t have been possible due to the new regulations anyway.

    2. I quite like it – except the wheel rims. That style of black rims reminds me of NASCAR. ew.

  2. Yack. The only decent Mclaren in recent years was the 2010 one. I’m tired of the chrome and this one just looks like a beast and a bit of a large one at that. Not the best looking car to come 2nd place in the WCC :P

    1. Agree, it looks so clunky and bulbous.

      1. Are you looking at the same car as the rest of us?

        1. Yes and at best it’s just bloated at worst it’s just a car. It doesn’t have any character or anything about it and as I said on Twitter it just reminds me of those guys and women on Wall-E who have grown so large and (to pinch Dan’s word) bulbous because they’ve done nothing but sit around for all of their time. It’s only better than the Caterham because that immediately think “aahhh my eyes!”

          1. I dont think its bloated or bulbus at all, I think it’s just the shorter wheel base than last year that gives that illusion!

          2. Yes, the shorter wheel-base makes it look much better. I hated the change to longer wheel-bases in 2010, but this is looking a bit less stretched. :D

          3. All you had to do was look at the second to last and final photo in the set to see it’s far from clunky and bulbous. This is easily the best looking car in the field.

    2. The front looks .. huge. but then again it might be the angle. I wonder if it is because of my preference but McLaren certainly doesn’t build pretty cars.
      Can’t wait to see it on track though, in my eyes cars always improve a lot once they are being driven at speed :-P

      1. It should look better on track. The horrid chrome doesn’t show the lines very well under lights.

      2. I err, I really don’t like it.

        It’s just… I mean…. kinda ew….

        The nose is strangely reminiscent of the Lola team.

        In my opinion, the Caterham puts this to shame.

        1. the caterham is a farm vehicle and this one is big like a bus. f1 is one step closer to becoming tractor racing.

          1. Tractor racing is awesome.

            I won’t hear a bad word about it :D

          2. Well then another attempt at calling the new Ferrari F150 wouldn’t be out of place … ;-)

    3. I think it looks fine! I can’t really how how it’s very different from the last two McLarens.

    4. I agree. Many people seem to love it… Why? It has no character at all. It just looks so… boring.

      1. I think the colours & design/radical shape of the car say what has to be said about the appearance of McLarens in general.

        I think the MP4-27 is no different to it’s predcessors btw can anyone tell me why Teams put that little endplate on the Rear wing,Separate airflow maybe?

      2. It’s quite simple actually. After the Catheram launch most of people expected 2012 cars to be really ugly. McLaren isn’t, so people love it.

    5. Some really strange tastes here. Mclaren is I bet the most beautiful of the 2012 cars by far in a year that will probably be dominated by Caterham-like monstrosities. The nose is beautiful and the sidepods, rear-end are very agressive and neatly packaged. Livery-wise, I like the chrome but obviously it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

      @Mike: Put to shame by Caterham?! That monstrous gharial shape is not for the sensitive type, for it will give them nightmares. And it’s even before we mention its overlong wheelbase that makes it look like a strange test tube on wheels. So, can I have some of that great stuff you’ve been smoking

      1. I think this car’s the prettyest mclaren since 2007 it is smaller and more tightly packaged in most if not all areas. The shorter wheel base only adds to it’s looks, last years mclaren looked to be about twice lewis’ height in length and at times looked like they were driving f1 limos much improved looks but it’s the stop watch that counts.

        Gotta say to really make the point last years mclaren had the biggest posterior measurements of any team in f1 calling this car bulbous bloated or clunky after 2010 is just silly :P

        1. I think it looks quite good! How on earth any of you, after seeing the horrendous Caterham can complain about a beauty like this new McLaren is beyond me.

    6. I was just thinking I was getting a little bored with the chrome color scheme as well. It would be nice to see something a little different. Maybe then the shirts and merchandise wouldn’t be so chintzy and I would consider buying some.

  3. As pleasing to the eye as Marilyn Monroe.

    1. Hold on a minute, where are the U-Sidepods?

      1. They’re gone, it seems.

        1. And good riddance! Looks like the 2010 car without the shark-fin engine cover, which is brilliant!

      2. ‘Bow-tie’ side pods instead

        1. @John-H That’s the best description I’ve ever read. From this day forward, we must remember the MP4-27 as the car with the bow-tie sidepods.

        2. @John-H Lol, here I was about to dub them X-Wing sidepods :P

  4. Amazing how Vettel’s odds went from evens before the unveil to 11/10 after the unveil. Haha.

    1. @trebor27 what do you mean? :/

      1. The odds for Vettel to win the title 1/1 before Mclaren unveiled the new car to 11/10 after the car was shown.

  5. The curvy nose looks really nice. A huge departure to the Caterham nose as well. I wonder if they would apply the concept of the Mclaren nose and put it on the update as they did before Australia last year ?

    1. they cant because the chasis is already homologated and cannot be changed anymore. and since they chose to have high mounting points for the suspension, and the rules specify a maximum height for the nose, they are stuck with that “bump” for the whole season.

  6. Oh, look. McLaren have taken the covers down without giving a reason. Now we’re not going to have anything to talk about.

  7. The nose looks perfect. the car is a stunner. If it performs as good as it looks, McLaren are back in the game.

  8. interesting exhaust position. looks like they are pushing the limits with the rules.

    and there goes the fear that all cars will have platypus nose.

    1. they still have to drag around that snowplow of a spoiler in front. only a mother could love these creatures.

  9. the nose is a surprise looks good though

  10. Another beautiful car, the nose kinda reminds me of the 2009 car a bit though.

  11. Well at first I thought it was last years car, then I realised its basically a copy of last years Red Bull with this years nose, not particularly innovative.

    1. Didn’t you spot the bodywork running from the centre of the rear wing and extending back under the monocoque? Or the very tiny sidepods, which drop away at a steep angle?

    2. RB7 clone? Clearly you’ve never seen the RB7 or have only a cursory opinion lacking any real knowledge. This car looks nothing like RB7 other than fact that it was designed to the same regualtions.

      The devil is in the detail and you’d know that if you new much at all about F1.

  12. not the best looking Mclaren… but a ‘simple’ design actually (which could be an asset)

    lets hope its fast enough ! : )

  13. Keith you have made a big mistake this is the 2011 car with 2010 sidepods.

    1. @realracer You need to address your complaint to the people at the McLaren Technology Centre. They’re the people who pulled the covers off the car that’s in front of me as I type this.

  14. Ted Kravitz:
    “New McLaren looks similar to last year’s car, but with adventurous exhaust positioning, rule-wise”

    What?… similar in that it is a F1 car.

    What a numpty, no U-side pods as rumoured, totally different intakes and cooling ducts for KERS etc, thinner area behind the driver by the looks of it. Not sure but looks like a bigger undercut around the side pods as well.

    Its about as different as you’ll get (until we see the Ferrari)

  15. is it me or do you think its shorter than MP4-26 too??

    1. Impossible to tell from the pictures I’ve seen, the MP4-26 was already long, longer than most.

    2. Although it does look a bit shorter now you mention it

  16. Nothing ridiculous on the MP4-27 from the initial shot, but I’d like to find out about those potentially illegal devices they’ve been talking about.

      1. Is that just it?! I was expecting something massively different after the “mysterious vanishing article”
        hmmm…. roll on March

        1. yeah i’m expecting some secrecy here as well…but exhausts do look different in first look!

          1. Half the teams are going to have the exhausts blowing the rear wing if that’s what they’re talking about. Or the alternative was to blow the rear suspension.

        2. and about that article, I got a feeling that the whole thing doesn’t have any solid source…but we’ll see soon

  17. They apparently have the 2011 front nose on the car as well as a few other bits of 2011 bodywork.

    Car won’t be seen in full 2012 spec untill the final tests.

  18. Aside from the nose cone, it looks like a chromed Red Bull.

    1. Not really.

        1. Not to me, many differences

          1. such as…

          2. Banburyhammer1
            1st February 2012, 17:26

            Well for one, the Red Bull in the link seems to have a shorter wheelbase. That is a significant parameter – they couldnt have a longer wheelbase, then stick the RB7 bodywork over the top – itd be a disaster.

        2. Seriously?
          – The side-pods on the Mclaren tapper down quicker than last years RBR.
          – The exhausts are in the new position (obviously) coming out of a bump, totally different to last years RBR and we don’t know where/how they are on the new car
          – Rear crash structure is different arrangement.
          – The cooling outlets are totally different
          – Under cut looks much deeper, almost like a double floor.
          – Brake ducts different

          You can’t just look at a side view and say they are the same, even the side view shows some major differences. It pretty much as different considering the scope of the regulations.

          So what do you think is the same? Conventional sidepod? Everyone had those last year apart from Mclaren, and this year they are conventional but still significantly different to RBRs

        3. PS All the intakes are totally different as well

          1. There are a few similarities in overall shape but you are right all the finer details are pretty different.

  19. Very speedy, Keith!

    So far, so good. I don’t mind it, actually. Much better than last year’s car and I personally like it more than the Caterham. Can’t wait for more angles. :)

  20. hrmmm.. after reading reports of a ‘radical’ new Mclaren, and that they are expecting a fight from other teams regarding design.. im struggling to see why..?

    looks a lot like the 2009 car..

    I’m hoping that they still havent put everything on the car yet to stop spying eyes.. time will tell :)

    lets go McLaren! :D

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