At $115,000, Is This 2012 McLaren MP4-12C A Deal With Mack Daddy?

Today Good price or no dice McLaren may have a convoluted name, but its history and performance are reassuringly simple. Let’s see if its price is also.

According to authorities on the subject at Britain’s Tate Galleries, the artistic medium of the mobile – interconnected elements moving dynamically and in balance in the air – was first championed by the artist Alexander Calder. THE 1985 Nissan Maxima wagon that we looked at yesterday was presented as another form of movable artwork. This was because it had been artistically painted so it could move around. Although it had artistic merit, its $4,500 price tag proved less successful. The art critics among you have reviewed both the project and the price, dismissing the Maxima with a 90% loss with no dice.

Like yesterday’s Nissan, the paint of today’s McLaren MP4-12C 2012 is an important aspect of its sale. In the McLaren’s case, however, its bold “Volcano Orange” hue should prove more universally appealing, potentially unloved by only the most introverted of people.

The car underneath is no slouch aesthetically either. Designed by Frank Stephenson, the 12C was McLaren’s family sequel to the vaunted and iconic F1 hypercar of the ’90s. Unlike the F1, which used a BMW V12 for power, the 12C uses a 3.8 twin-turbo V8 liters designed by McLaren. With 592 horsepower, this has a little less poop than the F1’s 6-liter V12, but the 12C was from the start intended to be a more livable road car than its racing-oriented predecessor. As such, the 12C is a little easier to use on a daily basis, with a traditional two-seat side-by-side cabin instead of the previous car’s unique three-seat layout that places the driver in the middle.

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One thing both cars have in common is the mode of exit to the cabin, which is via a pair of gullwing doors. Uniquely, the F1 has its door buttons on the wing behind the opening, while on the 12C, proximity sensors located under the sculpted air intake operate the power locks in the doors. Then there is the use of a carbon fiber tub as the main element of each car’s monocoque chassis, with F1 having pioneered this practice. The suspension at each end is radically different, with the F1 using traditional springs and dampers and the 12C being fitted with an interconnected hydraulic system called ‘ProActive Chassis Control’.

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Another major difference between the cars is the naming convention. The old F1 has a simple name that is easily recognizable as a reference to the Formula 1 racing series that McLaren has played in for years. The MP4-12C, meanwhile, refers to the Formula 1 racing CARS that McLaren has fielded since the 1980s, with MP4 being the internal code for these drivers. The 12C part of the name refers to another internal code defining the car’s performance goals and the fact that it is a coupe.

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According to the listing, this 12C “claims 21,800 miles, garage-stored history and an MSRP of $293,175.” That works out to about 1,800 miles per year, and those miles would have been plenty quick since the ad also says the engine received a Stage 2 tune from the DME tune and a set of larger Kooks Exotics downpipes. The upgrades should bring the engine to 760 horsepower and 690 lb-ft of torque. In the immortal words of Homer Simpson, “Hee-hee, ho-ho, hoo-hoo, oh my God.” To keep things in line, the McLaren is equipped with massive carbon-ceramic rotors and an eight-speed Graziano automatic/manual gearbox for Goldilocks-style gear selection.

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Aesthetically, the car appears flawless. The Volcano Orange paint is as beautiful as it is bold and pairs well with the factory black alloys. These wear white-label Michelin tires, but the seller assures potential buyers that the car will also come with a set of Pirelli winter meats. No problems are apparent in the cabin either, which has been fitted with additional carbon fiber trim and has the oddly small central screen that McLaren thought was the new fashion when the car was introduced.

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Other benefits include a built-in radar detector and laser jammer (seriously?), plus a factory car cover. The title is clean and the seller promises there are no mechanical issues as the car has been dealer serviced over its life. The asking price is $115,000.

That’s almost a third of what this new car cost, and a two-thirds depreciation seems like a lot for the car to bear. More importantly, will it continue its downward spiral, thereby undermining any investment?

What do you think? Does this 12C seem like a good idea for someone who can afford this $115,000 price tag? Or is it just too much money for this McLaren?

You decide!

Northern New Jersey Craigslistwhere to go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to RevUnlimiter for the hookup!

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