Currently reading: McLaren MP4 test details revealed
New McLaren supercar is being developed with F1 techniques

McLaren is using F1-style development techniques on the MP4-12C during an extensive testing regime that's taken the car from Germany’s Nurburgring to the Arctic Circle.

Details have emerged of the development programme, which is at its halfway point and is being orchestrated by the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking.

McLaren MP4-12C revealedSee the car on video

The 2009 testing programme has involved heavy mileage at the Nurburgring and Dunsfold Aerodrome. The car has also been cold-weather testing in the Arctic and tested for heat durability in Bahrain.

All the information is fed back to the MTC, where simulation and rapid engineering processes – core aspects of the Formula 1 team testing – are employed to recalibrate the test cars within hours.

“I am really proud of what the team has achieved this year,” said Dick Glover, technical director at McLaren Automotive, who is responsible for the 50-strong testing and development team and the eight development cars that have featured in the 2009 programme.

“Having to develop a brand new range of cars from scratch to the standards expected of McLaren, featuring groundbreaking new structures and powertrain, is the ultimate challenge and one we are relishing.”

Chris Goodwin, chief test driver at McLaren Automotive, said lessons gleaned from both the racing team and the iconic F1 road car are being used on the new MP4-12C.

“We are the most successful ever motor racing team, we designed and built one of the world’s most iconic sports cars in the McLaren F1, and pioneered carbonfibre development on race and road cars,” he added.

“We took those standards into the development programme for the MP4-12C in order to launch a new high-performance sports car comparable with past achievements and offering new levels of performance for the future.”

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blktoy 22 November 2009

Re: McLaren MP4 test details revealed

What have McLaren won in Sports car racing or Rallying ? I think that Porsche is the most successful with Ferrari a close second helped by being given a bigger share of F1 income than the other teams.

REALZEUS 16 November 2009

Re: McLaren MP4 test details revealed

Serious journos though regard the Enzo as the top Ferrari. Ferrari also say the same thing!

When Dennis announced the news of the MP412 he said that weight was in 1400 kg area. Wikipedia knows better then?

Also the 458 has 570 CV, while the 12C "around" 600. What that "around 600" means remains to be seen. The first 458s will be delivered in 2009. People that were in the launch in Maranello know that. ;)

Vertigo 16 November 2009

Re: McLaren MP4 test details revealed

As for this car having great performance, it certainly will have. It is just not as impressive as a 458 Italia as it pumps out the same amount power using twin turbocharging as opposed to natural aspiration

Many motoring journalists (and racing drivers!) consider the turbocharged Ferrari F40 to be the best performance road car of all time, so aspiration type doesn't really have anything to do with how impressive a car is. Nothing wrong with forced induction so long as turbolag is minimal.

1380 kg for the Ferrari, vs 1400 for the McLaren.

Where on Earth did you get that figure? All that's been made public for the MP4-12C is 1300kg - estimated. Check the car's Wikipedia page, or an article from just about anyone except Autocar (who seem to be the only ones not quoting a figure). We don't even know if that's dry or kerb, although admittedly I would imagine it's the former (the 458's figure is its dry weight - add around 60-80 for the kerb). It's very likely to be considerably lighter than the Ferrari.

With an advantage of 40hp and somewhere in the region of 80kg, the McLaren will be significantly faster than the 458 - and for similar money, too.

I expect the Macca to, at best, equal the Fezza but it will be launched 2 years after the latter's launch (late 2011 vs late 2009)! By that time the 458 Scuderia will arrive and will move the ball out of reach for the MP4xxx.

The MP4-12C is due to go on sale in early 2011, and I could be mistaken but I don't think 458 deliveries begin until the new year. Which gives a measly one-year gap....

As for the 458's hardcore variant, the McLaren is getting one too.