As was widely suspected, the introduction of the new McLaren 650S coupe and Spider means the end of the 12C supercar. McLaren will end production of the 12C (pictured), but plans to sate owners by giving them several free upgrades.
In a letter posted to a McLaren owners' forum, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt confirmed that 12C production will end, in part because the reaction to the new 650S was so positive. Since the car was revealed at the 2014 Geneva auto show, McLaren reportedly has six months' worth of orders for the new supercar. "This represents a natural evolution of our model line-up," Flewitt wrote in the letter. According to Autocar, the McLaren 12C has sold about 3500 units in the past three years.
In an email, a McLaren spokesman in the U.S. confirmed that 12C production has ended. "Demand for the 650S has been so positive that only a few weeks after introduction we already have a six month order-bank. As a result of this, the decision has been made to completely focus the McLaren Production Centre on producing the 650S moving forward," he wrote.
It's not all bad news for owners of the "old" McLaren 12C, however, as the company plans to offer a free Technology Upgrade package later this year. The programming tweak will reportedly improve functionality of the IRIS touchscreen infotainment system and offer new modes for the adaptive Airbrake rear wing. With the upgrade, the rear wing will raise to, "improve stability when lifting off the throttle or cresting a hill," and also will have a Drag Reduction System mode that lowers the wing for improved performance on high-speed straights.
McLaren 12C owners will also be able to pay to add a backup camera and satellite radio, features that were introduced for the new 650S.
The McLaren 650S is essentially an evolution of the 12C. It continues to use the old car's twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-8 engine, but now with 641 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. McLaren claims the 650S coupe will hit 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds, thanks in part to its sticky Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires and the quick shifts of its seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Pricing starts at $265,500 for the McLaren 650S coupe and $287,225 for the 650S Spider.