Birth of a Supercar Company
Fox Car Report gets up close and personal with the McLaren MP4-12C
- Duration 20:00
- Date Feb 29, 2012
Fox Car Report gets up close and personal with the McLaren MP4-12C
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And welcome to a special edition of fox car report from auto club speedway in Fontana California.
-- -- come to drive this.
The McLaren MP four -- twelve C one of the most anticipated new cars.
Of all time -- 200 plus mile per hour super car.
It's been designed to go up against the world's best -- would be -- inside look at it with some of the people that brought -- to life.
At -- shares of managing director of McLaren automotive famous of course for your racing exploits of the past.
Half a century why get into the car business today.
Well McLaren has actually -- making road cars since the 1990s.
The McLaren F one witches.
I think in terms of notoriety for car producers probably at the top of the -- of any car.
In the auto industry.
-- taking technology that came from Formula One at the time.
But justice technologies move forward and Formula One we've seen opportunities to take a lot of that technology and know how that comes racing business.
And build it.
Do we believe -- -- -- -- car felt about a hundred F one's gonna limit production but now you're actually building our dealers.
The whole service business and all that what's tougher to build -- competitive formula car or to build a competitive car company.
Well my colleagues in the race team might beg to differ.
But we really have -- the car companies started from clean sheet of Paper up every single component in the car.
Has been designed -- opens for scraps specifically from him before twelve C.
We've built -- state of the art production center.
We've put together what we believed to be the highest quality best dealer network globally -- operative and eighteen countries 35 different cities.
So we've created.
A car company almost from scratch but starting with the base of an enormous amount of technology that comes directly.
From a Formula One team that's won one out of every four races since -- we -- in 1966.
Married to a company that's built cars like the McLaren F -- we think that that gives us.
But jumping starting to do something really special -- your first car hopefully one of -- you went for that 20250000.
Dollars for sports -- The market what -- that is the place to start well I think at some incidents as the financial balance.
You -- decide to build build a ultra limited volume.
A few hundred cars very very high priced car but frankly at that type of volume.
You wouldn't be able to invest support enough investment -- the type of technology that we want this car.
So we picked a price point that would allow us to pay back could be several hundred million.
-- that we spent on developing this car.
So that we could put technology that was really the bleeding into what was possible in this rolling -- here gives us nice look at most of that technology.
Tell me some of the key points here that make this course so well I think there -- things in this Jesse just.
The fact that you're looking at this is in this is something that doesn't exist on any other car in the world today the basic construction principle is similar -- Formula One car.
The driver and passengers in the carbon fiber -- -- which protects them.
In the case of in the case of the crash but also provides enormous structural rigidity and very very lightweight.
There's a -- structure -- -- front across structure in the rear.
The engine and the fuel tank directly behind the driver for very very low moment of inertia so the cars very nimble on turn in the very stable long term and so the overall layout is very symptoms similar to Formula One cars and just as with a Formula One car the body work around it.
It's just there to protect the passengers from rain and wind and make the car -- nice all of -- -- structural components what you see here.
And this is not a show car this is the -- these are actual production components so the beauty and simplicity of what you see here.
Is what every car has under the skin is this an expensive car to get fixed if there's damage -- it.
It's actually much simpler car to get fixed with -- if -- damage in a in a traditional.
Old fashioned aluminum car the whole structure absorbs energy and so you might have a small.
Small bump on the front corner and find damage probably all the way back to the rear of the car.
If you come to our front.
We've taken decisions which are designed exactly for repair ability.
Our friend prospecting here is just simply Bolton on department's structure so in the case of us small parking lot fender Bender.
You can assemble the front of the car and replace it with another -- of modular construction.
It's actually much Chicago.
Got a very -- Suspension system here so very.
There's nothing like it on a sports car.
You would typically expect to see a big fat anti sway bar.
Going -- from front to left to right on the front and rear of the car but as you can see that doesn't exist we use a hydraulic well control system we call -- active suspension control.
And what that does is allows us to have the best of both worlds we think so under cornering.
Provides incredible -- stiffness you can actually adjusted from the cockpit you can decide what you want a little bit of roll -- -- almost no role.
But when you're going in a straight line.
The hydraulic connections -- such.
That would both shock absorbent move in the same direction as the resistance -- -- as if there's a little guy that gets rid of the -- Google book sway bar.
And gives incredible suspension compliance this is literally stuff you can't get -- -- -- has usually been the most recent years yeah one of the one of the one of the things that we elected joke about the company.
But it's not a joke if things that we think about every day is -- technology that we can put this car that's better than Formula One everything that a Formula One and he would love to do but can't because of span.
So we have the -- -- control breaks here which is actually -- technology that was introduced by McLaren and Formula One in 1987.
Coincidentally on the -- -- twelve race car and not when we started winning all the races.
It was quickly banned but we've.
Thought that out of out of retirement and put it on this car -- that's allowed us to do is have.
Surreal turn and you know on -- track environment.
An incredible incredible neutral incredibly neutral handling.
We have a completely open differential so there's no it is so expensive heavy.
Active differential toward -- differential.
Oh or even a limited slip differential we managed at all electronically through bricks here so -- makes the car later.
And it makes the car handle -- seven speed dual clutch automatic transmission and perhaps most important because a car covered a lot of -- companies.
Go to somebody else to get the engine.
-- actually -- your own engines -- every single component this car has been designed for it which is.
-- you can see the simplicity of the -- Both the engine if you look at the gearbox to start with the gearbox is a seven speed.
Between -- shaft so it's actually very short what we look at is the distance from the output shaft to the very -- -- the transmission because if you have a lot of weight hanging off the rear of the car.
It makes the car very unstable and turn in situations and in dynamic situations so it's an incredibly short your box the engine is also very very short.
But it's also remarkably low.
This is just an intake plenum if you actually look at the actual -- in the engine it's about it but the top part of -- about the same as you -- -- drug in the car.
Everything is below Centre of gravity is incredibly low.
And from the small engine -- generating six and it was power.
And 600 meters toward most of it from 19100 rpm all the way up to the -- and immediately -- 500 rpm.
So this is a rather special power plant.
Because incredibly quick.
But it's also a car because of the very efficient power and that doesn't mean definitely.
-- -- sheet of Paper.
Is there anything that had to be compromised.
And you would like you've done it for hours and probably the -- patterns.
That we really put -- all into this.
We had these this unique opportunity to do something that was -- from clean -- so everything you know lay out where all the components of the suspension geometry -- nothing compromised.
Because we had the ability to design components around things so that we would be able to get the important things which is the dynamic architecture of the car exactly the way that we wanted to.
Well while that Jesse certainly enough to satisfy your -- key in just about anyone -- super car worth.
A poster on the Walt doesn't sexy body that's where this guy comes in.
Have a design McLaren automotive -- Stevenson but the arduous task of drawing the body work.
We're the for the and before -- twelve C.
What comes first with a clean sheet is Natalie this is that the engineering or is it what books yeah it's good -- -- Question to answer I think when you do with super cars cars in this category.
You gotta let go a little bit of that childhood desire to it to -- your dream car.
I mean it's got to be a dream car course that you got a little bit more emphasis on me.
Performance of the car.
It we said the about performance you start putting a bit less weight on the actual style in the car and yes he believes -- -- -- Military aircraft for living for example they're not really gonna go go to fashion show that you didn't.
Inspiration there -- brought into the jungle look for stuff like that but.
Four from that you do have to sell the course of course got to look great.
You've worked -- a lot of car companies -- UW for hours he got companies that have very long route car histories.
That's a tradition you have to.
It's kind of your job to tap into -- -- -- also bring it to the next please I'm really we have the one car that's the true McLaren before the F one.
How much of that is in this car.
I mean the importance of the F -- of courses to be the best you know americorps came on it's still set the to tradition of the ultimate super car.
Way up into the center here -- You can't character -- -- -- -- not been important -- -- when -- your car is what it means this course basically the same message were build the best car we can that segment.
And I think it shows you really feel it wouldn't sound -- driver and but again I think the ultimate set up for car like this is basically.
You look back through history don't want really you know tonight we came from -- we're lucky that we have a -- -- in our history.
The last thing we want to do is sort of you know.
Put too much weight on that it's not gonna let -- -- freed from a lot of innovative stuff although -- court did mark a new level part of course of course.
But I think things -- moved on and with this car were able to delve more into.
Very good specialists known carbon fiber so we will transfer that technology into this car.
At a new level because carbon -- quite expensive and you can be real experience and -- use -- on the car we're able redundant the segment here.
At a very competitive rate.
But like -- said the DNA have to be there -- -- we're -- -- -- too much from making cars look.
Like our past were started with a clean sheets -- slowness to really look ahead and see what.
What you can do to clean sheet of Paper so what are some of the key design elements of this that identified as -- well definitely I think if you look at the -- isn't it's really important for the face from the car.
The car has -- unique and identifiable.
You can finish anywhere on the course important -- important -- important all that -- proportions.
But you gotta give the car look in the face and that has to stand out as uniquely who your of course we have wolf.
Mean -- as usual on super sports car like this you gotta get -- into the radiators.
They're not our principal radiators but how you actually design that is important given the -- critical unique look so we've done that.
That's going to be a special feature that we care through its very.
-- hammerhead shark.
Most important for the course very very -- Cowell who brought that over from the F one F one was really special in terms of forward visibility.
We've lowered the Carol.
The trailing -- -- the hood -- we could get excellent forward visibility.
And very special this car here very unique it's also where we've actually -- -- the highest point of defenders.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Aerodynamics very important to get the -- through the year but also in this -- to get here.
Her car and a lot of yes -- that's what they're all about you have mostly having the whole thing is you know as -- -- -- we're gonna -- -- -- -- -- efficiently.
But then again it's -- the package so what we've done with the radiators for example sort of -- about.
Faith in the wind which is probably what you would rather do seek it.
Efficient air -- -- the engine.
We put in car line which means that they're actually.
Parallel -- the direction of the car.
Then you run into problem which is good for weight because it allows you push the wait towards new carpet and you have the problem how to get the air -- to curbing side we've got -- turning things here.
That are actually -- the computer they look like styling elements.
But very little that was starting -- just to actually feed the -- these holes or 53.
-- -- -- -- -- here on your break here which he'd be back by the way without school without your briefing.
Actually it was mostly just for balance in the car when the film heavy breaking.
It moves up -- relatively recent off the the clutch.
It moves up -- the card back seat could really.
-- -- -- it's actually breaking news breaking anger certain G forces who actually lift up go vertical.
Settled back in you released the breakthrough really -- release itself so it's very organic it's -- -- cars basically a life machine.
We -- excited -- it work.
Now of course super car -- the -- corridors absolutely.
The former function would be -- -- equal function definitely that was called because anything that works well.
Looks well generally that's law of nature I think it's a good way to get in the car.
Then of course when you get into the car you start looking inside you -- suddenly taken the -- -- -- hallway underneath you -- won't allow.
With that the work makes it fantastically easy to get in the car a few doors open to the kind of an interest -- manner we call it gotten through doors.
I think it's probably the most efficient way to get into -- because freed up all the area -- feet have to go in through you've moved or outward up.
It's not very high -- instilled that into a -- parking spot.
When you finally -- into the car you'll notice that everything is.
Truly aligned just sitting straight ahead -- Peter going straight through -- -- for -- -- So it's feels very very.
Well sort of worth forty drugs shouldn't say lot of space in the core we've -- it step by actually pushing the driver.
And passenger a lot closer to each other incentive -- -- your back you shop you've got a number of upcoming cars on the drawing board already that we can't talk about right now but is this then the temp plate.
For the -- brand moving forward or is every car treated as a Washington.
It's definitely the building block first brick in the you know.
And the whole new strategy to turn.
But I think you get kind of early decision to stick with something to closely in this future I think every car has to represent.
Cutting edge technology and what's the very latest and newest thing that we can she do.
So that means that maybe a few cues like he has -- last -- the witch is active -- We were visibility by the way that might hang around for a bit because it really is beneficial -- -- design feature.
But every new car -- definitely going to be shocker.
Well all of that engineering and design sounds great on Paper maybe even a computer.
To make sure it actually works in the real world sooner or later somebody's gotta get their hands dirty one of the guys who gets to do that -- -- McLaren test driver a lot of technology in this car more than many other cars with the -- suspension and with the -- preached here and traction control.
It's actually have to learn how to drive this differently.
Then another super car.
Not absolutely not.
You're right and McLaren we are very much a technology driven company we pride ourselves on having.
Various areas of cutting its technology.
To fall back on to develop phone calls to put into law calls.
But in the end of the day it is the -- -- so sees it new drugs com.
We set out to make this a proper drugs cause developed from the driver -- woods.
So what's the most important to me -- me is chief test problems project is -- -- -- jump into this -- -- driving it.
You can't love driving it called the trust -- So it's it's essential that is the feel of the cars -- responses you know really enjoyable and -- that performance is.
Are you on what's the benchmark for when do you say it's good -- that's.
-- if you is up to me I'd never.
To say because I would just be thinking of things and the team -- -- -- for that McLaren and it vehicle development is the -- the -- guys all we're all very very complex to people.
And we have a saying good enough -- I suppose it's a bit like qualifying -- -- race weekend.
You -- when the checkered flag comes out for us tickets like and now when incidents production so we have to -- -- still it's.
I was I it is an all because -- -- -- -- of America.
Interesting ideas conceptual we'll be expected until next cells for the moment itself sees what it is -- -- very happy that.
I know the first thing a lot of skilled drivers like yourself do you practice turn off all of the electronic aids is this car faster like that or with the -- Well the joy of having a lot of technology in the call them.
Many people done is that the very best to -- can't -- three very clear minds that we can write the car in normal school and track.
Even among for everybody really so normal is a very control -- is very much just stand it's kind of -- and you know -- traction control kind of level.
-- -- a bit more I've been tracked more offensive than -- -- a very clear.
Talking when we set out to exit to -- the control systems -- track mode.
That should be -- -- in which you can do the fuss -- about.
So a lot of all benchmarks that songs have been achieved it can be achieved we've track mind control systems.
Fully functioning Clarence Formula One team this year -- you former world champions Jenson Button.
There was Hamilton and -- they've gotten on the wheels cars that that we once those Hamilton's -- basically.
And it's you know to be honest and I remind his quicker than we can Davis didn't.
But both of those drugs who gets the union of this -- very very quickly.
For me the important thing is world champion can enjoy the -- as much as an everyday drawn that -- bought the golf championship.
Well we -- we're not a one hit wonder.
The it's true that in the past we've built the F one and then that ended and we built -- -- But this is the beginning of a much more ambitious.
They're more ambitious product program I think the biggest indicator.
Is we built it now a brand new.
75 million dollar production facility.
Which has enough capacity to build a range of models we have a dealer network it was just committed to representing us and eighteen different countries around the world.
And then are gonna do that -- the basis of just one car so there's plenty more to come.
I won't give too much away but you'll be seeing something new from McLaren.
At least every year and when I say you I don't mean today.
-- -- Hamilton and Jenson Button will championship edition I'm talking about a completely different model or major variant.
Things will be back here next year I certainly hope so I would -- or anything hair managing director for McLaren automotive thanks so much for talking thanks for your time.
That's it for fox car report this week headed over to fox car report dot com for the latest news and automotive reviews we'll see you next time right now we're getting -- -- on this thing.