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McLaren Not Gunning For World Speed Record With P12

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On: Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 5:24PM | By: Chris Weiss

McLaren Not Gunning For World Speed Record With P12

Despite the fact that its top speed is rumored at around 260 mph - very close to the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport's 267.8 mph world record, the McLaren P12 won't be a contender for world's fastest car, according to a new report. In fact, it may not even be as fast as its predecessor the F1, which captured the world speed record in 1998 with a 240.1 mph run. Instead, it will be focused more on all-around performance and usability.

According to a report by Australian publication Drive, McLaren CEO Ron Dennis said a world record isn't a goal of the P12, clarifying: "Don’t get fixated by top speed. That’s the first thing you have to discard in today’s society. What you’ve got to have is a complete package of performance. You’ve got to embrace technologies that are out there that are accepted, and some that don’t even exist. I can tell you our next car has many things on it that don’t exist at the moment."

If you've followed McLaren over the years, the admission isn't all that surprising. Dennis famously called the Bugatti Veyron a "piece of junk" about two years ago, chiding the powerful, speedy Veyron for being ugly and being ineffective at cornering.

Obviously, given Dennis disdain for the Veyron's handling, McLaren wasn't going to build a car built for straight-line speed and nothing else. So, while the P12 may have bowed out of the world speed record mix, it should be every bit as compelling to drive as any other top-end supercar. Dennis said he hopes the car will be hailed as the "most innovative, creative supercar of its time."

Dennis also said that the P12 will debut in May, which we'll take as a confirmation of the rumor about a Monaco Grand Prix debut. Since Dennis confirmed it publicly, we'll also assume that the debut will be a full public event and not just a private VIP unveiling.

The P12 is expected to use an 800-hp version of the MP4-12C's 3.8-liter V-8. It may also get some boost from a hybrid system. Rumors put the supercar to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds - also a little slower than the Veyron, but closer than most cars.

Dennis said that the car will be a big departure from the MP4-12C in terms of styling. It will shed the conservative, forgettable styling of that model in favor of something more aggressive. The car will also have a relatively comfortable, useable interior with a two-seat configuration, rather than the three-seat configuration of the F1.


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