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McLaren Reveals Next Generation Prototypes - Web Exclusive

Feb 23, 2010

See the videos at www.youtube.com/eurotuner

Development of the McLaren MP4-12C is entering its final phase and the high-performance sports car is due to launch in 2011. Right now, the latest Experimental Prototype (XP) 12Cs are undergoing intensive appraisal at a number of test locations around the world.

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One such site is Spain’s Applus IDIADA facility, the most comprehensive independent proving ground in Europe. McLaren Automotive recently obtained permission to video XP Beta cars in action at Applus IDIADA and on public roads in the foothills near Tarragona. The result is the second in the ‘Inside McLaren Automotive’ series of short films you can see at youtube.com/eurotuner The video gives viewers a unique insight into a performance-car testing program from the perspective of the development team responsible for the 12C.

Featured in the short film are XP8 and XP10, two XP Beta-phase prototypes wrapped almost entirely in matte black vinyl. T he XP Beta test cars feature significant technological advancements that take the 12C nearer to production. A revised iteration of the M838T twin-turbo engine, transmission featuring new gear ratios, a more efficient cooling package, new suspension geometry and upgraded electronics are the headline features of current prototypes, denoting key differences between XP and XP Beta cars.

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Indicative performance figures generated by the XP Beta cars are expected to be announced in March, but feedback from February’s testing suggests that McLaren Automotive’s aspirations to out-perform its competitors appear well-founded.

A core team of 20-25 Vehicle Technicians travel with the XP Beta cars and are on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week to support a test program that mirrors the intensity of developing a Formula 1 car. Meanwhile, a further 12 Vehicle Development Engineers are responsible for specific technologies and systems being appraised while out on test.

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