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Tuesday 19th July 2011


MCLAREN MP4-12C, NOW WITH ADDED 'PHWOARR'

Noisier induction kit amongst raft of pre-delivery tweaks


McLaren has responded at racing speed to feedback from prospects, dealers and the motoring press, announcing a raft of changes designed to improve the 12C's emotional connectivity with its driver.


Top of the list of mods is a new induction acoustic kit that channels noise through the bulkhead into the cabin. It's a philosophical step away from the purist 'performance only' perspective employed by McLaren's race-bred engineers in the original design, but a meaningful nod to a marketplace that understandably buys its supercars for the 'phwoarr' factor.

The new system will be fitted to all customer 12Cs, says McLaren, and according to the esteemed Mr Metcalfe at Evo magazine (who's artfully taking the credit for all the changes), the car now delivers "a proper spine-tingling induction roar as each gear pops through".


Other changes include a lighter, more 'tactile' feel for the car's paddle gear shifts - which originally had a very chunky action akin to the McLaren F1 car set-up - and mods to the steering mounting points designed to improve the feel.

None of this is race-winning stuff, but it's interesting to see how McLaren is responding to a new set of challenges imposed by the expectations of road car drivers.

The speed of reaction is pretty significant, as there appears to have been little navel-gazing or PR bullsh*t expended in justifying the original set-up.

Instead the company has taken criticisms on the chin, and banged out a quick-fire response in much the same ways as if a new F1 aero aid had proved unsuccessful on the race track. Which is pretty cool, if you look at it that way.


Having said that, if McLaren Automotive intends to keep 'fettling' its cars like the race team would, then buyers of early 12Cs will have to hope they're not left behind too quickly. Industry convention would be that significant improvements are what the mid-life facelift was invented for, after all.

First deliveries of the MP4-12C begin in two or three weeks, we're told, which is a little behind the originally scheduled start in May. However, this has more to do with the complications of building a new factory, and the final pre-delivery tweaks reported here have (apparently) not impacted the schedule at all.















Author: Chris-R
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