When the McLaren boxed up and shipped their new MP4 12-C to Saudi Arabia in December last year the one question the team of engineers that came with it could not
answer was,” How does it go?” A knowing nod and a polite “You’ll be surprised” was all you got. We are and it is, to coin some street argot, “totally wicked!”
On Feb. 20 the world’s newest sports car company released the figures and, as any auto buff would expect, from McLaren were always going to be impressive. They are and are what you would expect from a company that has won 163 Grands Prix, 12 F1 World Championship Driver's titles and eight Constructor's titles. It remains the only manufacturer to win the F1 World Championship, the Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans – the 'triple crown' of the motor sport world.
Off the line and on hot-weather Corsa tires, the MP4-12C will scorch through the 100kmh mark in 3.1 seconds. That’s less time than it took you to read the last sentence.
If you want to prove that this was no freak, hit the brakes and in 30.5 meters (seven car lengths) you will be ready to repeat the standing start. Keep the right foot down and the crisp seven-speed gearbox will organize your charge to a top speed of 330kmh, flashing through 200kmh in a breath-snatching 8.9 seconds. That makes it even quicker than the legendary McLaren F1 road car, acknowledged by many experts as the best car ever built.
The unique new M838T power unit is a 3.8-liter twin turbo V8 unit, McLaren Automotive-developed engine. It delivers a massive 592 bhp, which is 22 bhp more than the Ferrari 458 Italia and some 40 bhp more than the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4. Maximum torque of 600 Nm is returned at 7,000 rpm.
The MP4-12C's MonoCell carbon-fiber chassis, which weights only 75 kg is incredibly tough and allows the vehicle to weigh in at around 1300 kg. McLaren knows a great deal about the super-strong lightweight chassis; they have been building cars exclusively around the carbon fiber chassis for over 30 years. It was McLaren who introduced the carbon monocoque to formula 1 in 1981.
While it sets new standards for performance across the class, the designers of the MP4-12C were determined that efficiency wouldn’t be overlooked. So while the 12C is the most powerful car in its class, with a CO2 figure of just 279 g/km, each horsepower is produced more efficiently than virtually any car on sale today featuring a petrol, diesel or hybrid engine.
“One fundamental result of this passion to produce a pure McLaren is that the 12C is what I call the AND car. Compared to main rivals, it has better performance AND is more fuel-efficient; it is lighter AND stronger, safer AND fully equipped. It is smaller in its exterior dimensions AND spacious inside, and it has better handling AND is more comfortable,” said Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive’s Managing Director.
AND it will soon be available in the Kingdom.