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So long, farewell McLaren 12C

The year was 2009. Ferrari had just released the all-new 458 Italia and was making quite loud noises about it, and rightfully so. The 458 was an astonishing bit of kit and amazingly, five years later, it's still shrugging off most of the competition. Enter McLaren, a company who have kept rather quiet since the amazingly quick F1 from the mid-nineties. For a few years, they were developing a rather anonymous car. Closer towards the release of this mystery thing, they revealed just how science-y it was. A full tub-like bodyshell that's superlight made the base of the car, kitted with clever electronic independant suspension, a revvy 3.8L V8 and performance to embarrass that silly little Italian horse company.

Along came early 2010, and viola, out came the McLaren MP4-12C. I can assure that McLaren did not release a £168,000 video file, but rather a car which really made the 458 sweat. The car got rave reviews for its insane speed and just how well the technology works to help deliver the best drive possible.

But we mustn't forget; the 12C was absolutely riddled with faults. Adding two turbos to the engine certainly gives neck-cracking acceleration, but it really doesn't help the noise at all. Compared to the 458's 'look at me sounding very sexy' soundtrack, the 12C is somewhat more muffled than that.

This is no ordinary production line
When Top Gear got their hands on it, Clarkson claimed that the extreme science and technology that had been used to make the car gave a really capable car, but it left no room for soul - something the Italians are very good at doing.

So the 12C wasn't perfect, but that didn't stop it from being loved. Especially when you consider this was McLaren's first 'normal' supercar (if that's technically possible). McLaren had shown the world its niche: science, and whether you like that or not, you cannot argue that it produces some really gobsmacking cars.

These days, I really do mean cars, not just car. McLaren is currently on a roll; the P1 sold out pretty much instantly, there is a new 'baby' McLaren on the way and now, ladies and gentleman, all hail the new 650S.

OK, McLaren really do need to work on their naming department, but just look at it! From what I can see, it has taken all the best parts from the P1 and 12C and combined them together to reach this, this beauty, this amazing thing. I am literally that lost for words. However, I do know that not many people share my opinion; some would call the 650S plain ugly. I wish to slap those people.

McLaren claimed the 650S would be built alongside the 12C as a quicker alternative, but they weren't kidding anybody - this was going to be the replacement for the 12C. Luckily, as Chris Harris found out, this car is every good bit of the 12C turned up to 11. And with 641bhp, 0-60 done in 3.0 seconds, ceramic brakes as standard and a more sophisticated version of the clever suspension, it's not hard to see how.

Sure enough, McLaren said only yesterday that actually the 12C production will be ceased. What a surprise. However, the 12C will be sorely missed. It is the car that kick-started McLaren once again and is genuinely good looking if nobody fancies the P1-styled 650S.

They also reported their first ever profit since re-appearing five years ago. Well done, guys.
So long, farewell McLaren 12C So long, farewell McLaren 12C Reviewed by Jack Cooper on April 04, 2014 Rating: 5

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