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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone and thank you for all the insights and information so freely given that I am enjoying reading. I am in the market for a 12C and have had test drives in both versions. My question is this: Is a 2011/12 car with the upgrades the thing to buy now because of depreciation or would it still be better to get a brand new car? are they essentially the same or have there been improvements under the skin, so to speak, that are not upgradeable? Thanks for your help.
 

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If you wait 30 to 45'days you will get the deal of the century in any 2012 or 13. The fact that they sent way to many cars to the us and the recent inventory pile up at dealers will bring prices further down! Supply demand still rules!
 

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I'm a big believer in new, as I don't trust previous drivers to have taken excellent care of the car. But I'm weird. You're right on the depreciation.

As for the differences, there are no doubt refinements to the car over time. None are terribly appreciable, as most of the big issues have been upgraded on existing cars for free (save for the newly release IRIS which will cost about $3600 to get installed). HP upgrades, software upgrades to the throttle/suspension/traction/shifting, even things like horn assemblies. So while there might be some things under the skin that are refined, I doubt they are major show stoppers. Plus, the 2012 coupes have cool swipe doors. That said, you probably can get some good deals on 2013s now as the 2014s are coming into inventory.
 

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Hi John. I'm still a ways off from buying one, but from my keeping an eye on things and participating in the forum for a bit, I would say the ideal might be a 2012 car made in the latter half of the year. The reasons I say that (others please comment if I'm off on this!) are:
- The paint on early cars didn't hold up well to daily driving, and would crack or chip in places where there was high heat or contact with other panels. McLaren swapped paint vendors at some point but not sure of the exact date.
- The weather stripping around the front windshield would tend to flap in the wind at speed.
- Earlier cars had a different mechanism to open the doors (swipe vs. a button).
- There was an issue with the horn where it would fill up with water (don't remember the details, but there was a thread or two on it).
- Something in the AC system (drain maybe?) would get plugged and leak into the car.

I should also note, again, others, particularly owners of early cars, please comment if I'm off on this, McLaren will fix all of these things under warranty. Most folks here report being very happy with McLaren standing by their product, and it's a big reason I really hope to be an owner. So, the reason I would go for a later 2012 car is just to avoid the hassle if some of these things were to pop up.

One thing that came in on the 2013 models was a front lift, so if you're going to be running through rough back roads, it might be something to consider.

As you get closer, there are a few threads from others that bought used ones about what to look for, check, and verify before making the purchase. I'd recommend reading through some of those topics as well.

On last thing, I saw you had commented on John's thread about the new Nav / on-board computer. If that is something you'll use a lot, you may want to look through some of the threads on Iris. If you are looking to buy a used 12c, you may want to get the hardware upgrade worked into the deal.

Best of luck, and happy hunting.

-nh4.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi nh4,
Thanks for the info which makes a lot of sense. I hired a 2013 spider this week for a day to get a proper idea of the car, driving both during the day and at night This particular car had done 4,500 miles and there were quite a lot of stone chips on it. It was yellow. I also noticed a loose piece of trim on the top of the screen. I found the iris to be far too bright at night hence my question to John regarding the upgrade. I also found the contrast stitching reflected onto the windscreen just about at my eye level and I found that a bit annoying. I'm glad I hired the car as I have previously had a test drive from a dealer and couldn't really get into it. The more time I spent in it the more I warmed to it and now I definitely want one. John makes a very good point about knowing exactly how the car has been looked after if you get one new plus, in my case, I could order without contrast stitching! A lot to think about for both of us. Good luck with your search.
 

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- The paint on early cars didn't hold up well to daily driving, and would crack or chip in places where there was high heat or contact with other panels. McLaren swapped paint vendors at some point but not sure of the exact date.
- The weather stripping around the front windshield would tend to flap in the wind at speed.
- Earlier cars had a different mechanism to open the doors (swipe vs. a button).
- There was an issue with the horn where it would fill up with water (don't remember the details, but there was a thread or two on it).
- Something in the AC system (drain maybe?) would get plugged and leak into the car.
My view for what it is worth (I own an early vin):
1. I have driven 10k miles with perfect paint - looks absolutely as new as day 1. Get a Protective Film Solutions full install either way.
2. Never saw any problem with weather stripping at all.
3. Yes, and the swipe is about 200x cooler than the button. That "update" was pure stupidity.
4. I think this only happens if you drive under water.
5. AC has been perfect. WAY better than my old F430.

I hope this is helpful.
 

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If you can find the spec you like, a nicely depreciated 2012 is the way to go. I bought new, at MSRP, and will not repeat that.
All 2012"s still have the door swipe.
 

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Another point is that there are left over 2012's and 2013's that are new. They've taken most of the depreciation hit. The difference between a low mileage (<500miles) used and new left over car was <$10k.

In another thread, I dug up a few left over 2012's, and there were some very late model 2012s. One of them at the CT dealer might have been one of the last 10 2012s made.

That was a month or so ago, so the last of them may be gone.

I would find a left over new 2012 or new 2013 and press on the price. The 2014s are out, so you can likely deal. Then again, if the difference in price between a used 2012 and new 2013 is $100k, then that's something serious to think about. The difference in price on a left over new 2012 and used 2012 will not be that great, assuming you can even find one.
 

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Presumably, like me, you are not a mutimillionaire, or you wouldn't be asking.
(if I were I'd get a P1 as well and keep this car for general driving.)
Mine is a late 2012 and has been excellent. The latest upgrades make it as good as a new one, and I love my swipe door. I only find the touch to lock function doesn't always work. With a late 2012, you can probably find a nice car and save £50k or so.
ps. mine is definitely NOT for sale! Whatever you decide, you will not regret it. Let us know.
 

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One other thing I forgot to mention, and looking quickly I don't think anyone else did... If you go for a used one, McLaren does have a CPO program called McLaren Qualified, (http://www.mclarenqualified.com/). This gets you at least 2 years of warranty, discounts on MSO parts if ordered w/in a month of getting the car, and a bunch of other benefits that you can find off that link. In the states the warranty is extendable. When I asked about it a few months back, it was $3500 USD for an extra year.

It's important to note that not all used cars are part of the Qualified program.

-nh4.
 

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If you're not $60-80k sure that you want a 12c then buy a used one. If you are 100% sure you want one, and will keep it for more than 15 minutes (you are not the guy keeping up with the Jones' and change cars like you change shirts) then buy new - you get exactly what you want in the color you want. You will also be a "new buyer" vs a "used" buyer/vulture in the eyes of the dealer (applies to any dealer).

FWIW I bought my 12c use, when the 12c was introduced I was too blinded by HP numbers and magazine reviews that I never considered it. A year and a half later I contacted the dealer, a track day later I immediately saw the error of my ways. Then I found the intangibles of the early car I really liked (swipe, built in MTC) which put me in what seemed like an undesirable VIN range...great! More for me as the saying goes! The only thing I wish could be retrofitted is the lift system, but I'll take the swipe over the lift. To each their own.

Another consideration is what I told the dealer in the process of buying my GT Speed "I'm not willing to take a quarter million dollar chance to figure out if I like the car/brand or not. If I buy used and decide I don't like the car I can get out with a sunburn, not 3rd degree burns and skin grafts." To that point My first Aston was used, my 2nd was new & I got exactly what I wanted. An new Aston is not a sound financial decision, neither is any new exotic. Obviously enough folks get it and they continue to sell thousands of new ones every year. People do many things in life that are not sound financial decisions, Vegas, vacation, cable TV, etc. Making decisions based upon your CPA's advice leads to a very boring life, but you'll die loaded.

All the "differences" that make newer cars better I found disliking. The ugly rubber button that you can see standing outside the car (installed because of negative press reviews/magazine morons) - Dennis had enough so here's your freaking button. The only time it's difficult to open is when it's humid outside and your hand skips instead of gliding, messes up the motion. Works great when wet because your hand glides. Early cars were built in the MTC next to the F1 cars - means jack crap to everyone else but I sure apperciate it. They were also much more hand built with less jigs and such...sure the fit and finish is less than new ones but it's a mark of the small size and human touch that high volume production cars have Q/A'd out. Look at an old Ferrari, Aston, etc. not a straight screw head or stitched seam anywhere in the car - the imperfections are the sign of hand built 1 at a time cars. I still struggle with how perfect a Bentley interior is....then finally I found a wave in a seam....great, it IS hand built.

It's called character IMO. If folks want perfect buy a Lexus where several people operate machines that stamp out perfect copies that are flawless and ensure you car is exactly the same as the other million they sold that year.

I think about building from scratch projects with my kids. We spend a lot of time making them perfect only to find in the end they are far from perfect. I figure cars like Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Infinity, Porsche, Corvette for folks who want flawless high production paint and interiors. What used to be a badge of honor (hand built) is now becoming a dirty word... For $300k you'd think they could paint a car.... The other extreme would be to buy a Vette and say for $100k you would think they could cover the whole seat in leather, not just the seated surface. Luckily MSO exists. You can have perfect everything, completely bespoke and spend $500k+ for a car worth $250k the minute you title it....

Soapbox aside, McLaren will go to every length to fix a quality or workmanship defect, that is what's most important. So when you walk into your garage to find your windshield cracked from top to bottom right down the middle they will say, yep, problem on early cars, when would you like us to pick it up and replace the windshield (under warranty at no cost).

Personally I don't get the big deal with the paint, no one notices at a car show and unless it's peeling off the rear bumper GM style, no one is going to notice when you're driving. It could be peeling off the front bumper and only the Aventador drivers will notice.
 

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If you're not $60-80k sure that you want a 12c then buy a used one. If you are 100% sure you want one, and will keep it for more than 15 minutes (you are not the guy keeping up with the Jones' and change cars like you change shirts) then buy new - you get exactly what you want in the color you want. You will also be a "new buyer" vs a "used" buyer/vulture in the eyes of the dealer (applies to any dealer).

FWIW I bought my 12c use, when the 12c was introduced I was too blinded by HP numbers and magazine reviews that I never considered it. A year and a half later I contacted the dealer, a track day later I immediately saw the error of my ways. Then I found the intangibles of the early car I really liked (swipe, built in MTC) which put me in what seemed like an undesirable VIN range...great! More for me as the saying goes! The only thing I wish could be retrofitted is the lift system, but I'll take the swipe over the lift. To each their own.

Another consideration is what I told the dealer in the process of buying my GT Speed "I'm not willing to take a quarter million dollar chance to figure out if I like the car/brand or not. If I buy used and decide I don't like the car I can get out with a sunburn, not 3rd degree burns and skin grafts." To that point My first Aston was used, my 2nd was new & I got exactly what I wanted. An new Aston is not a sound financial decision, neither is any new exotic. Obviously enough folks get it and they continue to sell thousands of new ones every year. People do many things in life that are not sound financial decisions, Vegas, vacation, cable TV, etc. Making decisions based upon your CPA's advice leads to a very boring life, but you'll die loaded.

All the "differences" that make newer cars better I found disliking. The ugly rubber button that you can see standing outside the car (installed because of negative press reviews/magazine morons) - Dennis had enough so here's your freaking button. The only time it's difficult to open is when it's humid outside and your hand skips instead of gliding, messes up the motion. Works great when wet because your hand glides. Early cars were built in the MTC next to the F1 cars - means jack crap to everyone else but I sure apperciate it. They were also much more hand built with less jigs and such...sure the fit and finish is less than new ones but it's a mark of the small size and human touch that high volume production cars have Q/A'd out. Look at an old Ferrari, Aston, etc. not a straight screw head or stitched seam anywhere in the car - the imperfections are the sign of hand built 1 at a time cars. I still struggle with how perfect a Bentley interior is....then finally I found a wave in a seam....great, it IS hand built.

It's called character IMO. If folks want perfect buy a Lexus where several people operate machines that stamp out perfect copies that are flawless and ensure you car is exactly the same as the other million they sold that year.

I think about building from scratch projects with my kids. We spend a lot of time making them perfect only to find in the end they are far from perfect. I figure cars like Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Infinity, Porsche, Corvette for folks who want flawless high production paint and interiors. What used to be a badge of honor (hand built) is now becoming a dirty word... For $300k you'd think they could paint a car.... The other extreme would be to buy a Vette and say for $100k you would think they could cover the whole seat in leather, not just the seated surface. Luckily MSO exists. You can have perfect everything, completely bespoke and spend $500k+ for a car worth $250k the minute you title it....

Soapbox aside, McLaren will go to every length to fix a quality or workmanship defect, that is what's most important. So when you walk into your garage to find your windshield cracked from top to bottom right down the middle they will say, yep, problem on early cars, when would you like us to pick it up and replace the windshield (under warranty at no cost).

Personally I don't get the big deal with the paint, no one notices at a car show and unless it's peeling off the rear bumper GM style, no one is going to notice when you're driving. It could be peeling off the front bumper and only the Aventador drivers will notice.
Good stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone. I think a late 2012 is the best option for me. I'll let you now how I get on....
 

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What's the vin range for late 2012s? Is it possible to have swipe doors + lift system? Do late 2012s have the lift or only 2013s?

Thanks,
Christian
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks everyone for your help and advice. I have agreed on a low mileage used coupe today, volcano orange with alcantara and leather 2012. I get it on Tuesday and am very excited! I don't care if it rains either...Thanks again, John
 

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Congratulations John :cool:

One of your questions originally was regarding the IRIS being so bright and was also one of my issues.
I'm pleased to say the new IRIS has a very easy to find 'off' for the screen :)
 

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Wow!! That was quick. I love my 12C more today then did when I first got mine. That should tell you something.

Btw - I wish I could have had a swipe option on my spider. It's like a secret handshake and a great conversation starter!;)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Congratulations John :cool:

One of your questions originally was regarding the IRIS being so bright and was also one of my issues.
I'm pleased to say the new IRIS has a very easy to find 'off' for the screen :)
Thanks for the good wishes Gary and good to know you can turn off the iris screen. I'll post some pictures next week after I work out how to do it. I think it will take me a little while to master the swipe but I am glad the car has it.
 
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