McLaren MP4-12C: Development Video

Judging by the number of emails we received following Chris Hrabalek’s controversial design review of the McLaren MP4-12C, there is immense interest – and very strong feelings – when it comes to the new, high-performance British sportscar. Some agreed with Hrabalek’s assessment that the MP4-12C is, in stylistic terms, a ‘missed chance’. Others (the majority, as it happens) disagreed vehemently.

Either way, the on-going story of the car’s development is something which fascinates us all, so here is the first in a series of short videos which takes us inside the brand-new car company, McLaren Automotive, to reveal a little more about the new sportscar and the place of its birth.

Sadly, McLaren is not quite as open as we’d like. It’s a shame, for example, that Technical Director Dick Glover’s description of the F1 simulator is accompanied by footage not of the simulator itself – but of a shiny white door behind which, presumably, it sits. Nevertheless, the little we are told about the MP4-12C’s testing programme, prior to the first model going on sale in Spring 2011, makes for unmissable viewing…

As the video shows, testing has already taken place at some of the world’s most famous race circuits and most inhospitable driving environments, from the dry, cold, ice-and-snow conditions of the Arctic, to the hot, humid, sand-soaked air of the Middle East.

McLaren Automotive’s Chief Test Driver, Chris Goodwin, summed up the pressures on the development team with the words, “We are the most successful ever motor racing team, we designed and built one of the world’s most iconic sportscars in the world in the McLaren F1, and we pioneered carbonfibre development on race and road cars. We took those standards into the development programme for the MP4-12C in order to launch a new, high-performance sportscar comparable with past achievements and offering new levels of performance for the future.”

And whatever Chris Hrabalek had to say about the appearance of the MP4-12C, he had nothing but praise for what lies beneath the skin, calling it “one of the tastiest technical packages in the industry”.

We look forward to bringing you further development videos in the future.

Text: Charis Whitcombe
Photos: McLaren

ClassicInside - The Classic Driver Newsletter
Free Subscription!