• Ferrari-beating performance
  • Exclusivity
  • Ultramodern construction
  • Unproven reliability
  • Restrained styling
SUM UP The first road-legal McLaren in the United States.

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for MP4-12C in 2012

This is McLaren's second-ever roadgoing car and the first sold in America. A competitor to the Ferrari 458 Italia in every performance measure, the MP4-12C is the result of fanatical attention to lightweight construction. It uses a 165-pound carbon-fiber monocoque, something rarely seen outside of racing. The MP4-12C wasn't designed to set any specific record, just to be the best-performing supercar in its segment...
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The British gentleman to Ferrari's boisterous 458, the MP4-12C is a supercar with a measure of restraint. Its styling is far more understated than the Ferrari's, but the McLaren houses technological innovations taken straight from Formula 1. Chief among them is its carbon-cell construction, but the 12C contains some other tricks that even Ferrari hasn't managed. Its advanced suspension trades antiroll bars for a hydraulic system of interconnected dampers that almost completely eliminates unwanted body motions and at the same time allows this supercar to ride almost like a luxury car. Under heavy braking, an air brake deploys in the rear to help slow the vehicle. Rather than rely on displacement and revs, the 12C uses two turbochargers to boost power and keep fuel consumption in check. The 3.8-liter V-8 engine uses a flat-plane crank, like Ferrari's V-8s, so the sound coming from the high-mounted rear exhausts is pure supercar. However, even though its tone is supercar, the volume isn't. It runs quietly enough that it won't disturb the neighbors, and in the cabin, a guttural intake honk is the dominant sound. By the time the tach needle hits its 8500-rpm redline, the turbos are well out of lung capacity, but the MP4-12C sprints to 62 mph in as little as 3.1 seconds, and top speed is 205 mph. The 12C's interior is superbly finished and fabulously refined. This is a supercar that you could easily spend days in--whether beating on Ferraris at the track or running to the supermarket for that special bottle of olive oil.

The Range

Drive: Rear-wheel
Trim Level: MP4-12C
Body Style: Coupe, 2-passenger
Engine: 3.8L twin-turbo V-8, 592 hp, 443 lb-ft
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Passenger Volume: N/A
Cargo space: N/A


The MP4-12C uses an ultrastrong carbon-fiber monocoque with aluminum crash structures bolted front and rear. It has front air bags, ABS, and traction and stability control, as well as a rear air brake actuated by transmission fluid pressure.

EPA Fuel Economy

All: N/A

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