• Mar 18th 2010 at 7:56PM
  • 47
McLaren MP4-12C at company unveiling – Click above for high-res image gallery

Early this morning, at least in the U.S., McLaren Automotive had a coming out party in its home town of Woking, England. We were there in person and witnessed the unveiling of not only a new sports car company, McLaren Automotive, but also its flagship product: The MP4-12C. This will be the first of an entire range of new McLaren sports cars, and the company best know for its exploits on the F1 race circuit appears to have built a doozy of a supercar to kick things off.

McLaren F1 drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were on hand at McLaren's technology center to pull back the sheet on the MP4-12C. The rear-wheel-drive supercar features a mid-mounted 3.8-liter V8 producing 600 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque with an 8,000-rpm redline. Comparisons with the legendary McLaren F1 will no doubt be made, but no performance numbers are available for the MP4-12C yet and, we suspect, their missions in life are not exactly the same. The MP4-12C appears to be a supercar you could live with on a daily basis, more like a Gallardo than a Murciélago (though we suspect it might leave both in the dust).

Since we were there, we also meandered about McLaren's facilities and captured stills of a bare MP4-12C chassis, rolling bodies on the assembly line, the XP11 prototype that was used for testing and various historical McLaren automobiles that were hanging out in the lobby. Check out the virtual tour of today's big event in the high-res image gallery below.

Photos by Vlad Savov / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I want to love this but it's hard to love it when it carries the name McLaren but isn't an F1. Maybe it can grow on me by performing but until then I can't help but compare it to the F1.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I want to love it too but it's a McLaren! I have great respect for their road cars, but Ferrari fanboys are not allowed to like the enemy...
        • 5 Years Ago

        this is too much like the Acura NSX - a great car in it's own merit - but the Acura was designed some 20 yrs ago

        so i am disapointed on it's looks though I expect the performance to be top notch

        they had a really good chance to make somthing here, but they failed on the looks

        give me a Zonda anyday
        • 5 Years Ago
        this is just their entry level, the cash bringer. they plan to make much more powerful and expensive models.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Short of the 918, no supercar excites me as much as this. Welcome back McLaren
        • 5 Years Ago
        Welcome back indeed. This thing just looks brilliant, I want one!

        (P.S., go Vodafone McLaren Mercedes!)
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree. It looks good, but the McLaren F1 was STUNNING.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The car is not all that pretty....they could have done much more with the design.

        The performance is good tho.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ps, sexiest mirrors ever.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I didn't like it at first. That orange is ugly, not sexy like the orange F1.
      But it does look a lot better in black, with the doors open and on a stand.
      • 5 Years Ago
      We really need to see this in some other colors. The partial shots showing the car in silver/titanium look really interesting. The orange color we keep seeing really highlights not only the "toy" aspects of this car but also the seeming generic characteristic of the design.

      However I really, really like the design. It's so clean. The technology inside seems really amazing from the construction to the power plant. I can't wait to see the specs (and pricing) ... as well, hear one live someday.

      I am a Porsche fan but I have to say, for the money, I would love to have this McLaren instead of a 911 Turbo. Saving up now!

      Cheers to McLaren for creating the entire thing from scratch and not borrowing anything from anyone.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I admire the tech specs of this car. However it just doesnt have the visual impact of the F1. For such an amazing supercar, it seems slightly bland.

      • 5 Years Ago
      The question remains: Will McLaren produce a Veyron-beater? Does it matter? I imagine they will sell each car they make.

      I think it looks fine, but what captivates me is the structure. Perhaps, just perhaps, we could see a more affordable way to produce carbon fiber structures for a down market car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Autoblog why you remove my comments are they not nerdy enough
      • 5 Years Ago
      And they need to give the car a name!
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car is almost a decade behind its contemporaries in styling. It looks ... fine ... but it already looks aged compared to the likes of the Veyron, 458 Italia, and LF-A.

      McLaren could have stepped it up. The F1 was much more ahead of its time.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This car is styled CORRECTLY, unlike any of those cars. It is a cohesive design that wraps and serves the car's function.

        The Veyron is bulky and not lithe at all. This car weighs so much less, and LOOKS it, as well.

        The 458 Italia has wrong lines, wrong proportions, and stupid gills next to the headlights, and despite functioning better than 430, it looks WORSE.

        The LF-A doesn't even deserve to be mentioned with the MC4-12C, and is objectively UGLY, regardless of comparison.

        McLaren F1 wasn't just ahead of it's time, it was a gestalt shift. It was pure creativity and engineering embodied in a car, and it is still ahead of NOW, almost 20 years later.

        Just because the 12C isn't gratuitously flashy doesn't mean it is dated. A little black dress is still fashionable, even if it isn't the new flashy thing. It is an instant classic, and brilliantly simple and functional. And like the little black dress making most women look fantastic, this car will probably stand the test of time, as well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        this car isn't pretty , but it isn't ugly either. but the LFA is a sad joke compared to this car in every aspect.
      • 5 Years Ago
      looks slightly better than a camry, very plain looking.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What you all need to understand is that this is not the successor of the McLaren much like SLR its just another model from McLaren and a fine one it is.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Did you guys not notice the silver car with orange calipers (pic 32) has carbon ceramic brakes and bigger calipers (looks like 6 piston) while the black car (pic 39) looks to be a completely different design.

      Are there two brake packages, or is there a higher performance version?
        • 5 Years Ago
        The standard brakes are steel with aluminum hubs, but carbon ceramic are optional. Incidentally the standard brakes weigh less.
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