McLaren MP4-27 and MP4-26 side comparison

McLaren MP4-27 and MP4-26 compared

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Here’s how the new McLaren MP4-27 compares with its predecessor.

Find more pictures of the McLaren MP4-27 here.

McLaren MP4-27 and MP4-26 side comparison
McLaren MP4-27 and MP4-26 side comparison
McLaren MP4-27 and MP4-26 comparison
McLaren MP4-27 and MP4-26 comparison

2012 F1 season

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116 comments on “McLaren MP4-27 and MP4-26 compared”

  1. Just wondering, is this the MP4-26 at the beginning of last year?

    I’ve noted the rear-wing improvements & the fact it’s a lot slimmer, but it’s not as innovative as I had hoped by the looks of it.

    I hope it’s gonna be quick!

    1. Car launches always use “end of last year” wings and floors.

  2. These overhead photos show off just how ridiculous the wide front wing + skinny rear wing concept is. Bring back mechanical grip please!

  3. I think it is pretty clear to see that the MP4-27 has a much tighter rear end than last years car. You can only presume this is to increase the airflow to the diffuser/rear wing to try and claw back some downforce. I guess this is why they have dropped the U shaped sidepods, the majority of the cooling was done in the outer section of the sidepods which made it more difficult to keep the bodywork tight at the back

    1. @kbautomotive the two aren’t really comparable in that sense. The MP4-26 had air go through the channel in the side pods; and the air now is moving around the outside of the side pods. Last year’s car, tight didn’t matter as the fat **** was all low down anyways; where the air WASN’T going.

    2. @kbautomotive the two aren’t really comparable in that sense. The MP4-26 had air go through the channel in the side pods; and the air now is moving around the outside of the side pods. Last year’s car, tight didn’t matter as the fat rear end was all low down anyways; where the air WASN’T going.

      1. I agree, the U sidepods were feeding more air straight through to the rear wing and I think (by McLarens own admission) they were very dependant on exhaust blowing to help feed the diffuser. No EBD means the air has to come from somewhere else, hence the tight coke bottle with undercuts which the MP4-26 did not have or need

  4. Regarding rake, I am no expert at aerodynamics but I would think we will see less rake on 2012 cars compared to last year. They were using the exhaust blown diffuser to ‘seal’ the diffuser to the ground with a higher rear ride height than they could otherwise use. I think the cars will still have more rake than in days gone by because the teams have learned the benefit of using rake to keep the front wing low and control the under floor air flow

  5. From the side, the MP4-27 looks to flow so much better than last year’s iteration. I also think that the tightly packaged rear end of this year’s car will really help McLaren, as will the noticeable rake.

    What I’d like to see is the comparisons of the cars from 2009-2012. Because to me, the MP4-27 has some similarities to the 2009 version. Maybe it’s just my mind playing tricks on me though.

    I’d also enjoy the teams to change up the liveries once in a while. It doesn’t have to be anything major, but it can get a little repetitive.

    1. Scratch that, after looking at it. Although some of the features kind of resemble the MP4-24. I’ve found that the MP4-25 does look very similar to this year’s car. (Apart from the fin that attaches to the rear wing)

  6. There’s definitely something going on at the rear end that they’re not letting us in on!

  7. Not sure why all the chrome hate, might be one of the few things I really love about today’s McLaren. There was a great article in F1 racing back in Oct 2010 about the painting process and how AkzoNobel have managed to reduce the weight and number of coats it takes to prime and paint the car, really makes you appreciate all the finer details some teams put into trying to find an edge.

    My only complaint is stilll with the regs. Dear FIA, please bring back the wider rear wing. Bring it back or do away with wings all together.

    1. Reflective surface could potentially be more than just styling and possibly heat reflection for Hot races. Black paint as we know adds to heat soak. Especially when they are just sat on the grid with no airflow.

  8. It looks better then last years car, and I like the new sidepods. They are slimmer and is sort of triangles pointing towards the car, only just very slight, but it gives it an aggressive look.
    Though I hate the exhaust outlet on the back. Oh and that livery.. please get rid of the chrome!
    It makes it impossible to see the lines and curves on the car, and with all the reflections it looks way too bussy.
    A gray, silver or white version would be better. Maybe McLaren orange, just for the sake of it.

  9. interesting to note, supposedly everyone wants higher noses, but this mp4-27’s nose is a bit lower than even the 26. However, the front wing supports are much shorter, keeping the wing higher off the ground, which could potentially swoop more air under the car, even without a high nose. Also, noticed that the floor plate strut behind the front tires looks beefier.

    1. I believe lower noses are mandated this year, according to the third paragraph of this article.

  10. Let’s wait the first test. Car looks great, ‘hope it runs in the same way… Regarding rake, I don’t see the front wing design being in favor of high rake levels as in RB7’s case. The future will provide an answer for sure… Good luck guys from Woking.

    1. this is last year’s front wing, the new one will be fitted in testing

  11. I’m looking forward to seeing the ‘ugly’ Ferrari now…. 2 days to go!

  12. can someone do a front comparison?

  13. The Black Rims make the Car look so much better :D

  14. The thing I noticed most of all (aside from the cleaner sidepod profile) was the bulkhead. I was looking for alligator bumps like the Caterham, but McLaren have played it smooth instead.

    Look at the height of the area between the cockpit opening and the front wheels, in relation to the height of the tyres. It’s significantly higher on the MP4/27, leading to a more curved side profile down to the required low nose.

    I wonder if McLaren has had to move the driver up accordingly? Certainly the feet will be higher, so either the driver must be more recumbent or higher overall. It’s interesting to work out what the potential motivations for this might be, since keeping mass lower down in the car is generally desired. I guess it shows just how uncompromising the search for optimum aero flow to the rear of the car is, in the face of other attributes.

  15. The rear wing on the new car caught my eye. Obviously McLaren have spent alot of time on the back of the car, last year they struggled for downforce at the back of the car compared to the Red Bull. This was where Adrian Newey nailed it with his design, the Red Bull was by far the fastest car through medium and highspeed corners last year. This was always McLaren’s achilles heel! Looks like a natural progression from 2011, nothing too radicle. Want to see how it drives next though!

  16. sid_prasher (@)
    1st February 2012, 19:45

    Looks neat! Is this the nose that they will use or we will get to see that only during the testing?

  17. Looks like the Mp4/27 didn’t do enough exercise during the winter : now it has become all fat : fat nose, fat back. And I don’t think that shorter winter tests will help that. But at least, it hasn’t a broken nose like the Caterham…

    Well, I’m a bit disappointed, this year’s car isn’t looking that good. I just hope it will be mega-fast! :)

    1. Have you seems how narrow the heat venting is?

    2. PS its incredibly tight compared to last year, have a look at the shots from directly behind and from behind the rear tyre (diagonal). We haven’t seen a merc engined car with a tighter rear.

      Lets wait and see the others before we decide if more of a diet was needed. ;-)

  18. A hint of MP4-24 at the back there (i.e. looks far more svelte and sleek) and also the sidepods? It actually looks more like a combination of the 24 and the 25. Anyway, great looking machine, I was expecting a pig after the Caterham.

  19. I do think the chrome is getting tired, but those who want to go back to the red-and-white Marlboro livery: look at the 94-95-96 McLaren. All hideous.
    Back to the MP4-27, I like it. It looks elegant and more tightly packaged than the 26. And that nose has considerably put some faith back into 2012 car design.
    Best looking car of the season, I bet.

  20. The rear wing on the MP4-27certainly looks to suit the car more, it looks finished and more refined. The front also has a better looking curve to it. Who knows if it will correlate on the track though.

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