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1997 McLaren MP4/12 Grand Prix racer

This coming Wednesday, McLaren will finally reveal the followup to its legendary F1 road car, but this weekend, in an interview with the Times of London newspaper, Ron Dennis finally announced the car's name. The supercar which until now had been referred to as the P11 will be dubbed the MP4-12C. That designation draws directly on McLaren's formula heritage where the company's racecars have borne the MP4 designation since 1981. Why the road car is named after the relatively unsuccessful 1997 model is not clear at this point, but perhaps we will learn more this week.

Of course, a name in-and-of-itself doesn't have anything to do with how good the car itself might be. Besides the name, Dennis did drop a few other hints about the car. As with the venerable F1, the chassis of the new supercar is to be made of carbon fiber. This time around, the car has gullwing doors and only two seats, rather than the three staggered thrones of the F1. Features like an automatic variable rate suspension likely means the MP4-12C won't be under the 2,400-pound weight of the F1.

In spite of its immense performance, the only 106 F1s were built over six years including the race cars – for the MP4-12C, McLaren is looking to achieve a much more ambitious target: 1,000 units per year.

[Source: The Times of London | Image: Wikimedia Commons - CC 2.0]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I really hate it that everyone is touting this to be the successor of the McLaren F1. It is not. It is supposed to be downmarket. It is supposed to be more readily available. It is supposed to compete with the likes of the Ferrari F458 or whatever the new one is called. It is not supposed to be the hypercar that was the F1. It is not out to be the fastest car in the world. It's supposed to be McLaren's first car, in a multi-model project set to compete against the likes of Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin, etc.
        • 5 Years Ago
        F1 captured the imagination of us folks and thats what makes it legendary.

        Its difficult to repeat that.

        It should have a top speed higher than SSC Ultimate Aero
        It should accelerate faster than a Caparo T1
        It should be more agile (better handling) than the Ferrari Enzo
        It should be better looking than the Pagani Zonda
        Its interior should be more luxurious than the Buggati Veyron.
        It should be significantly more expensive than all of the above.

        Now you have the next hyper-car that will truly blow me away.
        • 5 Years Ago
        thank you - the reprise to the F1 will come out in the next few years - if the rumors are accurate
      • 5 Years Ago
      gull-wing? two seater? dear god please do not let this be a rebadged or reskinned SLS.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The MP4-12CHV643KB21329CDE is supposed to be mid-engined, isn't it?
        • 5 Years Ago
        good call, thanks, it just seems very very very counterproductive to go through the extra weight and R&D on gull-wing doors on something that's McLaren's follow up to the F1 (and not Murray's, believe me I understand the difference, but still, odd).
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's gonna be tough for McLaren to eclipse the F1. Best of luck.
      • 5 Years Ago
      the name just rolls off the tongue.
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 5 Years Ago
      MP4-12C because it is so much easier to remember than P11, or F1 for that matter.