Tweaks to MP4-12C are designed to give the new supercar a stronger emotional pull
20 July 2011

The first McLaren MP4-12Cs to reach customers this week will come with a raft of changes designed to bolster the “emotional appeal” of the new £168,500 supercar.

McLaren has been stung by criticism from the car’s press launch. Almost all the world’s major automotive press, including Autocar, placed the MP4-12C below the Ferrari 458 Italia in tests because it lacked the aural drama and sense of occasion to match its pace and dynamic ability.

See pics of the McLaren MP4-12C

Chief among the changes are an improved throttle response and a “fruitier” exhaust note. A McLaren spokesman said these were changes that had been planned anyway, but the press criticism — and McLaren’s “Formula 1 mentality” — had “upped the pace” of development.

“We want drivers to enjoy the car a bit more,” he said. “The changes don’t lead to any performance increase, but they do lead to an emotional increase when you drive the car.”

Read our full road test of the McLaren MP4-12C

The changes apply only when the MP4-12C is in Track mode. Many of the tweaks are to the car’s Intake Sound Generator, which controls the amount of noise coming from the engine bay into the cabin. A tube containing a butterfly valve runs from the engine’s plenum chamber to the cabin. The valve now opens wider in Track mode.

“It was a bit too sensible before,” said the spokesman, “You won’t notice the changes in normal mode, just when you’re really having fun and pushing it.”

Mark Tisshaw

See all the latest McLaren reviews, news and video

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2.0 TDI 4Motion front view
    First Drive
    17 February 2017
    Latest Passat Alltrack is one of the best examples of that most inoffensive of things, the all-seasons estate
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 1.0 T-GDi 120 SE Nav front view
    First Drive
    17 February 2017
    A UK drive in the Hyundai i30 reveals a rounded and capable hatchback, but not one to challenge the class best
  • Peugeot 5008
    First Drive
    16 February 2017
    Handsome seven-seater offers a smart interior with certain key practicality benefits, but it’s a slightly mixed bag to drive.
  • Car review
    15 February 2017
    The fifth-gen Discovery is simply one of the world's most capable cars, even with the addition of a 2.0-litre engine
  • Tesla Model X
    Car review
    15 February 2017
    The electric propulsion pioneer takes aim at the seven-seat SUV market