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McLaren Halts 12C Production, Offers 12C Owners 650S Upgrades

April 7, 2014

The death of another sports car is confirmed. There have been rumors that the McLaren 12C will be discontinued, and the British automaker behind the supercar has recently confirmed that the news is indeed true.

Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Automotive, made the announcement in a letter to a customer, who posted it on the McLaren Life forum. According to Flewitt, the production of 12C will be stopped due to the strong demand of the 650S.

“The final piece of news I wanted to share with you is regarding 12C production which we have decided to cease in light of the success of 650S. The new car has been so well received since its unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show (we already have a six month order bank) we will focus all our capacity at the McLaren Production Centre on 650S.”

McLaren has sold 3,500 units of the 12C in its three years of production. Flewitt noted in the email that discontinuing the model “represents a natural evolution of our model line-up.”

The McLaren 650S is a much improved version of the 12C. Though the latter was fast and a treat to drive, it proved lacking in terms of styling and mechanical upgrades. The 650S got both right, especially the styling, which is similar to that of the McLaren P1 plug-in hybrid. It shares its predecessor’s twin turbo 3.8-liter V8, but unlike the old car’s engine, this can produce 641 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque.

The McLaren 650S coupe is offered at a starting price of $265,500 while the 650S Spider is offered at a starting price of $287,225.

Though Flewitt shared the bad news to 12C owners in the letter, he also had good news in store for them. It seems that McLaren will not discontinue the super car without the proper sendoff. In this case, the proper sendoff involves offering owners free 650S upgrades.

Flewitt also announced in the letter that McLaren will be offering free Technology Upgrade packages starting June. Upgrades will include the Active Aero software which will enable the “12C’s existing Airbrake to ‘sense’ different driving scenarios, deploying to improve stability when lifting off the throttle or cresting a hill.” This is aside from the Airbrake’s current function when heavy braking.

Also included is the DRS (Drag Reduction System) mode, which drops the wing to improve aerodynamics when driving fast in a straight line, as well as improvements to the Android-based IRIS infotainment system. Newer 12C models can be equipped with external control for windows.

As if these were not enough, McLaren gives 12C owners more. The automaker will be offering two new features for an undisclosed price. These are the back up camera and SIRIUS radio. Both were introduced for the 650S.

The upgrades will be available to all manufactured 12C coupes and Spiders, including the new ones fresh from the factory, those units still unsold at dealer lots all around the world, as well as the pre-owned cars bought through McLaren’s Qualified Program.

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