McLaren MP4-12C: Further Testing of the Latest Experimental Prototypes

Known as ‘XP Beta’ cars, matt-black, plastic-wrapped McLaren MP4-12Cs are being endurance- and performance-tested round the clock, prior to a limited public debut of the car in 2010.

Much of the testing has been carried out at the Spanish Applus IDIADA facility, where the video you see here was shot. The road work was carried out on the public roads in the foothills near Tarragona. Test cars XP8 and XP10 are featured in the video, the second in the ‘Inside McLaren Automotive’ series of short films.

Regular test driver Chris Goodwin is behind the wheel, while Mark Vinnels, the McLaren Automotive Programme Director who is leading the engineering team, sheds some light on these vital, final stages of road and track testing.

He comments:

“There is an extensive list of subjective and objective targets set for our prototype vehicles. These XP Beta cars are already achieving outstanding results in many of the subjective areas, which include ride quality, handling and many other aspects of dynamic performance.

“The benchmark competitor vehicles we have tested become nervous and twitchy at higher speed, but the 12C feels more stable than anything I have driven. Because the bump rejection is so good, the ride is smooth and the steering is solid.

“Between now and production, the vehicles and the team are working flat out. All this is geared towards not just achieving our unprecedented levels of performance but also guaranteeing the levels of quality, reliability and durability with which we expect to delight future McLaren customers.”

After an international press launch of the new company in mid-March, McLaren Automotive will choose select events worldwide to show the MP4-12C to genuine, potential customers. It is extremely unlikely to appear at a motor show this year.

Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: McLaren

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