Continuing its Middle East expansion program, and after visiting Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina F1 track, the McLaren MP4-12C goes to Bahrain, where chief test driver Chris Goodwin takes it round the region’s first F1 circuit and explains what makes it one of the fastest, and one of the most refined, super cars you can buy today. That said, the Launch of the new 12C Spider will render this version completely pointless.
The 12C Spider will offer all the good things the MP4 does, but with a folding hardtop. It is a complete no-brainer choosing between the two.
For 2013 the MP4-12C has been updated. A focus on drivetrain development has given McLaren Automotive’s engineers the opportunity to increase the McLaren MP4-12C’s 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 output from 600PS (592hp) to 625PS (616hp). The redesigned engine mapping has not altered the remarkable efficiency of the M838T engine, with 12C CO2 emissions remaining at just 279 g/km, and fuel economy recorded on the EU combined cycle at 24.2 mpg (11.7 l/100km).
Modification of the 7-Speed SSG transmission to which the McLaren MP4-12C’s high-powered engine is mated has resulted in crisper throttle response and improved clutch control for gear changes that are both faster and smoother.