The McLaren MP4-12C is about to get some upgrades – including an extra 25bhp – which will also be offered to existing owners free of charge.
On balance, what McLaren has achieved with the MP4-12C is nothing short of remarkable.
Yes, there have been a few glitches along the way, but in truth they have been little more than the sort of hiccups almost any new supercar suffers as it escapes in to the wild and has to deal with the real world and real drivers.
The Ferrari 458 Italia managed to self combust for a while and the Lamborghini Aventador still has gearbox issues as far as we can tell. Yet both these incredible supercars have the backing of two of the world’s biggest car makers – VW with the Aventador and Fiat with the Ferrari. McLaren just has Ron Dennis’s passion.
But that passion for everything on the MP4-12C to be as perfect as possible is revealing a raft of changes to improve the owning and driving experience, many in response to customer feedback.
Even as first customer deliveries were starting, McLaren was already responding to press feedback to improve the 12C, with small tweaks to improve the experience – like lighter paddle shifters, more steering feel and better aural sensations – and a software overhaul of the 12C to remove bugs and irritations like battery drainage and warning lights with a mind of their own.
And now McLaren are upgrading the MP4-12C once more with an extra 25 horses – to yield a total of 616bhp – programmable engine note, remote opening of the passenger door and improvements to the Meridian surround sound system.
In a letter to 12C owners, Anthony Sheriff (McLaren MD) said the new upgrades will be available from October 2012 and would be applied not just to new cars but as a free of charge upgrade for existing owners. Of the power upgrade he said:
…the power output of your 12C will increase by 25 PS to a class-leading 625 PS. Our development team has re-engineered the mapping of the 12C engine to give your car a performance upgrade with significantly improved responsiveness. The 12C’s remarkable CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency figures are unchanged.
All of which is a remarkable example of McLaren’s desire to make the MP4-12C the very best it can be, not just for McLaren and its obsession with perfection but for customers who want soul, as well as perfection.
Update: Although we didn’t intend to infer that Fiat funds Ferrari (rather that Ferrari is owned by Fiat), Ferrari has asked us to point out the following, which we’re happy to do:
Although Fiat owns 90% of Ferrari SpA, Fiat provides no funding for Ferrari’s road car or F1 operations, which are entirely self-funding through the sales of cars, sponsorship, licensing and other commercial arrangements.