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2012 McLaren MP4-12C Previewed In San Jose

Michael Sheena's picture

In advance of of McLaren San Francisco opening in Palo Alto next summer, dealer Tom Price and McLaren USA held a special event at Club Sportiva in San Jose.

The McLaren F1 sports car is the stuff of legends. Now years later, McLaren Automotive looks to once again capture the hearts and minds of auto enthusiasts with the twin-turbo, 592 HP McLaren MP4-12C. Today the Northern California dealer for McLaren, Tom Price, held a small media preview in San Jose.

The MP4-12C received its name in a unique way. When McLaren Automotive Executive Chairman Ron Dennis bought into McLaren in 1981 he came from Project Four racing, so the MP4 equals McLaren Project Four. The 12 equals some sort of co-efficient of efficiency, but representatives did not elaborate on this and the C stands for carbon fiber.

The first production cars will arrive from England around July of next year and will be available in limited quantities. McLaren hopes to walk a fine line between restricting production to preserve values and exclusivity but avoiding a snobbish "give us a deposit and if you are lucky you'll get a car when we say so" attitude.

Besides the light weight nature of the car, McLaren also intends for this to be a vehicle that could be a daily driver. We're not sure who would brave the wild streets for day to day combat with such a car, but with the Proactive Chassis Control they'll be comfortable.

Pricing for the 12C will start in the $225,000 and $250,000 neighborhood and move up from their depending on what options you equip your car with. For example, there is a carbon fiber dress up kit for the engine bay, IRIS navigation system and track data display with data acquisition capability.

One unique trick with the optional track data system is the ability to film your exploits with the on-board camera and then transfer the files via WiFi for YouTube glory.

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