In a letter sent to existing owners of the 12C and shared with Autoblog, McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt announces that, "we have decided to cease [production of the 12C] in light of the success of the 650S." Thus ends the life-span of the model that put McLaren Automotive back on the map three years ago. But that's not quite the end of the story for the 12C.
Lest current owners feel left out of the action, McLaren is offering them a free Technology Upgrade program. The package incorporates some (but not all) of the advancements made to the 650S, including revised Active Aero software that deploys the rear wing as an Airbrake under heavy braking and as a Drag Reduction System for straight-line speed. The package also updates the Android-based IRIS infotainment system, as well as a back-up camera and DAB radio (in Europe) or Sirius satellite radio (in North America).
The upgrades will be applicable to every one of the approximately 3,500 examples of the 12C coupe and Spider built, including those that were bought new from the factory, those purchased second-hand through McLaren's Qualified Program and the handful left in dealer hands around the world. All of which strikes us a rather admirable approach on McLaren's behalf towards its customers, instead of pressing them to trade in for the newer model. View the full details in the letter we've included below.
True to the McLaren ethos, the benefits of such progress are not limited to our new models. As a McLaren owner, we want to be able to share these developments with you with the offer of a free Technology Upgrade available from June.
This package of upgrades will offer new Active Aero software which will allow your 12C's existing Airbrake to 'sense' different driving scenarios, deploying to improve stability when lifting off the throttle or cresting a hill - this is in addition to the usual Airbrake position under heavy braking. The new system also includes a DRS (Drag Reduction System) mode which lowers the wing when driving at speed in a straight line, improving high-speed aerodynamics.
The Technology Upgrade also includes improvements to functionality and usability of the Android-based IRIS system. Later 12C models (with door buttons) will further benefit from an external control to lower the windows, to aid easier access in confined spaces.
In addition to this free upgrade, we are also offering a special price on two new features introduced with the 650S: the reversing camera and DAB radio. These cost options have been specially priced for 12C owners, to allow you to take advantage of the very latest technology (please note, depending on your model year, there may be hardware restrictions).
To find out more about both the Technology Upgrade and the new options, please contact your local retailer who can discuss your car in more detail.
Meanwhile, the final piece of news I wanted to share with you is regarding 12C production which we have decided to cease in light of the success of 650S. The new car has been so well received since its unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show (we already have a six month order bank) we will focus all our capacity at the McLaren Production Centre on 650S.
After three years of 12C production, this represents a natural evolution of our model line-up. I want to assure you that McLaren remains dedicated to customer satisfaction and that we care about the ownership experience of every car we've ever sold.
Once again, we thank you for your commitment to McLaren and being part of our committed pursuit for automotive excellence.
Cheif Executive Officer