2013 marks the second year of production for the MP4-12C coupe and the first for the MP4-12C spider (convertible) variant, which has a retractable hard-top roof. It returns with a more powerful engine – now tuned to make 616 horsepower – revisions to its transmission responsiveness, and expanded paint, leather and wheel options.
The McLaren MP4-12C is an all-new car, and the first proper, street-legal McLaren since the fabled, million-dollar-plus F1 of the 1990s (the more recent McLaren SLR was built in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz). The 2012 MP4 uses copious amounts of carbon fiber for its strength and weight-saving properties, and a compact V8 engine that makes almost as much power as the F1's big V12.
For decades McLaren cars have proved their mettle on racetracks, and now they are taking on cars such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis in a totally different setting: the showroom. While the U.K. company made a barely-street-legal car in the past – the highly acclaimed F1 – the all-new MP4-12C establishes McLaren as a legitimate player in the elite world of road-ready supercars. The mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive 2-seat coupe distinguishes itself with a surprisingly compliant ride, striking design, a featherweight body, and a voracious V8 engine. Aside from being limited in the number of vehicles coming to the U.S. for 2012, owners will have even more exclusivity since this marks the inaugural year for the MP4-12C. The 2013 model year is set to bring a topless version of the car.