That was quick – barely a month after McLaren made it very clear that its 12C was to soldier on alongside the new 650S, reports are now coming in that the junior supercar will be axed after all. Production of the McLaren 12C was suspended shortly after the 650S was announced – the company insisted that it was temporary, but the car now seems to be dead for good.
In a letter purportedly sent out to owners, McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt said that the demand for the 650S was so great (there is a six-month waiting list already) that the company has decided to cease production of the 12C and dedicate all of its factory’s capacity to the new model.
The announcement comes as no surprise – the nearly £30,000 (RM163,000) increase in price of the 650S may initially seem a little steep, but so many of the expensive options of the 12C (including the carbon ceramic brakes and full Alcantara interior) have now been made standard that together with the hardware upgrades and increased performance the new car is now arguably a bargain.
Never one to leave current owners in the lurch with what is now an outdated supercar, however, the company has extended a helping hand in the form of a Technology Upgrade, which brings some (not all, so don’t get too cheeky with your local McLaren dealer) of the 650S’ features to the 12C.
One of the changes concerns the rear spoiler, which will now move up whenever the car senses extra downforce is needed, rather than simply flipping up as an air brake or rising manually in “Aero” mode. The update also includes a Drag Reduction System (DRS) mode which will drop the spoiler when accelerating in a straight line.
Also included are updates to the Android-based IRIS infotainment system, as well as controls to lower the side windows externally to aid entry in confined spaces. And the best part? It’s all for free. In addition, the company is offering two new features from the 650S – a rear-view camera as well as DAB digital radio – as cost options for 12C owners.
McLaren is no stranger to this sort of goodwill, of course – in 2012, the company offered the suite of enhancements going onto the 2013 model year MP4-12Cs (including a power boost of 25 hp, sharper throttle response, faster gearshifts as well as buttons that replace the touch-sensitive system used to open the doors) to existing owners, also for free.
McLaren 12C Coupe and Spider at McLaren Kuala Lumpur
McLaren 650S Coupe and Spider at Geneva 2014