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What I would like to see in the MP4-12C R&D dept.

13939 Views 121 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  Gazza
If I was running the show here's what I would like to seen be done in R&D and released to the customer. I'll add to this list as I think of more important upgrades. Comments welcome. Factory please consider!

1. Reduce the door closing resistance.
2. Increase the opening height of the door. Im 6' tall and its awkard.
3. Lower the obstruction height of the lower door sill.
4. Use remote controlled valves in the exhaust system for user control of the exhaust volume.
5. Investigate the use of a LSD.
6. Investigate the use of lowering the suspension for track use by user control.
7. Offer a GT3 aero package or a street version GT3.
8. Offer harness and fire extingusher options / brackets.
9. Offer screw in tie down eyelets.
10. Compare brake force sensitivty to ideal Porsche PCCB.
11. Reduce the travel in the throttle. Reference Porsche.
12. Look at making the new door release button as a stick on type and retofittable and reversable, keeping the old touch sensor for those who what it. The new button could be passive magnetic actuation.

Several items I would have mentioned are already being done now so no need to list those.
Nothing too difficuilt really!
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Probably 2 and 3 you wouldnt be able to change without a major re engineering. The lower door sill is part of the structure. The opening height of the door has to do with the dimensions. I would agree that a gt3 body kit package should be made available or even something resembling close to it without the big flares which would affect width.
I think mclaren's choice to go with FI engines was wise simply because it is the most cost effective way to up horsepower vs NA. An NA engine has a narrower room of performance upgrade before having to increase displacement. That in turn requires a much higher amount of redevelopment and cost. Once a turbo engine is developed, all that is needed is to dial down the power and incrementally add as the competition ups their power..The aventador weights that much because if you see all the accessories and power everything, not to mention a 4wd system, those all add weight. Expect future variants of the aventador to go on diet and par down on weight.
there is a reason why it is a 3.8 liter v8 and why its turbo. The 3.8 liter allows for thicker and stronger walls for more boost while still retaining a relatively light weight. Make no mistake, the Mclaren v8 TT was engineered to make way more than the current guise. Just a matter of time before they up the power. Also, as a base model the 12c is already worlds away from what the rival competitors are offering. The rumor mill is that the F1 replacement will use essentially a same engine boosted with more power, slashed weight and Kers system and represents what possibilities are available with this chassis. With a RUF v8, the problem would be that any increase in HP will require changes in bore stroke and all leads to redevelopment of an engine. Lets keep in mind as an independent car maker who needs to have mulitple cars to be profitable, one platform, one engine with the possibility of variable power outputs makes the most sense from a cost, flexibility standpoint.
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Compared to McLaren RUF must have had a TINY engine development budget
Yes, and I am sure it was meant to highlight that RUF did a great job at designing the engine. I agree it is a great accomplishment. However, to put things into perspective, it is relatively easy to design an engine alone and try to adapt it into an existing chassis and architecture. It is an entirely different beast when engineering and producing an entire car, have everything work as it should, pass govt regulations, crash test, etc. And as I mentioned before, the cos of engine development relative to chassis, certification, etc, it makes more sense to have an engine to be FI than NA.

On another note, I remember that Ruf v8 engine production in terms of breaking even cost wise would be at 300 engines. That is a tiny compared to what a car manufacturer has to do.
I just need to point out that it's not the FI that makes the 12c's motor non-NA; it's the turbos. Any engine (FI, carbs, etc.) without forced induction is NA...

...and I *adore* pretty much everything Alois Ruf has ever done. I wanted a 993 Ruf CTR in the worst way. Still do, now that I think about it!
FI means forced induction... which means turbo or supercharged
Getting back on topic. I think I would ask that Mclaren keep adding free hp for our cars as they come out with more powerful variants, knowing that the engine has been tested at much higher hp. While some may ask why do that as they want to sell more cars. I would think of a few reasons:

1. keep secondary market values high/ keeps brand value high as owners would want to keep the cars longer.
2. have an older car be capable of equaling of other newer cars, highlighting the cars advance technology is capable of keeping up with competition.
3. keeps customer loyalty.
4. be different from the industry

To sell newer cars, some visual and body work revisions(easy as its just plastic) and trim styling would keep things interesting. Of course, visual parts are available as retrofit as well for a cost.

No one in the exotic car world has done this, and I would find something like this refreshing from a new car company. Something like this would be quite revolutionary. Imagine a current mp4 still keeping up with a next gen 458? That would be extraordinary in terms of press and image for the brand.

Because, instead of building the latest and greatest, they instead have created a platform /each car that is scalable.
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I have had it hinted to me on two separate occasions that there will be further performance upgrades. Not promised, but definitely hinted. The last mention was in relation to P13 as I was wondering if it would be faster than the 12C. The suggestion was that by that time the 12C might be faster, still.

I agree it would be an excellent model, but financially would probably work best with a rapid development and release cycle. If they can shorten the product life cycle to 4 years, they can get cash from buyers who will be eager to upgrade to the next platform. The iPhone has always been better technology than the BlackBerry, but in the beginning it actually had far fewer features. However, RIM had no answer to Apple's pace of development and frequent product releases, which were largely enabled by Apple's choice of a better development platform to start with. So, not only does your iPhone get significantly better while you own it, you are still enticed to upgrade to the next one and start the process all over again.

McLaren's strength is rapid development of innovative technology. I think they are planning to out-develop the competition into irrelevance by keeping the benchmark moving ahead so quickly that nobody can keep up (literally).
Im not sure if Mclaren would shorten up the product cycle to 4 years, but I do know that the current platform is highly dynamic in terms of flexibiility to accomodate a wide array of body style changes, and performance enhancements. I would imagine they developed this chassis to last them at least a decade. That being said, if additional models roll out, it would still be on this platform based on the news they have commitments with their supplier carbotech to purchase up to 4000 monocells each year for 8 years. That means that the chassis will last at least 8 years before any changes. With 4000 units per year, the monocell most likely would be applied to all p12, p13 and P11 line up to share cost. Engine would most likely be off the existing v-8 in either a na form, tturbo form and turbo/kers format. This would clearly define the 3 model line up for Mclaren as from a cost perspective, it makes sense.
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Yes, I agree but when I say 'new platform' I am not referring to a new chassis architecture, but rather all of the pieces attached to it, including the electronic systems. For example, it is a good bet that the replacement for the 12C is already on the drawing board. While it will feature a (modified) MonoCell under the current supply deal, it will have version 2.0 of everything including motor, gearbox, suspension, electronics, etc. and thus will be a new platform base.

p.s. I don't know if normally aspirated motors will be a part of the plan. I expect P13 will be turbo at launch and I have not seen anything to suggest that it will have 19 variants a la Porsche 911. Everybody is going turbo for the future.
Not sure if the replacement is already on the drawing board as I think development would commence after the F1 replacement is completed. The motor I think from an independent manufacturer perspective would still be a development of this v8 TT since it has proven to be the ideal power and fuel consumption based powerplant. If we see a variant of this engine on the F1replacmeent, it wouldnt surprise me that the engine will be the staple engine for Mclaren. In terms of monocell, I dont see much that is needed to modifiy on this piece , but the aluminum chassis extensions from the monocell might be altered to accomodate any new body shape. As is, Mclaren has done an excellent job designing this car. Every element of the car has development potential to keep it competitive for the next decade.

For the P13, if they are going turbo, then it would be most likely be a detuned v-8TT on the 12c as its cheaper to limit power via software than engineer another engine. If you factor out volume cost for an engine, it would be easier to lower cost on one engine than to have multiple engines in your line up. That is unless, as part of the engine development, NA was already pre engineered in. However, there will be a slight risk of blurring the distinction of the 12c and the p13.

As to lengthening out or modifying the monocell, I dont think this will be done simply because its dimensions give it the specific strength. Any dimensional adjustments would only mean that structurally the monocell would have to be re engineered and strength tested. furthermore, Mclaren has stated it will stay a sports car company with engines in the back... The liklihood of any suv or sedan would be unlikely in the short term....
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Work on the MP12 replacement has started at concept level as it has to hit the road in 4 years. Current customers have been asked what they want in the 'next' MP12.

Engine wise only Turbos/supercharged engines will meet Euro emissions and Mclaren admit the current engine will be direct injected in the future.
Good to know car I just took is already on its way to being obselete lol. All kidding aside, I think even in 4 years, that monocell will still be there as with most other features... But notably the styling would be changed. As for engine, knowing that there is already plenty of power still in that engine, perhaps direct injection is just to clean up emissions further....
Yes it will feature a MonoCell chassis, but it will be a new car, not a variant or refresh of the existing 12C. I know you are kidding, but if you had ordered a Ferrari or Lambo or Porsche, etc., then yes your car would be outdated by the time you took delivery. But as long as McLaren is keeping all 12Cs updated, it will only become obsolete when development stops and the new one is introduced.
Im thinking it should be a new car, but just looking at the current chassis, its pretty darn advanced that refreshing the looks would still keep it competitive... I just cant see it being far more advanced unless they go to exotic materials for the chassis segments that extend out from the monocell... and that will push it above the price point it needs to compete with Ferrari and Lamborghini... Especially when Ferrari and Lamborghini are most likely continuing with aluminum chassis, not sure whether there is a need to start all over from scratch...
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