A letter from McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt to existing 12C owners today confirms what
but McLaren had, until now, officially denied; the arrival of the 650S officially signals the end of the 12C.
"After three years of 12C production, this represents a natural evolution of our model line-up," says Flewitt in the letter. "The new car has been so well received since its unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show (we already have a six month order bank) we will focus all our capacity at the McLaren Production Centre on 650S."
That's it, the last 12C has left the building
following our 650S drive
speculated how the rapturous reception for this evolution of the 12C would leave existing owners feeling. Not least as they consider the ongoing
for their cars in the face of them no longer being the newest and latest.
Well, Flewitt has an olive branch for them in the shape of a free upgrade package.
"True to the McLaren ethos, the benefits of such progress are not limited to our new models. As a McLaren owner, we want to be able to share these developments with you with the offer of a free Technology Upgrade available from June," he tells owners. "This package of upgrades will offer new Active Aero software which will allow your 12C's existing Airbrake to 'sense' different driving scenarios, deploying to improve stability when lifting off the throttle or cresting a hill - this is in addition to the usual Airbrake position under heavy braking. The new system also includes a DRS (Drag Reduction System) mode which lowers the wing when driving at speed in a straight line, improving high-speed aerodynamics. The Technology Upgrade also includes improvements to functionality and usability of the Android-based IRIS system. Later 12C models (with door buttons) will further benefit from an external control to lower the windows, to aid easier access in confined spaces."
650S style DRS among upgrades for 12C owners
'Special price' upgrades to 650S DAB and reversing camera are also on offer, though the letter notes "depending on your model year, there may be hardware restrictions."
The package will be available to fit from June and owners are encouraged to contact their dealers to discuss how it will apply to their particular car directly.
Desperate attempt to appease disgruntled existing customers? Or a pragmatic response to the fast-moving evolution of the 12C into the 650S? Over to you...
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