With a burst of light and a swoosh of its car cover, the McLaren MP4-12C made its North American debut this evening in Pebble Beach. Gooding auctions unveiled the new supercar at its preview reception, the same locale that has seen the debuts of other significant vehicles from the past few years – namely the Rolls-Royce Hyperion and the Pininfarina P4/5. But tonight McLaren was definitely the star of the show. Besides giving Americans their first glimpse of its latest model, McLaren also talked a bit about the new company they are introducing to build and sell not just the MP4-12C, but a whole range of road vehicles.
This isn't like the way things were done with the F1, where it was basically a special project inside the technical and racing operations...no, it's a whole new passenger car company that will have an assortment of vehicles apparently. In fact, McLaren Automotive has already announced the list of 35 cities that will be hosting McLaren dealerships, and the rumor mill is in full swing telling us that a successor to the big-daddy F1 is in the cards for as early as 2012. The last bit of info we gleened from the presentation was that they seemed to talk a lot about their winning history in both Formula 1 and sports car racing and how they love to win. Perhaps a not-so-subtle hint that a racing version of the MP4-12C will be built? Makes sense to us. While we're waiting for spy shots of that project, do yourself a favor and check out the hot new McLaren in our gallery below.