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Just Before Launch, McLaren Decides to Make MP4-12C “More Emotional”

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McLaren’s MP4-12C has received a lot of praise from automotive journalists. It has even set the second fastest time ever in the Top Gear power lap. But this doesn’t mean that it’s perfect.

Most who have driven it have placed it below its chief rival, the Ferrari 458 Italia, not because its’ slower (it isn’t) or less capable, but because it lacked the aural charisma and emotional character of the Italian supercar. In other words, it was good, but also a bit clinical.

Therefore, McLaren decided to do something about it just before first deliveries start this week. A McLaren spokesman told Autocar magazine that changes to the MP4-12C to be delivered to customers include “a fruiter exhaust note” as well as “improved throttle response”.

The spokesperson noted that these improvements were made "because of McLaren's F1 mentality to up the pace of development".

McLaren’s engineers tweaked the car’s Intake Sound Generator by altering the butterfly valve found in the tube that connects the engine’s plenum to the cabin. However, this change is noticeable in Track mode only.

“It was a bit too sensible before” admitted the spokesman. “You won’t notice the changes in normal mode, just when you’re really having fun and pushing it. They don’t lead to any performance increase, but they do lead to an emotional increase when you drive the car.”

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