Ron Dennis' McLaren Automotive will unveil the McLaren F1's successor this Wednesday. Called the MP4-12C the supercar promises to lead the pack in technical innovation.
Come Wednesday the 9th of September McLaren Automotive will unveil one of the most anticipated supercars of the year, if not this decade. Following months of many spy shots and some official details, the MP4-12C will be presented.
Previously known by its codename P11, the car will go on sale in 2011 and will be a spiritual successor to the McLaren F1 supercar going head-to-head with the Porsche 911 Turbo and Ferrari 458 Italia.
It is expected to lead the field in technical innovation thanks to its Formula One association. Details obtained by WCF state the MP4-12C will have a carbon-fiber monocoque body structure. However, the big innovation is in direct correlation to its namesake, the MP4-12 F1 racecar from 1997. First seen on this racecar, but subsequently banned by the FIA, the MP4-12C will incorporate technology known as a "brake steering" system. It will allow the driver to brake either rear wheels via a selectable second brake pedal resulting in reduced wheelspin and the elimination of understeer.
Power will be sourced from a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V8 petrol engine and accessed through a 7-speed gearbox which will reportedly pump out 600 to 700bhp. Although the MP4-12C is meant to be a supercar worthy of the tag, its makers are not skimping on its everyday usability. As such the 200mph-plus road runner will have goodies like wi-fi connection, an onboard computer and self-adjusting suspension. Apparently it also comes with vertically opening doors.
As already stated in previous reports this car will not be an only child. CEO Ron Dennis stated that his company is not just building one car but is actually building a brand. Therefore expect to see a total of three models over the next six years, culminating in annual sales of about 4,000. In comparison Ferrari produces about 6,000 cars a year while Porsche is said to be facing a culling of its high-selling non-sports car models under its new VW home.
Of the three upcoming cars the MP4-12C is the midsized one, said to have a future price tag of £150,000 (US$246,000). A 911 rival will launch for about £60,000 (US$98,400) and a Lamborghini Murcielago competitor will round out the initial lineup.
Looking at the rendering posted above, a WCF source states it is very close to the real thing except the headlamps which are more boomerang shaped. Perhaps an early design draft.