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McLaren P1 Performance Numbers Likely to Leave You Breathless

0 to 60 in “less than three seconds,” ultracar tops out at 218.

by on Feb.28, 2013

McLaren hopes to one-up Ferrari when it launches the P1 ultra-car at the Geneva Motor Show.

If supercars and other high-priced exotics are your game you’ll likely want to keep a close eye on the Geneva Motor Show next month with everyone from Bentley to Ferrari weighing in with new entries – and upstart McLaren intending to clamber to the top of the heap.

The maker has finally released production numbers for the P1, the track-ready supercar it previewed in Paris last year.  And the word, “breathless” quickly comes to mind, the 2-seater promised to deliver 0 to 100 kmh (0 to 62.5 mph) times of “less than three seconds,” with a rated top speed of 218 mph.

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Supercars have a lot in common with baseball, where the game is as much as anything about statistics. And for the number crunchers here are some equally impressive figures. The McLaren P1 will dash from 0 to 200 kmh (0 to 125 mph) in under seven seconds, with the launch to 300 kmh rated at 17 seconds.


McLaren Reveals P1 Design Study

The “ultimate supercar”?

by on Sep.18, 2012

McLaren promises the P1 will be the "ultimate supercar" when it reaches market next year.

McLaren is ready to unleash what it’s calling the “ultimate supercar” at the upcoming Paris Motor Show and after giving us an artistic tease that Andy Warhol might have been proud of, the British maker has finally given us an unvarnished look at the new P1.

Okay, let’s back up a bit.  These images are of what McLaren is calling a “P1 Design Study.” But barring a few little tweaks you can expect to see pretty much precisely what’s hear when the new model goes on sale “within 12 months.”  That would hold the maker to its promise to produce an all-new vehicle every year, starting with the McLaren MP4-12C and the subsequent Spider.

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Apparently, we’ll have to wait for Paris to get more details about the McLaren P1 but Managing Director Tony Sherrif hints that, “Our aim is not necessarily to be the fastest in absolute top speed but to be the quickest and most rewarding series production road car on a circuit.  It is the true test of a supercar’s all round ability and a much more important technical statement. It will be the most exciting, most capable, most technologically advanced and most dynamically accomplished supercar ever made.”


McLaren Teases New P12 Supercar

“Spiritual successor” to the McLaren F1.

by on Sep.14, 2012

A car Tron might love - if he could afford one. A tease of the new McLaren P12.

McLaren has made the bold promise to roll out a new car every year for the foreseeable future and now that the Spider version of the original MP4-12C has made its debut it’s time to move on.  Company officials are now confirming they’ll roll out an all-new flagship at the upcoming Paris Motor Show, and this Tron-like image gives us a sense of what’s apparently in store.

The McLaren P12 is being billed as the “spiritual successor” to the legendary McLaren F1, a supercar that routinely collects winning bids of as much as $3.5 million on the classic auction circuit.  While the new flagship won’t be quite so expensive, it could nudge into seven figures, company insiders hint, or roughly four times as much as the current MP4 coupe.

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One thing’s for certain, the P12 will continue McLaren’s tradition of relying on super-strong and ultra-light carbon fiber for the monocoque and other key components.  The British maker has gotten increasingly good at that process, slashing the time it takes to produce carbon fiber parts and pieces.


McLaren Reveals One-Off X1, Spider 12C – and Hints at More to Come

F1 successor reportedly planned for Paris.

by on Aug.21, 2012

The controversial McLaren X1.

For such a little company, McLaren has a lot going on.  The supercar company is making good on its promise to roll out at least one new model annually, with its second offering debuting at the Pebble Beach Concours and a third set to be revealed at the Paris Motor Show next month.

The annual Pebble Beach even actually saw two new products from British-based McLaren, if you include the one-off X1 model produced for a secretive client.  The maker also rolled out its 12C Spider, the convertible version of the MP4-12C coupe that went on sale earlier this year.

But the real question is what’s to come next month, and if industry sources are to be trusted, it will likely mean the introduction of a formal successor to McLaren’s legendary F1 supercar, a 3-seater that marked the first serious use of carbon fiber in a street car.  Super-strong and ultra-light, it is now the material of choice for McLaren – while other makers struggle to expand its use.

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“This is going to be an incredibly important year for us,” Tony Sheriff, McLaren’s managing director, tells  Officially, he won’t discuss the next model, nor even confirm it is scheduled for a Paris debut.  But he then hints that “It’ll be expensive.”

McLaren's one-off X1 shares the scissor doors but not much else with the original Coupe.

The F1 was, at its time, the world’s most expensive car, at more than $1 million.  The Bugatti Veyron now holds that honor, at around $1.4 million.  So, it’s anyone’s guess what McLaren will be targeting.

One thing is certain, the next-gen McLaren F1 will have to deliver some eye-popping numbers.  Today’s top supercars are pushing up and even beyond the 1,000-horsepower mark and delivering 0 to 60 times of well under 3 seconds, with top speeds that blow through the 200 mph mark without breathing hard.

The new McLaren 12C Spider comes in at only 616 hp – which is still a 25 hp bump from the earlier MP4-12C Coupe.  (It also gets some more subtle improvements, such as twin A/C modes.) The new Retractable Hard Top, or RHT, folds away in a matter of seconds.

But coupe and convertible have some key things in common, notable the use of a carbon-fiber monocell chassis that is critical to their light weight and rigidity.

The McLaren 12C Spider gets its Pebble Beach premier.

In fact, noted Sheriff, “Most companies take a coupe and cut the top off – losing rigidity in the process, which they have to spend money and mass on to get back.  But we started by developing the Spider and then turned it into a Coupe.”

That strategy means the Spider adds only a minimal amount of mass to the Coupe’s already segment-leading weight.

Production starts in November and U.S. customers can expect to start taking delivery by January, with the base price for the McLaren Spider set at $265,750 plus $2,500 for delivery.

No price has been revealed for the X1, but then again, no one else will be able to order one. The distinctively polarizing supercar is the first to roll out of Special Operations unit which will oversee bespoke cars.

It took 2.5 years to develop the vehicle for the “anonymous car enthusiast,” in McLaren’s words, who ordered it.  The design alone was an 18-month project for McLaren’s Hong Yeo.  He reportedly incorporated elements of such classic luxury cars as a 1939 Mercede-Benz 540K, as well as the Citroen SM and even an Airstream trailer.

Like the new 12C Spider, it will be powered by McLaren’s 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8.

The X1 now will return to McLaren HQ in Woking, Surrey, England for a final checkout before being delivered to an unspecified market.

First Look: 2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spider

Second entry goes al fresco.

by on Jul.11, 2012

McLaren will add a hardtop convertible version of its MP4-12C supercar.

McLaren is going topless.  The British maker, which recently returned to the consumer automotive market, is getting ready to reveal the al fresco version of its 200 mph MP4-12C supercar.

Best known for its staggeringly successful racing program, the marque will literally pull the covers off the McLaren 12C Spider at next month’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.  But we’ve got a few early images to share with readers.

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The Spider is the second in what McLaren promises to be a series of new supercars it hopes to roll out at a pace of roughly one a year for the foreseeable future, Managing Director Antony Sheriff told earlier this year.


First Drive: McLaren MP4-12C

From track to tarmac.

by on Mar.27, 2012

The new McLaren MP4-12C.

Move over Ferrari.  Step aside Lamborghini.  There’s a new kid on the supercar block and it’s got some mighty big aspirations.

“We’re a 50-year-old start-up,” suggests Antony Sheriff as he offers us our first close-up look at a running McLaren MP4-12C during a visit to Auto Club Speedway, on the outskirts of Los Angeles.  The exotic 2-seater is the latest attempt by the British maker to move from track to tarmac.  Its first effort was the $1 million McLaren F1, the second a joint venture with Mercedes-Benz that gave us the SLR AMG.  This time, McLaren is back to doing it alone — and taking direct aim at Italy’s two better-known supercar manufacturers.

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It’s not that the company founded by New Zealand’s Bruce McLaren is an unknown entity.  In its nearly half century of motorsports McLaren has taken the checkered flag at one out of every four races it’s ever entered, making it a force to be reckoned with, year after year, on the Formula One circuit.  But the MP4-12C is aiming to strike the same fearsome chord on the street, giving gold chained Ferraristas reason to take pause – and perhaps to reconsider where they buy their next bella macchina.


F12 Berlinetta – Fastest, Most Powerful Ferrari Ever

Is this the world’s sexiest supercar?

by on Mar.06, 2012

The new Ferrari F12 makes its Geneva debut.

For some makers, function drives form.  Ferrari has traditional argued that when it comes to an Italian supercar, both matter.  Take the slick new Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, which Ferrari revealed at the Geneva Motor Show today – and which is earning buzz as not only the fastest Ferrari ever, but also the sexiest.

The replacement for the outgoing Ferrari 599 – originally expected to get a 620 nameplate — is the fastest, as well as the most powerful automobile ever to wear the prancing pony badge.  Its 6.3-liter V12 will be able to launch the Ferrari F12 from 0 to 60 in about 3 seconds – with a top speed of more than 310 kmh – or nearly 200 mph.

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The new model will land in an increasingly crowded supercar market that will feature the likes of the function-over-form McLaren MP4-12C and the extreme-styled Lamborghini Aventador, so the opportunity to deliver anything but extreme performance would have been minimal.

The F12 is slightly smaller than the outgoing 599, with a lower center of gravity.

Of course, Ferrari also put a premium on luscious Italian styling, an advantage it figures it can leverage over the incredibly competent competition.  The good news is that much of its most distinctive styling elements also have a practical purpose.  That includes the new Ferrari F12’s Aero Bridge, a new concept that generates additional downforce by funneling air flowing over the hood to its flank.

Then there’s the Active Brake Cooling system, which uses active vanes to guide air, when needed, through ducts to improve brake performance.

While there may be subtle visual similarities to the outgoing 599, the Ferrari F12 is a completely new car, the maker insists, with an all-new chassis that features a slightly shorter wheelbase.  The engine, seats and other key components have been lowered to improve the center of gravity.

The new Ferrari F12 will make extensive use of active aero technologies.

Ferrari also concentrated on lowering the new supercar’s overall weight, which comes in at 3355 pounds, about 155 less than its predecessor.  That helps enhance acceleration, handling – and fuel economy, which is reportedly 30% than the old Ferrari 599.

Under the hood: a naturally-aspirated, 6.26-liter V-12 making 740 horsepower and 509 lb-ft of torque.  The maker says that will propel it to 100 kmh (62.5 mph) in 3.1 seconds, with 200 kmh (125 mph) in 8.5 seconds, with the top speed 340 kmh.  The F12 reportedly cut something on the order of 2 seconds off the laptime record for a production car at the Fiorano race circuit, at 1:23.

By comparison, the old 599 made 611 horsepower.

First Look: Infiniti Emerg-E

Shows battery cars can be Sex-E.

by on Feb.27, 2012

The Infiniti Emerg-E uses a mid-mounted range-extending drivetrain.

Who says battery cars have to be dull to downright boring? True, the Toyota Prius and Mitsubishi i likely won’t win design awards but the new Infiniti Emerg-E suggests that battery cars can be downright Sex-E.

The Infiniti concept is the latest in a string of concepts and production cars coming to the Geneva Motor Show next month that have already leaked out.

The luxury arm of Nissan Motor Co. has been hinting for some time that it plans to follow its bigger sibling and enter the electric vehicle market.  Exactly what role the Emerg-E will actually have in the Infiniti line-up remains to be seen but it’s certainly going to draw some attention with looks that are more than a little reminiscent of the new McLaren MP4-12C.

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But instead of a 600-horsepower small-block V-8, the Infiniti Emerg-E features a range-extended electric drivetrain.  Details are set to follow but if you look closely at the images here you’ll notice the mid-mounted gasoline engine side of that powertrain is clearly visible beneath the show car’s all-glass roof.


McLaren Plans “Much Broader” Range of Supercars

Battery power likely as exotic brand faces regulatory realities.

by on Apr.25, 2011

The McLaren MP4-12C will be followed by a number of other sports cars, says McLaren's managing director.

British supercar maker McLaren is planning to follow up on the introduction of its MP4-12C with a “much broader” range of high-end sports cars, a senior executive tells

By using lightweight materials, like carbon fiber, and other advanced technologies, McLaren Managing Director Antony Sheriff says the maker – best known for its successful Formula One team – should be able to meet stiff new fuel economy and emissions standards.  But he also hints that McLaren is looking at ways to integrate battery-based propulsion systems into some of its future offerings.

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The McLaren MP4-12C will arrive in nine U.S. showrooms later this year carrying a price tag of $229,000.  But it is just the first model the maker has been working on, Sheriff revealed during a lengthy conversation following the New York Auto Show’s annual media preview.

“Between the various models (under development), we’ll have something new about once a year,” the executive explained.


McLaren Sets $229,000 “Base” Price on MP4-12C

It’ll cost more with the 3-camera recording system, however.

by on Jan.20, 2011

Priced at $229,000: the McLaren MP4-12C.

Considering the price tag for previous models bearing the McLaren moniker, including the million-dollar F1, the British maker’s latest offering is a positive bargain, at $229,000.

Of course, you better have a bit more in your bank account if you plan to cover taxes, gas guzzler fees – and a long, long, long list of options that even includes a 3-camera in-car recording system so you can see the look of fear on your face when you miss the tight corner on track day.

Produced using carbon fiber, and weighing just 2,866 pounds, the Formula One-influenced MP4-12C will be powered by a mid-mounted3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 making 592 horsepower channeled through a 7-speed Seamless Shift dual-clutch gearbox.  A “pre-cog” system will permit the driver to pre-select the next gear, using paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, reducing gear shift times to near-instantaneous, MacLaren claims.