2012 McLaren MP4-12C Preview Page 2

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McLaren MP4-12C

Another feature that helps the MP4-12C to handle at a new level is a development of an electronic system used by McLaren's 1997 MP4/12 Formula 1 car--Brake Steer. In essence, it is a system that brakes the inside rear wheel when the car is entering a corner too quickly to make the desired radius. Under normal circumstances the front would wash away wide of the apex the driver wants to touch: in other words, the car is in a state of understeer.

Brake Steer manages the tendency of a car to wash out and brings its nose back on line. It assesses the steering angle to determine the driver's intended course and applies the inside rear brake to increase yaw rate and resume the desired course. The system also works on acceleration out of a corner when the inside rear has a tendency to spin, allowing the driver to put power down more quickly. It controls what a limited slip differential would do and obviates the need for such a complex and heavy unit, thus saving more valuable pounds.

The end result of all this high-tech gear is some serious performance numbers. McLaren is claiming a 0-62 mph time of less than 3.0 seconds in initial testing, as well as an 11.0 second quarter mile and a top speed in excess of 200 mph. Vehicle weight will come in at around 2,866 pounds (dry).

Of course, as complete as the MP4-12C is in standard form, there will be customers that will always want to customize their vehicles further. Thus, the car will be available in a palette of 17 exterior paint colors, and a range of interiors in a variety of colors and materials for the seats, dash panel and inner door panels. Other options for the exterior include ordering the mirrors, diffuser, splitter and roof in carbon-fiber. Brake calipers can be specified in three colors, while lightweight forged wheels are also available in a choice of finishes.

Inside, the seats can be specified as electrically-operated and heated, or as a manual lightweight sports seat with carbon-fiber seat backs. Optional goodies include satellite navigation, Wi-Fi access, and voice activation.

Performance options such as carbon ceramic brakes with uprated calipers, a sports exhaust, and cup tires can also be specified.

Production will start at the new McLaren Production Center late this year and if all goes to plan, the first examples of the MP4-12C will start deliveries in the U.S. in the middle of 2011.


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Comments (9)
  1. this car looks great, but it looks dated already! if this came out in 99 it would be great...

  2. if this car came out in 99 it would be great! but.... it looks dated already!

  3. If ever I had a dream car this would be it: power, beauty, performance.
    Can't wait for the test result, can't wait to win the lotto...

  4. I'm with you Dwayne. I can't wait to win the lotto either!

  5. I love the beefy look it just not sure about the back end

  6. I have to say the new look is not very becoming. A minature 6 is not what I have in mind for the sports car.70-293 The previous gen M felt more distinct and unmistakable to its own entity, this one however...meh for me.

  7. Wow, idiots. "It's not aiming as high." Entry super cars like the 458. Are you really dumb enough to believe that the 458 is aiming low. Speed isnt about horsepower or top end. Its about engineering perfection. Balancing a car. The 458 set the fastest lap time around the Ferrari test track. Faster than an Enzo. Faster than a 599 GTO. Faster than a 430 Scud. Its the fastest road legal Ferrari ever. Some argue that its the best Ferrari ever. Saying that that is aiming low is like saying that designing a building to rival the Taj Mahal is aiming low because its not as tall as the Burj Dubai.

  8. Um Evan, before you start going around calling people idiots, how 'bout you get your facts right. The 599 GTO is the fastest road going model Ferrari has ever launched as stated by the company. The FXX Evoluzione is even faster than the 599 GTO. I think there's only one idiot here.

  9. Perhaps it does look a bit dated, but it certainly does not look unattractive. It obviously borrows design cues from Ferrari, particularly up front. Lotus Evora also appears to "borrow" from Ferrari. I do appreciate the overall "form follows function" discipline.

    The F1 derived technology place this car at the pinnacle of the supercar mountain. I think it may eclipse may exotics in terms of drivability. Its "brake steer" feature appears to be designed to effectively redress driver error by correcting for understeer. Unlike its competition, this appears to be an exotic sports car with built-in safety features making it an ideal choice for "wanna be Sterling Moss/Jack Brabhams."

    The McLaren manufacturing facility is architecturally superb.

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