The McLaren MP4-12C has been comprehensively upgraded just a year after going on sale. New features include a 25bhp increase from its twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 to 616bhp, a recalibrated seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox, and a retuned ‘Intake Sound Generator’ (ISG) system that creates greater “aural drama” in the cabin, according to McLaren.
Many of the changes are the result of direct customer feedback, McLaren having sold just shy of 1000 MP4-12Cs. The upgrades will be fitted as standard on all new MP4-12Cs delivered from October, and most of the upgrades can also be fitted retrospectively to existing cars at McLaren dealerships for no cost.
The official 0-62mph time of 3.1sec from the previous car is unchanged, but the 0-124mph and 0-186mph times have been cut by 0.1sec to 8.8sec and by 1.0sec to 26.5sec respectively. Top speed is up 2mph, to 207mph.
The MP4-12C’s power upgrade has not come at the expense of CO2 emissions or fuel economy, which remain at 279g/km and 24.2mpg respectively.
This power upgrade is coupled with the changes to the ‘SSG’ transmission, which McLaren said has been revised to allow for “crisper throttle responses” and “improved clutch control for gear changes that are both faster and smoother”.
The ISG system plays noise from the engine bay directly into the MP4-12C’s cabin. Owners wanted greater variation in how loud the ISG played sound, particularly at low speeds, so the system is now fully adjustable in each of the MP4-12C’s three driving modes: Normal, Sport and Track.
A host of other electric upgrades are included in this revised MP4-12C. These include a system which automatically turns the car’s headlights on when it starts raining and a new mode for the climate control that gets the cabin much cooler more quickly, important in some of the MP4-12C’s key markets such as the Middle East, Asia and North America.
The ground clearance can also be raised by 40mm at the front and 25mm at the rear at speeds of up to 37mph. This feature can’t be retrofitted to existing cars, however.
Another new feature that can’t be retrofitted is a new door entry system. A small button is mounted on each of the MP4-12C’s doors in place of the touch sensor system, customers having asked for a simpler entry system. It is still possible to unlatch the doors using the remote key fob.
Existing owners are able to upgrade to a new function that returns the front seats to their last programmed position at the pull of a lever when they return to the car, the seats moving backwards upon exit to aid getting out.
Styling changes are almost non-existent, save for a revised badge. New colour and alloy wheel designs are available to new customers, as will a new top-spec semi-aniline leather interior. The interior sound system is also upgraded.