End of the road for McLaren MP4-12CComment on this story
Woking, Surrey - McLaren Automotive has announced that it is to cease production of its MP4-12C - but for the best possible reason.
With a six-month backlog of orders for the recently-launched 650S (which is, after all, a 12C upgraded with some of the new technology developed for the P1 supercar), the original plan to build the 12C and the 650S on the same production line has had to be dropped - there just isn't enough space in the workshop.
So, after three years and about 3500 examples - not a bad output for a car built in a Formula One workshop - future production will concentrate on the 650S.
However, a number of improvements and upgrades were incorporated into the 12C production line during those three years and, as a final hurrah and a thank-you to its first customers, McLaren has put together a free technology upgrade, which will be available to all MP4-12C owners from June 2014, to bring their cars up to as close as possible to the same specification as the final, fully developed production version.
NEW ACTIVE AERO SOFTWARE
It includes new Active Aero software that allows the 12C's existing airbrake to 'sense' different driving scenarios, deploying to improve stability when lifting off the throttle or cresting a hill - is in addition to the usual airbrake position under heavy braking.
The new system also includes a drag reduction mode that lowers the wing when driving at speed in a straight line, to improve high-speed aerodynamics.
The technology upgrade also includes improvements to the functionality and usability of the Android-based IRIS system, and later 12C models with door buttons will also get an external control to lower the windows, making it easier to open the doors in confined spaces.
The maker is also offering a special price on two new features introduced with the 650S: the reversing camera and digital audio band radio - although it warns that, depending on the model year of your car, it may not be possible to fit some of the hardware.
Contact your local McLaren dealer, who will be able to give you more details about what's available to update your MP4-12C.