The world’s newest sports car company, McLaren Automotive today unveiled the MP4-12C at the Johannesburg International Motor Show. This is the first time the MP4-12C was made available for viewing to the general public in South Africa since November 2010.
Visitors to the region’s leading motor show, held at the Johannesburg Expo Centre from 6-16 October, will be among the very first in South Africa to be able to get up close and personal with the stunning MP4-12C. Drawing on the company’s long-standing Formula 1 experience, the 12C is the first pure McLaren production road car.
The show is in line with the start of business for McLaren and Daytona Group, the retail partner in South Africa. The state of the art showroom and aftersales facility for McLaren customers is due to open at the end of October. The show car on display is the first production car of South African specification.
McLaren Automotive, who unveiled the MP4-12C to the regional press, spoke of the defining moments that have led the company to where it is today and where it is headed in the future, beginning with the opening of McLaren Johannesburg.
These defining moments included the company’s success of winning 1 in every 4 Formula 1 Grand Prix they have ever entered, the launch of the world’s fastest road car, the now iconic McLaren F1 in 1993, and Lewis Hamilton becoming the youngest Formula 1 World Champion in the 2008 season.
More recent defining moments were also highlighted such as the return of McLaren to racing outside of Formula 1 with 20 McLaren MP4-12C GT3 cars being sold to privateer race teams due to compete in Europe in 2012, plus the launch of the new, £40 million McLaren Production Centre adjacent to the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) which will eventually produce up to 4000 cars per year.
To bring to life these defining moments, visitors to the Johannesburg International Motor Show will also have the chance to see the 2007 MP4-22, the car in which Lewis Hamilton competed during his rookie season in Formula 1. This car took him to 6 pole positions and 4 Grand Prix victories.
The McLaren MP4-12C features a revolutionary carbon fibre chassis structure, the Carbon MonoCell: the first time a car in this market segment has been based around such a strong and lightweight racing car engineering solution and the first time any car has ever featured a one-piece moulded carbon fibre structure.
This step change in sports car design means that the 12C introduces new standards not just in handling, ride and outright performance, but also safety, economy and practicality in an already competitive sector.
A high-performance two-seat mid-engine model in the ‘core’ sports car market segment, ranging between R2M to R3.5M, the 12C is pure McLaren featuring no carryover parts from any other car.
When it comes to power, the 12C is equipped with a bespoke McLaren ‘M838T’ 3.8 litre, V8 twin-turbo engine producing around 600PS, driving through a McLaren seven speed Seamless Shift dual clutch gearbox (SSG). Consequently, the 12C can accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in just 3.1 seconds, and on to a top speed of 330 kph.
Commenting on the company’s participation at the show, Tom Pryor, McLaren Automotive’s Marketing and PR Manager for the Middle East and Africa, said: “Such a strong dealer partner as Daytona group offers us the opportunity to further broaden the McLaren customer base worldwide and attending the Johannesburg International Motor Show reinforces our commitment to this market.
“McLaren Automotive and Daytona Group, our retail partner for South Africa, are looking forward to presenting the 12C to the many customers who have already placed a deposit, as well as to the passionate car fans who have heard so much about our highly anticipated debut model,” Pryor concluded.
McLaren Automotive’s presence at the Johannesburg International Motor Show follows its attendance at premier automotive events around the world, such as the famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in the USA and the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the United Kingdom.