When McLaren revealed the new 650S last month at the Geneva Motor Show, it was adamant that it was not a replacement for the 12C on which it was based, but rather a supplement to it within the company's growing lineup of supercars. Production was suspended on the 12C while the McLaren Technology Center in Woking geared up to begin assembling the 650S, but was slated to begin again in the near future – depending on demand. That all changes with today's announcement, however.

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.
Show full PR text
Last month we were proud to present the latest addition to our range: the McLaren 650S. Utilising advancements made during the development of the groundbreaking McLaren P1™, the 650S provides an unparalleled combination of performance and refinement.

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.

Best Regards

Mike Flewitt

Cheif Executive Officer
McLaren Automotive


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  • 38 Comments
      no1bondfan
      • 8 Months Ago
      They obviously know how to treat their customers right. If only they could figure out how to name their cars.
      Justin Shaw
      • 8 Months Ago
      I just can't figure out the 650S, it's basically the P1 minus the hybrid powertrain, but importantly any flair. The 12C wasn't considered the prettiest supercar but had it's own personality. The P1 on the otherhand caters well to the elite hybrid market. Not only do they buy a supercar, they buy a lifestyle. The 650S just doesn't excite me like the 12C did, and P1 does now.
        johnnythemoney
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Justin Shaw
        You could say the P1 is basically a 12C plus the hybrid powertrain, and few other tweaks. I understand the family feeling of the P1 on the 12C/650S, but they shouldn't have left the rear untouched. It now looks 10 years old.
        Justin Shaw
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Justin Shaw
        *Basically the 12C, looks like the P1...on my phone at work
          KaiserWilhelm
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Justin Shaw
          It may look like the P1, but the engine is very different. We're talking about 650hp vs 727hp, which is not just a difference in tuning.
          Chris O.
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Justin Shaw
          For the most part, it is just a matter of tuning, aside from a larger set of turbos. The larger turbos have a longer spool time, and thus more lag. On the P1, this doesn't manifest as a decrease in driveability since the electric part of the powertrain provides the main accelerative force until the turbos have built pressure.
      OptimusPrimeRib
      • 8 Months Ago
      My friend just received his 12C Spyder almost a month ago and laughed when he saw the unveiling of the 650S. He'll be glad to hear this. It's funny because he said he can't understand how the car could get any better.
      W1llth3thr1ll
      • 8 Months Ago
      Mclaren knew all along they'd phase out the 12c, but you can't announce that when you've got leftover stock to sell...
      Bernard
      • 8 Months Ago
      We need a new meme. Good Guy Ron Dennis. http://i.imgur.com/3VUHBiA.jpg
      carguy1701
      • 8 Months Ago
      Goodnight, sweet prince, and a flight of angels sing thee to thy rest. Still think the 12C looks better than the 650S.
      Dane Grant
      • 8 Months Ago
      So the 1% get a discount.... GREAT! BTW.... I am tired of all these 'Super Cars' in the blogs... They don't interest me personally... I always skip through them... Just not my bag, even if I had that kind of money I wouldn't have one....
        emagdnim653
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Dane Grant
        Says the guy who read the article and even went so far as to write a comment about said article...
          bonehead
          • 8 Months Ago
          @emagdnim653
          exactly. I like to pretend to be an expert on a car i can only dream of owning. (and even though i might be able to afford it im too frugal to treat myself to that extent). But its fun to learn about them, dream and pretend to be an expert. Im certainly pretending here too. Any by "none of us" i mean statistically very very very few.
        bonehead
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Dane Grant
        Youre the guy that complains about acrtesses being too attractive too, arent you. :) None of us will ever afford these cars, but that makes them no less fun to read about and to pretend to have expert opinions on them
        beckham07
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Dane Grant
        dude i think you are in the wrong place
        Lachmund
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Dane Grant
        clearly the wrong site for you dane
        Dane Grant
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Dane Grant
        God forbid if I have an opinion.... YIKES! You people can love them and drool over them... I simply don't find them cool.... I, me, myself and not you.....
        W1llth3thr1ll
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Dane Grant
        I'm tired of all the 'normal cars' on this blog. They don't interest me personally... I always skip through them. Just not my bag, even though i have this kind of money i don't want to read about them...
      Lachmund
      • 8 Months Ago
      At least they don't get the visual downgrade to the 650S. I call it a good deal.
      Brian
      • 8 Months Ago
      This is a good thing, but not a GREAT thing. What did they expect before they even started production for the "new model", the 650S? Of course MP4-12C owners are going to feel like they've been cheated. Undeniably good at engineering great products but they should've put more thought into something as as relatively simple as "is this product going to cannibalize this other products sales?" Well gee, let's see start with that it's essentially the same car with a revised front and higher boost. Creating a different name and revising bits here and there... yes, now it is most definitely not a replacement... Saying they're ceasing production of the 12C and concentrating on the 650S is just a nice way of saying, we almost screwed you 12C owners over, so here, let me upgrade your software.
        Lachmund
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Brian
        They shouldn't feel cheated. Suddenly their much more beautiful car became a limited collector's item.
        Driedsponge
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Brian
        McLaren is releasing what basically can be considered a new model year, and actually taking the time to give previous model purchasers an upgrade in the process. As far as I am aware, other than Tesla, no other car company bothers to upgrade their cars once you drive it off the lot (forced recalls being an exception). Most other car companies would just offer you a better discount on buying a new one.
      bonehead
      • 8 Months Ago
      I think this all makes the MP4-12C Spider an instant collectors item. It is now hands down the best looking McLauren product ever made. So much better looking than that 650S.
        Lachmund
        • 8 Months Ago
        @bonehead
        agree 100%
        Delorean2006
        • 8 Months Ago
        @bonehead
        I agree! it is a stunning car to look at, i really really don't like any car without a roof but the 12C spider i will make the exception for, it is one stunning car to look at and never get tired of and also agree will be a collectors item in due time
          bonehead
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Delorean2006
          in the past i have not liked convertibles. But once you experience a proper convertible (not just a chop top mustang or 3series) then you understand the joy of a convertible Miata, S2000 are all so much better as a topdown. You hear all the wonderful sounds the engine makes and the malaren is even better.
      Daekwan
      • 8 Months Ago
      April fool's was supposed to be on the 1st, not on the 4th.
      Sean Sweeney
      • 8 Months Ago
      http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pontiac-Grand-Prix-Special-Touring-Edition-1990-McLaren-Pontiac-Grand-Prix-STE-Turbo-Sedan-/301141894933?forcerrptr=true&hash=item461d74a715&item=301141894933&pt=US_Cars_Trucks So the upgrades apply hmmmm.
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