As the world economy stumbles and stagnates, the world of supercars keeps growing. In the same way that big corporations, despite (really, because of) the bad times, are sitting on lots of cash, so are wealthy investors and those around the world who buy such toys.
They need a place to park their money and a way to—like girls—just have fun. McLaren’s MP4-12C will not disappoint them. There has been much hype for the car, including some from us, and now McLaren Automotive, Inc., has set up its North American headquarters in New York City.
Ten initial dealerships will be created, with six identified for: Beverly Hills, Chicago, Dallas, Greenwich, San Francisco, and Tampa Bay. Others will be selected for: Miami, Orange County (Cal.), Philadelphia, and Toronto.
The company is trying to drive home the point that its marketing and service will be as personalized and unique as the vehicle it’s selling. In the press release, North American Regional Director Tony Joseph tells us that:
Our ambition is to develop and build a better vehicle that is supported by class-leading aftersales, ultimately ensuring better residual values. We will treat customers with respect, and there will be a unique level of transparency in how we conduct ourselves with our retail partners and our customers.
But the big news in all this is still… the car. Its engine (twin-turbos, 592 hp, 443 lb-ft of torque) is produced in-house, as is much of the carbon-fiber car with its monocoque tub (below right). McLaren has been working on this baby for a few years now, and it does seem in many ways to embody unique elements in supercar design.
The 12-C will roll out the door of the new dealerships for something between $225,000 to $250,000—almost a bargain in this rarefied supercar world. Over 2,500 people have already “expressed interest” and registered to buy the car. Sales will begin next summer, and you can see it previewed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August.
This may be one case in which the hype over a new car is justified. Take a look at McLaren’s video on the car’s technical development, and tell us what you think.