2012 McLaren 12C
Year of manufacture2012
Number of seats2
2012 McLaren MP4-12C Coupé
Registration no. not UK registered
Chassis no. SBM11AAB9CW000465
Engine no. 38JBAA110555
Having astonished the world with its debut supercar of 1992 - the iconic, Le Mans-winning F1 - McLaren re-established itself at the head of the exclusive '200mph' club with the MP4-12C. Publicly unveiled in September 2009, the mid-engined MP4-12C commenced manufacture at McLaren's new state-of-the-art factory at Woking in mid-2011, just after production of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren model had ceased. Its stylist was Frank Stephenson, who had been recruited from Alfa Romeo Centro Stile following spells with Ferrari and FIAT.
Like its F1 and SLR predecessors, the MP4-12C used a carbon-fibre 'MonoCell' body tub, albeit one that now took considerably less time to produce thanks to advances in composites manufacturing technology. This time the occupants' two seats were arranged conventionally side by side, unlike the F1's unusual three-abreast layout, which placed the driver in the centre, though the use of dihedral doors maintained a familial link with the F1.
BMW and Mercedes-Benz respectively had supplied engines for the F1 and SLR, but for the MP4-12C, McLaren decided to develop its own. The rights to an Indy Car V8 racing engine were acquired from Tom Walkinshaw Racing, and with assistance of Ricardo this was transformed into a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged unit suitable for a road car. Manufactured by Ricardo at its Shoreham-by-Sea factory, the M838T engine produced 592bhp initially (more following upgrades) with 80% of its maximum torque available as low as 2,000 revs. Power was transmitted via a dual-clutch 'seamless shift' seven-speed semi-automatic gearbox - technology developed in Formula 1 - that permitted pre-selection of the next gear. Another Formula 1 spin-off was the 'brake steer' technology, which applies the inside rear wheel's brake during hard cornering to counter the effects of understeer.
All modern supercars are designed with racetrack performance as a priority, but with the MP4-12C McLaren pulled off the difficult trick of endowing it with a ride quality approaching that of an luxury saloon. As Autocar observed: 'The 12C's suspension is remarkable for its ability to absorb bumps and maintain an eerie freedom from pitch and roll, regardless of whether you're on a motorway or a mountain pass. To reach the outer limits of the McLaren 12C's ability you'll need a circuit.' And a circuit would certainly be needed to exploit its manufacturer's claimed top speed of 207mph (333km/h), though it is worth mentioning that Sport Auto magazine achieved an indicated 346km/h (215mph) in 'their' car...
The original coupé was followed by the inevitable spider convertible, various higher-specification limited edition versions and a GT3 category racer before production ceased at the end of 2013, by which time the car's name had been shorted to just '12C'.
In 2012 the McLaren MP4-12C was voted 'Best Supercar' and overall 'Car of the Year' at the Middle East Motor Awards so it is not surprising that many found delighted owners in that part of the world, the example offered here being one such. Left-hand drive chassis number '465' was delivered new via McLaren Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
Finished in Graphite Grey, its specification includes the sport exhaust; Alcantara and Carbon Black interior with carbon fibre upgrade; electrically adjustable and heated seat; parking sensors; tyre pressure monitoring; lithium-ion battery charger; fire extinguisher; car cover; ashtray; and branded floor mat set. In addition, this car also has the optional upgrades of carbon ceramic brakes; carbon fibre splitter and diffuser; lightweight forged wheels; Stealth Pack (gunmetal finish to the exhaust and air brake); and the important IRIS upgrade to the infotainment system. Possessing full McLaren service history, this MP4-12C has covered circa 15,000 kilometres from new and comes with a Dubai title document and its manufacturer's extended warranty valid until 2nd March 2017. It should be noted that the car will require Single Vehicle Type Approval to be registered in the UK.