The 2012 McLaren MP4-12C is a hit with customers, so the company is giving its buyers a strange sort of thank you gift: 25 more horsepower.
McLaren's attitude towards the 2012 MP4-12C during press testing was remarkable in that the company was simultaneously introducing the car to the world and making subtle, important tweaks to the car. In the last few weeks of testing it made the shift paddle action lighter, tweaked the airbox to provide more aural drama, increased steering feel, and sharpened throttle response. Now, it's adding another round of tweaks to the technological powerhouse.
McLaren says that the 2013 MP4-12C, which bows in September, will have some basic changes to hardware and software. While all 2012 MP4-12Cs had the hardware on board to support both Bluetooth connectivity and GPS navigation, the infotainment system--dubbed IRIS--didn't have the software to support it. For 2013 all MP4-12Cs will get the requisite software, unlocking these features. 2013 models will also get an extra radio antenna, door release push buttons, and improvements to the Meridian surround sound system.
Most importantly, McLaren engineers tinkered with the engine and transmission programming. The result is a power increase of 25 horsepower, and what McLaren says is improved responsiveness in all situations and across the rev range. Add that to the car's already stout power figure of 592 horsepower and you get a total of 617 horses. To put that in perspective, that's 55 more than the MP4's chief rival, the 2012 Ferrari 458 Italia. Even better, it's 5 more horsepower than the original Ferrari 599GTB Fiorano.
What McLaren did with these improvements is a little unconventional, however: it promised the full complement of engine and infotainment software upgrades to 2012 MP4-12C owners at no charge. That software will be available for current owners some time after September, although McLaren also said that cars that are on order and on the line in Woking may already be receiving the upgrades.
At $229,000, the MP4-12C might not be a steal, but this deal does strike us as a good value. We think existing MP4-12C owners--who will be a little less lost and a little bit quicker--should feel the same way.