The McLaren MP4-12C was the first real McLaren since the incredible F1 back in the 1990s. It didn’t just signal a return of McLaren as a high-performance vehicle manufacturer, but it marked a new era in the supercar segment. In a way, it was the genesis, paving the road for future McLarens and even other rivals thanks to the challenging competition it provided.
The first 12C was unveiled back in 2009 but production actually launched in mid-2011. With a carbon fiber composite chassis and smart tech, it’s still one of the best supercars to date. McLaren used their F1 experience accumulated over the decades of competitive racing to create the 12C, and that really shines through in the way it drives.
One such technology is brake steer. It works on a basic principle but is extremely difficult to implement. The computer applies the brakes on the inside wheel to reduce its speed and effectively understeer. It also featured an independent hydraulic suspension, which none of its rivals had. In its time, it was arguably the most technologically advanced car of its kind.
2014 McLaren MP4-12C Spider – a powertrain like no other
The 12C was the first to utilize the by now well-known M838T unit developed in-house by McLaren. It’s a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 delivering 616 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque in the 12C. Power is naturally sent to the back via a lightning quick seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that offers fast and precise shifts.
An MP4-12C Spider was also available, but it was renamed the 12C Spider in 2012. This particular model for sale in Los Angeles, California, is one of the last 12C Spiders ever built, as production ended in 2014 to make way for the 650S. With just 6,330 miles, it’s one of the most preserved 12Cs as well.
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