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Mclaren MP4 12C  (21)
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2011 McLaren MP4-12C Car Reviews & Specs

McLaren is set to re-write the rules of sports car design through Formula 1-inspired engineering, revolutionary chassis architecture, and absolute focus on efficiency. At its heart, the McLaren MP4-12C features a revolutionary carbon-fiber chassis structure, the first time any car has ever featured a one-piece carbon-fiber structure.

The 12C is powered by a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine producing 592 hp, driving through a McLaren seven-speed Seamless Shift dual-clutch gearbox (SSG). It is targeting not only new standards for power and performance in its sector, but also class-leading fuel economy and CO2 emissions. The engine features dual variable valve timing and produces around 442 lb-ft of torque. A dry sump and flat plane crankshaft allow the engine to be placed extremely low in the chassis thereby lowering the center of gravity and improving handling responses. It also features composite cam covers and intake manifolds, which reduce weight and heat transmission into the charge air, as well as Nikasil-coated aluminum liners for further weight reduction. Weight is the enemy of performance in every area of car design. McLaren Automotive engineers pursued weight saving obsessively.

The suspension for the McLaren MP4-12C breaks new ground, offering unseen levels of roll control and grip. Although such track-like responses would normally imply a rock-hard ride, the 12C delivers compliance and ride comfort more akin to an executive sedan. The mix of occupant cosseting and sporting potential is truly unique. The 12C offers the driver both class-leading ride comfort and class-leading performance.

The McLaren MP4-12C design follows similar principles to McLarens Formula 1 cars, and the legendary McLaren F1, where everything is for a reason and all lines, surfaces, and details are designed with a job in mind as much as in style. The 12Cs body has been styled to support downforce, which in turn contributes to high levels of lateral grip and stability. Air flow has been manically managed to support all performance figures and light weight targets.

The designers challenge is to then take that styling purpose driven by engineering aspirations and add personality. That’s why the air scoops resemble the McLaren logo in form, as do other features around the car.

Supplies of the 12C will be relatively scarce; in its first year it plans to produce just 1,000 cars. McLaren Automotive will distribute the 12C and future models through a new retail network in all global markets.

The name of the new McLaren sports car is MP4-12C.

What does this signify? As one might expect at McLaren, everything has a purpose and the nomenclature is no exception.

-- MP4 has been the chassis designation for all McLaren Formula 1 cars since 1981. It stands for McLaren Project 4, resulting from the merger of Ron Dennis Project 4 organization with McLaren.
-- The 12 refers to McLarens internal Vehicle Performance Index through which it rates key performance criteria both for competitors and for its own cars. The criteria combine power, weight, emissions, and aerodynamic efficiency. The coalition of all these values delivers an overall performance index that has been used as a benchmark throughout the cars development.
-- The C refers to Carbon, highlighting the unique application of carbon fiber technology to the future range of McLaren sports cars.
Vehicle Specs
Base Price   $229,000
Engine   3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-8
Horsepower   592 hp @ 7,000 rpm
Torque   443 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
Transmission   7-speed dual-clutch transmission
0–60 mph   3.3 seconds
Top Speed   205 mph
Weight   3,086 lbs.
Length   177 inches
Tires   not available
FOR   Could be a 458 slayer
AGAINST   Name doesn't roll off the tongue
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