McLaren MP4-12C revealed Sept 09

McLaren MP4-12C...

McLaren MP4-12C revealed Sept 09

The name's rather ordinary, but everything else about the McLaren MP4-12C promises to be something special.

The all-new, two-seater supercar is the first of a range of models that the Woking-based company will launch over the next few years and. As you'd expect, it draws heavily on the company's Formula One experience and technology.

'Revolutionary structure'
Central to the MP4-12C is what McLaren calls a Carbon MonoCell'. The one-piece carbonfibre structure is strong, but light and McLaren claims that it's the first time any car has ever featured such a structure.

Power comes from a 3.8-litre V8 engine with around 600bhp', driving the rear wheels through a seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox.

McLaren hasn't released any performance figures, but says that outright speed isn't its ultimate goal.

Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive managing director, said :'Sure, the 12C is very fast, but it is also the most efficient, most driveable high-performance sports car in the world.'

A sophisticated suspension system with three settings is aimed at blending racecar handling with a supple ride.

'Contemporary and elegant'
McLaren says the design of the 12C was driven by aerodynamics, but also with an eye to remain contemporary and elegant throughout its lifetime as well as distinctive among its peers.'

Inside, there's a slim centre console with minimal controls and a sat-nav system with a portrait-shaped screen. Standard kit will a full quota of airbags', dual-zone climate control, parking sensors, cruise control and electric memory seats.

The MP4-12C is due to be launched early in 2011. Prices haven't been confirmed, but McLaren has indicated that it will sit in the middle of the 125,000 to 175,000 category, so something in the region of 150,000 seems like a safe bet.