Today McLaren has finally taken the first step in becoming a proper carmaker with the release of the MP4-12C supercar. The company’s new division, McLaren Automotive, will soon reveal new models and won’t stick to collaborations, like the recent Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR or limited models like the iconic McLaren F1.
The new MP4-12C was officially detailed, complete with power ratings and a release window of early 2011. The car will be powered by the M838T engine, a twin-turbo, direct injection V8 unit, capable of 600 HP and 443 lb-ft of torque at 7,000 rpm, and can supply 80% of that torque between 2,000 and 6,500 rpm. For those fond of comparisons, the numbers are bigger than the Ferrari 458 Italia, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG or the Lamborghini Gallardo.
The power is, of course, sent straight to the rear wheels, through a bespoke seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The special transmission has a Pre-Cog system, meaning that if you gently take your foot off the accelerator after stepping down, it will immediately have the next gear ready, so that you can step down once more and get immediate power.
McLaren boss Ron Dennis revealed that while the MP4-12C won’t be the absolute best in technology or power, customers will be treated with the outmost respect and will enjoy the best build quality around. As testimony to this, he showcased the various Formula 1-inspired systems like the electronic differential system, the brake steer system, an air brake (like the one on the SLR) and a new system of hydraulic actuators, which completely replace anti-roll bars. These actuators allow for wider wheel motions in a straight line, and begin to tighten up, when cornering.
Many of the components in the McLaren MP4-12C were painstakingly engineered for the best efficiency, and the car itself saw countless hours in the F1-spec wind tunnel and over 1 million miles in endurance tests.
This doesn’t meant it will be a bare-bone track car like the famous F1, as on the inside McLaren spare no expense, and even added a novel portrait-mode seven-inch touch screen, which runs the Microsoft software thanks to a 1.6 GHz Intel processor. The IRIS infotainment system, as it is known, will offer a wide range of features and even WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity.
For those of you bent on purchasing this new model, there will be 35 authorized dealerships in 19 countries, and only 1,000 models are set to be made during 2011. You most probably won’t be in those lucky few, as Ron Dennis said there are already 1,700 pre-orders for the MP4-12C. Until 2011 though, you can check out the MP4-12C in the photo gallery below.
Photo Gallery: McLaren MP4-12C
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