Report: McLaren Releases First Real Images of MP4-12C Exotic

If a picture is worth a thousand words then we have a lot of words for you. After McLaren released a whole bunch of CGI images earlier today, along with specs of the new MP4-12C exotic, the British automaker has now released a gallery of real life images of the car… and it looks even better.

While not quite the full-blown supercar that the F1 was, the MP4 is a serious exotic, aimed squarely a the Ferrari 458 Italia. The powerplant is a twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 engine that makes 600hp and 433 ft-lbs of torque. McLaren says the engine offers the highest horsepower to CO2 ratio of any engine on the market – including hybrids. No performance specs have yet been released but we expect a 0-60 mph time of around 3.5 seconds with a top speed in the 200 mph range.

The V8 engine is mated to a new 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that promises even faster gear changes than conventional systems thanks to the ability to let the driver pre-load a gear by half pressing the shift paddle, which will ready the transmission for the next gear.

What really separates the MP4 from cars like the 458 however is the use of a full-cabon monocoque chassis, rather than a weaker and heavier structure made of welded aluminum, steel, magnesium or other materials. This main chassis component weights just 176 lbs so we should expect the vehicle’s curb weight to be impressively low.

“It is a long-held dream of mine to launch high performance sports cars that set new standards in the industry,” said Dennis.

“We began designing and building cars for aficionados of thoroughbred sports cars almost 20 years ago. Incorporating the leading edge technologies that the McLaren Group has built up within its various companies, I believe we are now perfectly placed to open up this new chapter in McLaren’s history as well as play a part in the regeneration of high-tech manufacturing in the UK and global automotive environment,” he concluded.

The MP4 will go on sale in 2011 with roughly 1000 units being made ensuring the new car is highly exclusive. The car is expected to cost  £160,000 ($265k).

GALLERY: McLaren MP4-12C


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