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McLaren boosts MP4-12C supercar

Big Mac with the lot: McLaren is offering existing owners of its MP4-12C supercar a free set of technical updates to ensure they benefit from running changes.

Existing McLaren MP4-12C customers get free upgrade including 19kW power boost

McLaren logo8 Jun 2012

BRITISH supercar brand McLaren has announced an update to its MP4-12C supercar that results in engine output increasing 19kW to 466kW, crisper throttle response, quicker and slicker gear changes and a more evocative, programmable engine note.

The updates are based on customer feedback and McLaren has decided to offer the changes to existing owners of the $490,000 MP4-12C at no cost, including those who are not the original purchaser.

McLaren Automotive Asia Pacific PR Manager Maxi Polz told GoAuto that MP4-12C owners can obtain the upgrades by making an appointment with their dealer, which in Australia is currently limited to Trivett Classic’s Sydney showroom.

Remapping the MP4-12C’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine to produce extra power has had no effect on its relatively frugal fuel consumption figure of 11.7 litres per 100 kilometres or its 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.1 seconds.

However top speed is up three clicks to 333km/h, a tenth of a second is shaved off the 0-200km/h time (8.8s) and a whole second is lopped off the 0-300km/h time (26.5s).

The quarter-mile is achieved in 10.6s at 219km/h, a tenth quicker with a 1km/h faster terminal speed.

42 center imageA software recalibration in the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is claimed to improve throttle response and clutch control, resulting in smoother, faster gear changes.

In addition to varying the amount of engine noise entering the cabin by adjusting the powertrain mode selector between Normal Sport and Track settings, the updated MP4-12C includes an option to specify how much sound is transmitted in each mode via a menu displayed in the instrument cluster.

Usability improvements are also included, such as automatic headlights that are also activated by the rain sensor.

Cars with the Meridian premium audio system receive upgraded equaliser settings and those fitted with electrically-adjustable seats gain a memory function that returns them to the position they were in following use of the easy-exit feature that moves the seat backwards to simplify egress.

All new cars from October production will get the upgrades as standard, plus an updated climate control system with a new ‘Auto Lo’ mode that backs off the ventilation fans in order to reach the selected cabin temperature more quietly.

McLaren has also replaced the door entry system’s touch sensor with a button, but the doors can still be unlatched using the key fob.

A suspension lift function will also be added, which at speeds of up to 60km/h raises the car 40mm at the front and 25mm at the rear for negotiating obstacles like speed humps.

Other changes include a new Volcano Yellow premium paint finish, an additional five-spoke alloy wheel design and fresh interior trim options plus the choice of having the McLaren emblem in Stealth grey instead of the traditional Rocket red.

McLaren Special Operations, the bespoke customisation service launched last August, will take responsibility for the Racing Green exterior colour and the Driver Zone interior options, which create a separate colour-coordinated area around the driver’s seat in contrast to the rest of the cabin.

McLaren Automotive Managing Director Antony Sheriff said the company’s racing heritage meant “it is in our nature to continuously seek out improvements”.

“The team at McLaren Automotive recognises that our existing and future customers deserve the very best product and service we can offer, and the launch of the enhanced 12C reaffirms its position as the most powerful luxury sports car among its competitor set.”

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