• Oct 7, 2009

McLaren MP4-12C – Click above for high-res image gallery

Reports emerging from the UK are giving us a hint at what to expect in the near future from McLaren Automotive in its bid to make an assault on the exotic supercar market. The reports stem from plans filed by the F1 team's nascent road car division and its new manufacturing facility next to the current McLaren Technology Center in Woking, England.

According to Autocar, part of the layout for the new facility has been dedicated to "RHT Sub Assembly", indicating that McLaren could be preparing to produce a retractable hardtop version of the new MP4-12C. While the notion of fitting a lightweight supercar with a heavy folding roof mechanism may seem antithetical to its ethos, Ferrari made huge advances with the roof on the California, and McLaren will be looking to show up its chief rival. Insiders suggest the McLaren's folding roof could be made of either aluminum alloy or possibly carbon fiber.

The overall timeline for production, however, suggests that McLaren may have to begin producing the MP4 where the outgoing SLR has been assembled in its current facility. McLaren has ambitious plans for a new factory adjacent to its existing headquarters, but with delivery of the first new supercars scheduled for November, the new underground facility isn't likely to be ready in time.



[Source: Autocar]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Interesting.... but where's the space for the retracted hardtop? The front? Or would it be the tiny space between the seats and the engine?
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car has no style, and no recognizable qualities. Competitor for Ferrari? Sure, in their dreams. Maybe if they only make 90 of them, then they could possibly price it close to a used F430 price.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The point of my bash is this:
        I'm sure the engineers did an ok job, but the designers didn't.

        Also, McLaren needs to stick to what they are good at doing and not this.
      • 5 Years Ago
      When I first saw the nose shot of this car (and I bet it is awesome in person in the right color), I couldn't help but think:

      Separated at Birth: Watto the Junk Dealer and MP4-12C.

      The head-on shot is a spitting image... : ) See both shots at:

      http://s695.photobucket.com/albums/vv318/roybans/?albumview=grid
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ok, that's pretty funny! Good one.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I still can't believe how bland this car looks. I'm greatly disappointed in its appearance. Hopefully it's performance is up to McLaren F1 standards.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't think this is intended to be an F1 successor.

        This is more in line with an alternative to a Ferrari mid-V8 F458, or a Lambo Gallardo.

        It does look less ground-breaking than F1. But it isn't ugly. It is just perhaps a bit too normal and straight-forward, compared to the complete paradigm-shift that McLaren F1 was.

        Not every album can be the Beatles White Album. :D
      • 5 Years Ago
      supercars should never be convertibles....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Every automag is covering the Mac this month. When I first saw the pic on the cover of one of my magazines, I thought, "Hmmmm...I know that I've seen that front end before....but where?" Then I saw a Hyundai Genesis Coupe and it all came back to me.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I would say the front end looks more like an R8 and ferrari combined if anything.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Skip the hardtop. What is the point of the carbon fiber bathtub chassis thing-a-ma-bob( I forgot its official name) ?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Low weight, rigidity, exclusivity, simplicity (apparently it's tricky to manufacture, but it significantly reduces the number of chassis components). It's so light that the whole tub can be handled easily by two men.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @daleam
      Wow thank you... I'm just saying that if your buying McLaren wouldn't you expect a little somethin better than the same rims that are on someone's Tiburon...just a thought
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. If you are going to drop $250K on a car you shouldn't have to make any adjustments. The wheels look like the old BMW E46 330ci Sports Package wheels. The car itself I think is stunning. I would love to see one in black.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am sure it is a fantastic car but is just so plain, like a Tesla.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Report: McLaren MP4-12C Spyder still to look like generic video game car, now with an even longer name.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It will definitely be fast and nice. But I completely agree. At first sight it looked like something from Burnout to me. I'd rather have an LP560-4 I think.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Beastage - you hit the nail on the head at the end. For this price, there are too many other amazing cars to choose from.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. Maybe it's all the OTHER supercars that have come along in the 11 years since the F1 disappeared, but this car was probably the biggest disappointment of the year for me. I guess we're just jaded... :sigh:
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh come on, it looks nice, packs power, priced right, excellent interior, everything you need.

        Sure, the name is weird, the design is a bit generic but I'd get one if I could... well first I'll get the 458 Italia.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A folding hard-top on a mid-engined car... that will be a neat trick. Where is the roof going to go, and how will it get there?
        • 5 Years Ago
        They could do something SuperAmerica style as well. Although I think the best option would be for a cloth roof.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, and SSR-type short roof would be interesting looking on a flowing super-car body...

        and that would take some serious packaging and engineering to put a folding roof between the seat backs and the firewall.

        Otherwise the roof stacks on top of the engine, or somehow gets stowed all the way in the back of the car.

        The only other method I can think of is a sliding roof panel on flying buttresses, where the roof merely slides aft, over a flat engine cover.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So is Gordan Murray compromising his car philosophy? I thought he was completely into making cars as light as can be and as track oriented as can be, and who cares what Ferrari is doing.... so what is with a convertible roof, yet alone, a hardtop one?

        • 5 Years Ago
        Gordon Murray is no longer at McLaren. His last McLaren was the SLR. Since then he's worked on the Caparo T1, the Smart Roadster, and right now is working on getting the T.25 City Car project going. This car has nothing to do with him.
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