McLaren MP4-12C HS 

  • $420k built in England
  • 2012
  • 675 HP 3.8L
  • 204 mph
Basically the 12C Spider feels like a 616-hp Lotus Elise, and it’s easy to drive to the point of deception.
by Car and Driver (Oct, 2012)
“Great visibility is better than another 100 hp,” Stephenson said.
by (May, 2014)

Road Tests Real world tests of the McLaren MP4-12C

Top speed

MP4-12C HS
204 mph
162 mph
430 Scuderia
190 mph

1/4 mile

MP4-12C HS
10.9 s
12.3 s
12.3 s

Data points Key details of the McLaren MP4-12C


MP4-12C HS
McLaren P1

Number built

MP4-12C HS
5 cars
McLaren P1
375 cars

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight


McLaren’s math says that the MP4’s broad torque curve and 5.4 pounds per horsepower will trounce Ferrari’s 458 Italia on the run to 60 mph (in three seconds flat) and through the quarter-mile (less than 11 seconds).
by Car and Driver (Feb, 2011)
It verges close enough to perfect that Ferrari will feel the heat of a serious competitor while other supercar makers will struggle to match this combination of value, performance, and technological intrigue.
by Car and Driver (Feb, 2011)
On upshifts especially, we were pre-cogging at around 7,000 revs, which sets up the next gear, and then taking the shift at 7,500 revs.
by AutoBlog (Feb, 2011)


This was accomplished entirely through software tuning; the car's seven-speed, dual-clutch SSG transaxle remains unchanged, though it also benefits from the software update.
But now McLaren wants to take the fight to the street with the all-new MP4-12C, a carbon-fiber-intensive, mid-engine supercar powered by a twin-turbo V-8 that makes 592 horsepower.
by MotorTrend (Apr, 2011)
The Spider also weighs just 88 pounds more than the coupe, mainly due to its retractable roof panels (constructed from the same lightweight composite as the body) and a new exhaust system.


The wheel-mounted paddle shifters require a firm tug that increases the involvement level, and the steering weight is near perfect, with very good accuracy.
by MotorTrend
Its hydraulic suspension so inhibits body roll that it handles tight jinks with a go-kart’s agility.
by Car and Driver (Feb, 2011)
There are two chief clusters: "H" means Handling and it sets the suspension, steering and ESC between normal, sport and track; "P" means powertrain and has the same modes for throttle-engine mapping, gearshifts, as well as management of the intake plenum tone inside the cabin.
by AutoBlog (Feb, 2011)


As with most twin-turbo, small-displacement V-8s, power delivery is a little flat off-boost, but you can easily drive around it.
Mercedes, which owns 40 percent of McLaren Group (including McLaren Racing, the F1 team, McLaren Electronic Systems, McLaren Applied Technologies, and McLaren Automotive) offered an engine for the car, but the MP4-12C is powered by a bespoke 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 with quad cams and four valves per cylinder, a dry sump, and a flat-plane crankshaft.
by MotorTrend (Sep, 2009)
The powertrain is remarkable in its strength and ease-of-use: the MP4 is noticeably quicker than a 458, doesn’t feel that turbocharged and makes a great noise.
by EVO


When you see the MP4-12C in all its carbon-fiber, composite glory, it looks even nicer than it does in photographs.
by (May, 2014)
As with any of these big moments, Stephenson and his team have heard every single "From that angle it looks like a..
by AutoBlog (Feb, 2011)
The MP4-12C's handsome exterior is the work of another American, designer Frank Stephenson, whose credits include the new Mini, the Fiat 500, as well as a stint as Ferrari's design chief.
by MotorTrend (Sep, 2009)

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Brand McLaren
Price $420,000
Type of car Production car
Year 2012
Number built 5 cars


Drivetrain RWD
Gearing Traditional
# of gears 7 gears


Displacement 3,799 cc
Cylinders V8
Fuels Gas
Compression ratio 8.7:1
Bore/stroke 3.7 in / 2.8 in
Valvetrain DOHC
Valves per cylinder 4 valves

road tests

Top speed 204 mph
1/4 mile 10.9 s

power & handling

Power-to-weight ratio 4.68 lb/hp
Maximum hp 675 HP
Max RPM 8,500 RPM
Steering system Rack and pinion

suspension, wheels & brakes

Front brakes Disc
Rear brakes Disc
Front wheels 483/? 216
Rear wheels 508/? 279

physical dimensions

Curb weight 3,162 lb
Width 75.2 in
Height 47.2 in
Length 177.4 in
Front track width 65.2 in
Wheelbase 105.1 in
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