2e17c7e15c868210VgnVCM200000e66411acRCRDapproved/thenational/Articles/Migration/2009-Q3What's in a name? The MP4-12C1e17c7e15c868210VgnVCM200000e66411ac____What's in a name? The MP4-12CMcLaren officially took the wraps off of its much-anticipated road car this week and added a surprising twist: what was up until now known as the P11 will go under the convoluted moniker of the MP4-12C when it goes on sale in 2011.<p>McLaren officially took the wraps off of its much-anticipated road car this week and added a surprising twist: what was up until now known as the P11 will go under the convoluted moniker of the MP4-12C when it goes on sale in 2011.
Fortunately, the strikingly beautiful lines of the car are enough to make anyone forget about its name.
The two-seat, mid-engine supercar has been undergoing testing all over the world, including Bahrain, for much of this year. Spy shots have caught the heavily clad McLaren at sites such as the Nürburgring track in Germany (as featured in last week's Motoring), but this is the first time the company has allowed the public to see the car in its entirety.</p>
<p>The swooping body is built around a carbon fibre monocoque McLaren calls a Carbon Monocell. The shape of the body was dictated first by aerodynamics.
"All the fins, vents and the flat underbody are there for a reason," says Frank Stephenson, the company's automotive design director, in a press release. "No styling addenda have been incorporated for appeal or style alone. This aerodynamic purity explains why this car can hit top speed with great stability without resorting to tea tray wings or deep front air dams."</p>
<p>Light weight was also a priority in the MP4-12C's design. For example, it features brake discs with aluminium hubs that save 8kg, and radiators are mounted in the back to cut down on tubing and fluid.
Power comes from a McLaren- designed and built 3.8L, twin-turbocharged V8 that the company says produces around 600hp and 600Nm of torque. McLaren claims it produces 80 per cent of this massive torque below 2,000rpm. The company also says that, in a horsepower-to-CO2 emissions ratio, the 12C will be the most efficient car on the road - hybrids and diesels included.</p>
<p>Power will go through a Seamless Shift, seven-speed, double clutch gearbox.
Other highlights include Brake Steer, which helps the car in sharp turns and was developed in McLaren's Formula One racers, an air brake and side inlets that mimic the company's logo.
The MP4-12C will be McLaren's first road car that they will sell through their own dealerships. Previously, the company's F1 road car was available only from the factory. The company later teamed with Mercedes on the McLaren SLR, of which production is ending this year.</p>