• Sep 9th 2009 at 11:28AM
  • 52
McLaren MP4-12C – Click above for high-res image gallery

For those who've been anxiously awaiting the replacement of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, last night was a very big night indeed. Not only did the new Mercedes SLS AMG leak out, but McLaren itself released full details of its new MP4-12C. We ran the info as soon as we could gather it along with an initial batch of images, and now we're back with more for your viewing and desktop-plastering pleasure.

The design of McLaren's new supercar – its first independent road-car project since the legendary McLaren F1 – comes from the hand of one Frank Stephenson, the multi-national, American-educated designer responsible for the reborn Mini, BMW X5, Fiat 500 and countless Maseratis and Ferraris. His design of the MP4-12C is dominated by McLaren's tick logo, which figures large in the air vents all around the car as well as the LED lights. The shape is otherwise clean and streamlined, aided by the use of adaptive aerodynamics. The interior is accessed via signature McLaren forward-upward hinged doors, and though lamentably without the 1+2 configuration made famous by its precursor, envelops the driver and passenger in thin, molded bucket seats. The dashboard is dominated by a 7-inch multimedia display, and the Pre-Cog gear system is operated via paddles mounted on a rocker, allowing up and downshifts to be affected from either side, just like in McLaren's championship-winning grand prix cars. Check it all out in the high-resolution image gallery below, and stay tuned for video footage to follow shortly.

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[Source: McLaren]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      i like it!!! it looks better than the 458.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I just can't get behind the side-by-side seating. Put the seat in the middle!
        • 5 Years Ago
        And of course this is supposed to be competition for GTs like the Ferrari 458 or DBS, not a balls-to-the-wall performer in its own class like the F1 was. This is something that someone (with sufficient funds) would drive to work.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, and I'm not really the target market, either. I think that the novelty of the middle seat in the F1 made that seating arrangement synonymous with super-awesomest car ever, so it's more nostalgia for that novelty that's driving my desire for the seating arrangement to be as in the F1. There's of course that idea of lateral balance due to the middle seating position, but 150 lbs of static, sprung weight is not going to change the dynamics of the car, and even with it offset to the left, all four wheels get a portion of that weight anyway, so even the balance argument doesn't hold water for long.

        ... still, nostalgia! *swoon*
        • 5 Years Ago
        Get over it. I'm sure we'll hear one of the main reasons for side by side is the new tub design... and fact that this thing's going to cost 1/5 that of the F1.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Rather have a noisy, non-sophisticated F1. Please.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I find it rich that people say this car takes cues from a Saleen, when the Saleen, itself is a complete ripoff of a McLaren F1 Longtail.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pure sex on wheels.
      • 5 Years Ago
      bugs bunny front teeth
      the overall feeling of this design is uninspired, big black smiley face hole in the front where some design should be (Porsche does this allot). The back looks like a Saleen or something. Front fenders feel like last years Ferrari.
      I dunno, doesnt create the lust for the legend like the old one did
      • 5 Years Ago
      Kinda looks like a child of a Ferrari 360 and a Gallardo. It looks good, I wouldn't mind having one.

      I don't think it is quite over the top enough to be compared to the old F1 though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Meh.... It's a travesty to call this car a follow-up to the F1. It's a beautiful car, fast, supercar. But it's not the best. Not even close. It had the potential. But it's no F1. Not by a long shot.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ AZRacer:

        Exactly. It would seem that what a lot of people expected McLaren to do was build a better version of their million dollar F1, but sell it for under $300K. They act as if McLaren missed the mark, but it's they who are missing the point: this isn't an F1 replacement. There won't ever be any such thing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It looks like a Ferrari with an ugly body kit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It looks like it could a new Saleen, a toned-down successor to the S7.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Let's wait and see how it performs on the road and track before slamming it. Also remember this. There's quite a few Ferrari's on the road in many different countries but not many Mclaren's. I think I would take this.
        • 5 Years Ago

        CAR, as usual, has the goods before anyone else, love this shot ^
        • 5 Years Ago
        I gotta be honest. I'm crushed by this...and not in a good way. It's just so...so...conventional and derivative. I see resemblance to other vehicles all over the place. The front nose shelf of a Ferrari 360 or 430, the lower side inlets of a Lotus or Saleen, the inlets at the side windows of the new Ferrari 458 Italia, plus others. I'm just so incredibly dissapointed. I'd take inspired and quirky any day over good-looking but bland. From a design perspective this is like an Accord or Camry of supercars. Offensive? No. Exciting? Not that either. Blah, I'm off to cry in a corner.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Franz - correct, not even Murray's next car will be the same thing. Like you u I get McLaren and get their aims and love this car. The technology, the form follows function design, our first supercar based around a DSG gearbox, the low weight, the very functional/high tech cabin with nothing included which isn't needed, the air brake which doesn't need to be powered, the esc with individual wheel braking, the design when compared to the original, McLaren hit the ball out of the park. To bemoan the fact that it resembles 'everything else' when 'everything else' takes their cues from the F1 gets tired soon. If anyone has the right to follow the F1 in terms of proportions et-al, it's McLaren. Just watch leno's video. it's legitimately shocking and heartwarming not to get a galardo aping wedge design from McLaren or that very odd front end from the F458.

        It's easily the best looking car in it's group.
        • 5 Years Ago
        it looks like a successor to the f1:

        • 5 Years Ago
        Correction: meant to write £200k instead of $200k.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It DOES look like a giant lotus, specially due to the side inlets and the headlights
        • 5 Years Ago
        @adrian - who cares about exclusivity, it's 100lbs lighter than the F458 and has 600 hp, who the hell wouldn't. :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        I LOVE it. I still can't believe how many people were actually expecting what amounts to an updated F1... that car cost north of a million bucks. There's no way McLaren could build a direct replacement for the under $200K price point or 1000+ units volume they're targeting. And I'm glad they didn't try to, or it'd be the exact same "not a worthy F1 successor" arguments.
        • 5 Years Ago
        italy430 - the general impression I get from the comments on the site is NOT that Stephenson "copied" the various supercars this car is claimed to resemble (gallardo, S7, 360, etc). Rather, I think some people (I would include myself in this group) are just a little disappointed that this car does not do more to take supercar styling in a newer, more innovative direction.

        Stephenson is clearly a talented original designer, as his work on the Mini and F430, among others, clearly demonstrates. And this car definitely represents a landmark for McLaren and for the supercar business in general - it's the first car from a new entrant in the market (yes, of course, the F1 came before, but that was 15 years ago and was a one-off Gordan Murray project, this is the first run of a range of McLaren road cars without Murray's involvement).

        Given all of the above, I was hopeful that Stephenson could mark the occasion with a truly innovative, fresh perspective on the supercar in much the same way the F1 did. To really show us supercar fans the "next generation". The car certainly has the chassis and powertrain to deliver, I just don't think anyone looking at these pictures can honestly say that the design does.

        Obviously this is all subjective, but in my opinion the Ferrari 458 goes further in achieving this goal. Not all supercars have to look the same. True innovators have managed to change the game before, and will continue to. The fact that various commenters are comparing the McLaren design to many contemporary supercars just means that it's nothing new. Which, for the first new McLaren supercar, is a disappointment.

        As for the quality of comments you typically find on autoblog, well, yes.
        • 5 Years Ago
        byproduct of a McClaren F1 and the Lotus Evora.

        I'm lovin it

      • 5 Years Ago
      with a body like that, it SHOULD be ready for a closeup. Grrrrr.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That is a very significant color for the car. Papaya Orange metallic. Papaya Orange was Bruce Mclarens personal racing color. It makes perfect sense that they use that color, as it pays homage to Bruce Mclaren himself
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Azmati - i'm not sure if it's worth your time. A lot of these comments read as though many of our fellow readers are just now learning of McLaren and the "F1" :/. What next, anger at an aston or lotus or jag for wearing british racing green, or a Ford GT for wearing gulf livery. Hell, most pics of the McLaren F1 are of Papaya Orange metallic, especially that famous shot of the GTR under the trees.

        And McLaren even made it easy in the shot where both cars are standing together.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, the colour is hideous. The original drawing of the car was much better but due to engineering and aerodynamics we got a more subtile design. But hey, the F1 wasn't a stunner even back then, more of an execution of clean design. As is this one!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Anyone else wanna see the damn thing in black?!? The car looks great but that color is like captain buzz kill. Show it in another color!!!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Gorgeous car and love the color tribute, but this is more proof than ever that the F1 is a hard act to follow!
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