So if you are an avid Vivid Racing blog reader or Instagram follower, then you might have seen our posts on the McLaren MP4-12C roadtrip adventure. This is a brand new Project for us that has been dubbed, the McDuck (after the best cartoon ever, Scrooge McDuck). But why a McLaren? With only 450 2012 coupes here in the states and the new 650S out now with new models coming soon, why go back to an existing model? Well its simple… why not! Since 2001 we have done our Project Car series with everything JDM, Euro, and a couple Domestic pigs in there too. From 2005 we have killed it with the Porsche cars. Having started with a 996 Carrera and conquering the 997.1 and 997.2 Turbo chassis, as well as our latest 991 Turbo, we wanted to try something different.
The McLaren is that something. Classified as a “Supercar”, it has the makings of a tunable vehicle. Why, because it is turbocharged. When boost is part of a vehicles powerplant, the ability to go faster is much simpler than a NA car. The McLaren 12C is an ideal stepping stone into the supercar realm for a Porsche enthusiast compared to a Ferrari or Lamborghini. Porsche Turbo guys enjoy a drivers car. A car that you can take to the track and a car that can be modified. Yes both the Ferrari and Lamborghini can be done as well, but when you put the price comparison in place, the used 12C is obtainable in that $150-$175K range. With the base price of a new 650S spider coming in at a hefty $280,000, the 12C is looking better. As a small production run vehicle, showcasing parts as a project car just keeps the Vivid Racing garage different. Sexiness and uniqueness is what brings the attraction to the McLaren. But the performance will definitely not be a slouch or even risky for that matter.
Stock the cars V8 twin turbo makes 592hp but with a OEM McLaren software update, this car produces 616hp. Its definitely a drivers car when you slide into the cockpit. Unlike the 991, it does not have as fancy as a audio/video system. The buttons are simple, the navigation is weak, but the two dials for suspension and powertrain is all you need to make this car amazing. The ability to set either for normal, sport, and track makes the car perform completely different. Where the Porsche PASM coilovers allow you to press a button for 1 setting and feel a slide change, the 12C can complete transform from street soft to very stiff on the track. The powertrain button controls the cars throttle responsiveness, shifting, and helps automatically make you F1 capable. As seen on the Top Gear episode of the McLaren 12C, its pretty damn hard to lose control of one of these. Completely dry, the car weighs only 2800lbs and as seen on a DragTimes.com video, it went 0-60 in 2.8 seconds.
So it seems we have a perfect car that has been designed by the factory to get in and drive it? Unlike our Project 997 GT3RS where it was really a racecar in the box, there is more we can squeeze out of the McLaren 12C while aesthetically improving it. If you look at a 650S and 12C next to each other, they look the same. Its when you come to the front that you say, “damn it, that front end is awesome”. The 650S has more of a P1 vibe and the carbon fiber gives it less of a smiling shark face. To spruce up the exterior, we are going to partner with Vorsteiner to add their V-MC aero kit to the car. This includes a all new front bumper with carbon fiber design, a rear bumper with aggressive rear diffuser in carbon, as well as a rear wing and side skirts. The active wing can be adjusted within the cockpit at 32 degrees for enhanced downforce, and during heavy braking the wing will stand at 69 degrees acting as an air brake. The active wing was hand sculpted featuring a distinctive bowed base and sleek extended blades designed for the graceful the McLaren profile.
With styling comes a new set of wheels. We have worked with almost all the top forged wheel manufactures, but for the McLaren, we wanted to partner with one of the hippest out there, Rotiform. Rotiform has blown up the forged wheel scene with their innovative designs and exempliary art in motion marketing. Built in California, their wheels are available in both a 3piece and 1piece forged setup. Our goal is to not affect the McLaren performance and handling so we will be sticking with the stock 19/20 inch setup but with a more aggressive offset. As far as color or design, we don’t know because Rotiform is doing a special project specifically for the McLaren. If it is anything as wild as their latest Audi R8, we will be stoked!
Performance will come from a couple of products we will do. First is we will be testing the Armytrix exhaust system. This will be done in a 2 stages. First we will be dyno and sound testing there cat delete pipes or downpipes from the turbo to the muffler. Since these are catless, we anticipate an incredible sound and more mid to top end power. The second stage will be to install their full valvetronic muffler to see how it performs compared to stock. In addition to the exhaust, our Agency Power brand will be looking at some basic upgrades such as valves, intake, hoses, to improve some airflow. The big boost of power will come from the ECU Tuning. We are lucky enough to test a couple of different VR Tuned ECU products for the McLaren. The first is a plug and play tuning box kit. These have been a huge hit on other platforms including our latest 991 Turbo and CLA45 project. Utilizing a custom wire loom, they plug into factory sensors to alter the cars boost, fuel and timing without having to remove and bench flash the ECU. These are great for warranty guys or those that dont want to be down while they ship their ECU’s in. The next product is our Autoflash. This is a OBDII plug in product that improves the cars shifting performance and some torque. The Autoflash works by accessing code already on the ECU and selecting it to run off of. We relate it to a CD changer chosing from track 1 or track 2. The biggest benefit is the shifting performance as discussed on the Autoflash technical documents here. Finally is the ECU flash. Obviously you dont want to run these all together, but the cars ECU can be bench flashed. Unlike a tuning box, this is actually programming the DME to change the vehicles boost, timing, AFR as well as doing things like raising the torque limiter, adjusting the 02’s for catless products, and even increasing the speed limiter. This will be our last product comparison for the ECU.
Finally with power comes braking. There are two types of brakes that come with the 12C from the factory similar to Porsche. You can get the ceramic brakes or it comes with the standard steel rotors. These are obviously a Brembo OEM product that features a 4 piston caliper with 14.6in 2 piece rotors in the front and a 4 piston caliper with 13.8in 2 piece rotors in the rear. The difference with the ceramic rotors is rotation weight and braking performance. Not to mention the huge cost factor. Having had ceramic brakes on our Porsche 997.2 Turbo S and Panamera Turbo, the rotors are very lightweight and just a touch of the pedal has you stopping faster than anything you have experienced. But with the iron rotors, you can still improve braking performance with new pads such as the Pagid RS19 yellow and upgraded rotors. As we have done in the past with our 991 Turbo and Alcon or our 997 Turbo and Brembo, a nice 2 piece slotted rotor can save weight, help heat dissipation, and improve braking over stock. So with already a good braking system in place, what could you do? We are very excited to try out a new setup from WP Pro Brakes. WP Pro engineers and produces a wide range of 4, 6, 8, and 12 piston brake kits along with ceramic rotors. As a special project, we are doing a custom 8 piston front caliper with a 388mm 2 piece rotor up front and a rear 6 piston caliper with a 385mm rotor in the rear. These are a MASSIVE upgrade that will of course, brake better than stock. Our goal is to showcase a braking alternative for the street or track guy to use not only in the McLaren but how their systems can be used in cars like the Porsche, Mercedes, and BMW as well.
We are very excited to start such a unique project car that we have worked so hard to obtain. Please check out our collaboration partners on Instagram and follow our Blog along with YouTube for updates as we go!
- Vorsteiner – Instagram, Product Catalog
- WP Pro Brakes – Instagram, Product Catalog
- Rotiform – Instagram, Product Catalog
- Armytrix – Instagram, Product Catalog
- Agency Power – Instagram, Product Catalog
- VR Tuned – Instagram, Product Catalog