The very first McLaren MP4-12C built for public consumption has begun to make its way through the production process. Chassis 01 isn't quite finished yet, as you can see by our high-res image gallery below, but it will be soon enough and McLaren plans to build up to 999 more in 2011.
Starting at $229,000, the MP4-12C is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 that produces 600 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Prototype versions have been out running at various locations and events, including the Goodwood Festival of Speed and a very snowy Top Gear Test Track.
To celebrate Chassis 01 entering production, McLaren has put together a short clip that highlights its past year of testing. Click past the jump to watch Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button put the McLaren MP4-12C through a set of workouts.
[Source: McLaren, YouTube]
First McLaren MP4-12C ('Chassis 01') production car takes shape in McLaren Technology Centre
2011 milestone announced with a new high quality 'best of' short film capturing highlights of the 2010 12C launch programme: available to view at www.youtube.com/mclarenautomotivetv
WOKING, UK (02 February) – Following a successful public world debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed, and a series of exclusive presentations to prospective customers and media across the globe in 2010, the first McLaren MP4-12C high-performance sports car has begun production at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking, England.
McLaren Automotive plans to build up to 1,000 12Cs in 2011. Most will be manufactured in a bespoke new £40m McLaren Production Centre, which is due for completion in May on a site adjacent to MTC. However, 'Chassis 01' is being built in the existing MTC production facility, where outstanding quality and highly efficient production methods have been fine-tuned since the Foster + Partners-designed building opened in 2004.
The innovative 12C was first presented to the public at the famous Goodwood Festival of Speed in southern England in July 2010, prior to a North American debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in August. 12Cs were then presented at exclusive events to prospective customers and media around the world as McLaren Automotive toured many of the cities that will form a network of 35 retailer launch locations.
Milestone events in the 2010 launch year for the 12C have been captured in a new short film, which can be viewed online at McLaren Automotive's official You Tube channel: www.youtube.com/mclarenautomotivetv
This short film features appearances from Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, the 2008 and 2009 FIA Formula 1 Drivers' World Champions. Both have enjoyed testing prototype 12Cs and continue to feed back their thoughts on the car's development. The video also captures visitors' reactions to the 12C at its debut events. Brand new footage reveals McLaren Automotive's Chief Test Driver Chris Goodwin taking the car winter testing at Dunsfold Aerodrome – also known as the BBC Top Gear test track – as he assesses ESP calibration on Winter settings as part of the 12C's variable Proactive Chassis Control system.
Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive Managing Director said: "Meeting our prospective customers at launch events around the world, from Dubai to Cape Town, Paris to Los Angeles, has filled us with inspiration. There is genuine desire for McLaren to be launching our own range of sports cars, and an exciting appreciation of what McLaren stands for: innovation, technology leadership, and a winning mentality.
"In five years, the MP4-12C has evolved from a concept we developed in our own Formula 1 simulator, to a groundbreaking high-performance sports car offering unique technologies and outstanding dynamic performance. It has been an intensive development programme, but now the fun really begins as our future owners look forward to taking delivery of their 12Cs.
"Feedback from our customers shows they understand McLaren Automotive is as committed to delivering a high quality sports cars and a fantastic ownership experience as a our Formula 1 team is to winning races. With 'Chassis One' now in production, our new network of 35 retailers in 19 countries worldwide is ready to deliver on this promise."