Even if the official launch date for the new MP4-12C has been announced to be in mid May for Europe and in September for the USA customers, McLaren has offered to a limited number of auto journalists the opportunity to test three of its dynamics testing "mules" on a 2.9 mile long autodromo in Portugal.
Speaking in terms of design, there are some elements that can make the new MP4 stand out in the crowd no matter how busy is the race track. First of all, we have the twin side huge air intakes that help the car's radiator cool down and we also have the twin exhaust pipes placed in the middle of the rear fascia. Alongside, the car also benefits both visual and functional from the 19 inch front and 20 inch rear wheels dressed in the new Pirelli P Zeros.
While still being in the final development phase the 2012 McLaren MP4-12C had revealed some of its secrets on the Portimao autodromo. Starting the 592 hp 3.8 liter bi-turbo power unit, the driver has the opportunity of selecting between two different sets of setting that can help the car change from an over the average sports car to a wild track monster. Also, mated to the above named engine, the SSG seven-speed gear box can be controlled by a small rocker arm placed on the steering column that even if it takes some time to adjust to,once you did, it feels like second nature.
McLaren has fitted the MP4 with a MPCC system (McLaren ProActive Chassis Control) that uses adaptive dampers and hydraulic roll control instead of the old anti-roll braces. Also, the MP4-12c features a unique F1 derived rear-axle Brake Steer that uses torque vectoring in order to "feel" and prevent over or under steering by lightly braking the inside rear wheel on curve exists.
Last but not least, the car also stops in style, using either the original aluminum-lead compound or optional ceramic Brembo brakes. Moreover, the tested cars were able to come to a quick stop, also helped by the rear air brake that lifts itself just enough to help the car stop and then goes back to its place.
It seems that this car is really worth driving so if you are into adrenaline rush and you have about $240,000 to spare, keep them until September and buy one of this beauties and you won't regret it.
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