The 2013 McLaren MP4-12CEnlarge Photo
Apparently, reports of the McLaren MP4-12C supercar's death have not been greatly exaggerated.
The British automaker was reportedly planning to halt 12C production to meet demand for the new 650S--essentially an upgraded and restyled 12C. Now, it appears the 650S will completely replace its predecessor.
In a letter to a customer posted on the McLaren Life forum, McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt said the company would put the 12C out to pasture, in light of the success of the 650S.
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Flewitt said McLaren already has a six-month backlog of 650S orders, and that the company will have to use all of its production capacity to meet them. He said the change represents a "natural evolution of our model line-up."
It's easy to see why customers would flock to the 650S rather than the 12C. While it it is known as a car that is both fast and easy to drive, the 12C lacks the flair of most supercars. The 650S takes care of that with styling inspired by the P1 hybrid hypercar, as well as several mechanical upgrades.
However, as a send-off McLaren will give 12C owners a little of that 650S magic.
The automaker will offer a free Technology Upgrade to current owners beginning in June. It will include new software for the car's Active Aero aerodynamics package--including a Drag Reduction System that lowers the rear wing during straight-line driving--and upgrades to the 12C's Android-based IRIS infotainment system.
McLaren will also offer the 650S' backup camera and SIRIUS satellite radio to 12C owners for an undisclosed price.