McLaren makes Canadian appearance
McLaren automotive gave Canadians journalists a glimpse of its MP4-12C supercar at a low-key luncheon event recently, accompanying announcements that among its 10 North American dealers will be Toronto’s Pfaff Automotive Partners.
Pfaff will break ground on a dedicated Woodbridge, Ont., dealership soon, and would be delighted to arrange shipping to wherever in Canada buyers may be.
Famous for its F1-dominating race car and the Mercedes-built SLR, McLaren promises the MP4-12C will be the first in a line-up of supercars to compete with Italian rivals from Ferrari and Lamborghini.
The two-seater, mid-engine coupe features a dihedral door design and lightweight carbon fibre MonoCell chassis. Its 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 puts out 592 hp @ 7,000 rpm and 443 lb.-ft. of torque at 6,500 rpm is mated to a seven-speed Seamless Shift Gearbox (SSG) with pre-cognition functionality, and F1-style diecast aluminum rocker shift that pivots in the centre of the steering wheel. The SSG lets the driver half-press one of the paddle shifters to preselect the next gear in advance of downshifting or upshifting, dramatically shortening shift time. Three driver modes (normal, sport and track) allow the driver to tailor response to conditions.
Comfort and convenience features are actually pretty decent (and yes, it has cupholders) and include keyless go, electric folding adjustable mirrors, one-touch electric windows, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, seven-inch touch-screen monitor, 40 GB hard drive with media player, am/fm radio, Bluetooth, and USB, PDMI and audio jack ports. It comes with an electronic integrated vehicle owners’ guide and optional IRIS system, which includes 80-GB hard drive with satellite navigation, seven-speaker (four are standard) Meridian surround sound, voice control, WLAN connectivity, home file transfer and picture/video viewer and email.
Keeping the machine lightweight was of primary concern to the manufacturer, leading to an impressive curb weight of 1,360 kg (3,000 lbs.); the floor structure of the passenger compartment, an integral part of the chassis, is a single unit weighing just 80 kg (176 lbs.).
The less-than-excitement-inducing name stems from the MP4 chassis designation used for McLaren’s F1 cars since the early ’80s (McLaren Project 4); the “12” denotes the top tier of McLaren’s internal rating system (which combines power, weight, emissions and aerodynamics); and the “C” stands for the carbon fibre monocell, which allows the McLaren to remain remarkably light. (Yawn.)
Pricing is expected to be in the $250,000 range and will be announced closer to launch. You should be able to bring yours home by next summer.
- Price range: $250,000
- Year/Make/Model: 2012 McLaren MP4-12C
- Options: IRIS System (80-GB hard drive with satellite navigation, 7-speaker Meridian surround sound with Digital Signal Processing, voice control, WLAN connectivity, home file transfer, picture/video viewer and email)
- Competitors: Ferrari 458; Lamborghini Gallardo