McLaren MP4-12C – Click above for high-res image gallery
Gordon Murray is perhaps the most innovative automotive engineer of the last several decades. He's never been afraid to try out offbeat ideas and more often then not, they've worked exceptionally well. Long before the Ariel Atom, Murray created the Rocket, built by the Light Car Company.
Murray's greatest creation, of course, was the McLaren F1. As with the Rocket and the T25 city car that he's currently working on, low mass was (and continues to be) a defining principle.
Following the official launch of McLaren Automotive and the MP4-12C a few days ago, Murray discussed the new car with AutoExpress. He's glad to see that in spite of recent trends toward heavier cars, McLaren was able to keep mass comparatively low on its new car. The MP4-12C is several hundred pounds heavier than the legendary F1, but it also contains a lot of safety equipment that wasn't in use when the earlier car was built.
Murray is also happy to see that McLaren employed some of the concepts that he worked on before he left the company, such as the carbon-fiber monocoque that was planned for a follow-up to the Mercedes-Benz SLR.