McLaren Automotive is preparing to open up its newest dealership in Philadelphia later this summer. To help spur on the excitement they held a private unveiling of their latest masterpiece the MP4-12C and we had the privilege to be there for this grand event. The MP4-12C is the first production car built and designed solely by McLaren since their first production vehicle the McLaren F1 (which stopped production in 1998). Considering that the F1 was the fastest production car in the world for a matter of years the MP4-12C has some pretty big shoes to fill.
McLarens latest supercar is built on a Carbon fiber Monocell with aluminum frame and powered by a mid-mounted 3.8 liter V8 twin turbo engine. This setup is rated to push out an impressive 592bhp and 443lb-ft of torque while going from 0-60 in less than 4 seconds with a max top speed of over 200mph. This power is put to the ground by a 7-speed Seamless Shift Gearbox transmission. Another impressive feature included in the MP4-12C is the functional “Air Brake” system that raises the rear wing on heavy braking from high speeds to assist with added down force to the rear tires. The selling price in the US market for the MP4-12C is starting at $229,000.
The preview of the 12C was held at the beautiful Kimmel Center in downtown Philadelphia with a low lit mood light setting. The floor had 2 displays of the vehicle, one of which was of the XP13 rolling chassis. This display showed the Twin turbo V8 and entire carbon fiber MonoCell in its full glory. Seeing just the MonoCell and Aluminum frame in this configuration really gives you a sense of just how light the vehicle really is as it does weigh just under 2900lbs. The crowds attention was then turned to the floor of the main display of the then covered yet fully assembled, and upgraded, MP4-12C. The unveiling started out with a few quick rousing speeches one of which was from Tony Joseph, McLaren Auto motive’s North American Director and then the curtain was pulled and the cheers came as we all got to feast our eyes on a gorgeous silver MP4-12C fitted with the mid-level lightweight forged wheels, optional carbon fiber rear diffuser, and stealth pack. The interior was also fitted with the optional carbon fiber upgrades as well as the upgraded Iris media system.
The general consensus at the unveiling was good, as mostly everyone was impressed with both the event and the car itself. The Carbon fiber lined engine bay was the star of the show as it drew various commendations when the rear glass window was opened to display the engine. The few concerns I did hear when speaking to a few of the attendees concerned the MP4-12C’s more “classy” styling in comparison to the more aggressive front ends of other makes. As well as a lack of ease when entering and exiting the car due to the unique styling of the McLaren’s “dihedral” doors although with the proper technique the latter concern could be relieved.
Overall the event was a rousing success which left us at Up-shift.net very impressed with what McLaren has done with their second market production car. All the goals they set out to deliver for this vehicle they seem to have reached. The Philadelphia dealership will join Tampa Bay, Toronto, Greenwich and Miami as an east coast dealer of the MP4-12C supercar. The Philly dealership is slated to open its doors in mid to late August. We look forward to the time when we are actually able to take the MP4-12C out for a spin and actually put all of these numbers to work and see what this supercar is really capable of.