Video - McLaren Automotive Reveals Details of its Next Generation of Prototypes

Written By:
Photography by: McLaren Automotive
The McLaren MP4-12C Top View
The McLaren MP4-12C Top View Source McLaren Automotive
Image Gallery
The McLaren MP4-12C Front 3Q The McLaren MP4-12C Top View The McLaren MP4-12C  Side View The McLaren MP4-12C Front View Gullwing Doors Open The McLaren MP4-12C Profile The McLaren MP4-12C Profile Door Open
McLaren MP4-12C at the McLaren Technology Centre The McLaren MP4-12C interior The McLaren MP4-12C Carbon MonoCell  McLaren MP4-12C inside McLaren Technology Centre McLaren MP4-12C at the McLaren Technology Centre McLaren MP4-12C and the McLaren F1 (1993-1998)
McLaren M838T engine McLaren lightweight compound brake system McLaren Proactive chassis control suspension The McLaren MP4-12C Interior The McLaren MP4-12C Front View McLaren MP4-12C at the McLaren Technology Centre
McLaren MP4-12C at the McLaren Technology Centre McLaren MP4-12C 3Q Rear McLaren MP4-12C 3Q Rear Automatic Spoiler


Development of the groundbreaking McLaren MP4-12C is entering its final phase. The bespoke high-performance sports car is due to launch in 2011, and right now the latest Experimental Prototype (XP) 12Cs are undergoing intensive appraisal at a number of test locations around the world.


One such site is Spain’s Applus IDIADA facility, the most comprehensive independent proving ground in Europe.  McLaren Automotive recently obtained special permission to capture on camera the XP Beta cars in action at Applus IDIADA, and on public roads in the foothills near Tarragona.  The result is the second in the ‘Inside McLaren Automotive’ series of short films. This gives viewers a unique insight into a performance car testing programme from the perspective of the development team responsible for the 12C.


Featured in the short film are XP8 and XP10, two XP Beta-phase prototypes. Wrapped almost entirely in matt black vinyl, XP Beta cars are clearly discernable from 2009’s XP cars, which were seen in the ‘Inside McLaren: Developing the MP4-12C” video sporting a black and white contrasting camouflage exterior.


The XP Beta test cars feature significant technological advancements that take the 12C nearer to production.  A revised iteration of the M838T twin-turbo engine, transmission featuring new gear ratios, a more efficient cooling package, new suspension geometry and upgraded electrical architecture are the headline features of current prototypes, denoting key differences between XP and XP Beta cars.


Indicative performance figures generated by the XP Beta cars are expected to be announced in March, but feedback from February’s testing suggests that McLaren Automotive’s aspirations to out-perform its competitors appear well-founded.


A core team of 20-25 Vehicle Technicians travel with the XP Beta cars and are on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week to support a test programme that mirrors the intensity of developing a Formula 1 car.  Meanwhile, a further 12 Vehicle Development Engineers are responsible for specific technologies and systems being appraised while out on test.


Mark Vinnels, McLaren Automotive Programme Director, is leading the engineering team and said: “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 includes 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.”



2013 McLaren 12C GT3 off to a winning start
2013 McLaren 12C GT3 off to a winning start

McLaren GT kicked off the 2013 European GT season in style, with French rally-ace Sébastien Loeb claiming victory in the opening round of the FIA GT Series at Nogaro...

McLaren 12C GT3 confirmed  eligible for Pirelli World Challenge
McLaren 12C GT3 confirmed eligible for Pirelli World Challenge

McLaren 12C GT3 has been confirmed as eligible for the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC), by the series organizers following a strong competitive debut season in Europe. This announcement means that the British-built racer is now able to compete in North America for the first time...

McLaren P1 the number cruncher
McLaren P1 the number cruncher

McLaren Automotive has released the final numbers, images and information relating to its phenomenal McLaren P1™ ahead of a global reveal in just a few days at the 83rd International Geneva Motor Show. ...

EuroCar News on youTube Follow eurocarnews on Twitter