THE wraps have finally come off McLaren Automotive's first mainstream sports car—Britain's answer to Ferrari's race-bred supercars.
The snappily named McLaren MP4-12C will see the Woking-based outfit begin a sustained assault on the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and Aston Martin.
It is the first all-McLaren product since the staggering McLaren F1 of the early 90s: a car which shook the supercar establishment with its groundbreaking 240mph top speed, 3.2 second sprint to 62mph and, eventually, series of on-track successes.
Now McLaren claim that the MP4-12C is set to re-write the rules of sports car design through Formula 1-inspired engineering, revolutionary chassis architecture, and absolute focus on efficiency.
At its heart, the McLaren MP4-12C features a revolutionary carbon fibre chassis structure, the Carbon MonoCell, and will be the first car ever to feature a one-piece carbon fibre structure.
Power from a 600bhp 3.8 litres twin-turbocharged V8 engine will reach the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox which McLaren spokesmen claim will help the MP4-12C achieve class-leading fuel economy and CO2 emissions as well as performance.
Reinforcing the new supercar's links with McLaren's F1 team, team principal, Martin Whitmarsh, commented: "The 12C, and future variants, draws on the spirit of Formula 1 and delivers real-world technological advances."
The McLaren MP4-12C is expected to cost between £125,000 and £175,000 when it goes on sale in early 2011.