Gallery: The McLaren MP4-12C Engine

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
gallery the mclaren mp4 12c engine

In the early days of McLaren’s MP4-12C development, it was suggested that the new mid-engine supercar would use AMG’s 6.2 liter V8. As things got awkward between Mercedes and McLaren though, a mysterious “German-built V10” was rumored to be have replaced the AMG unit under at least one testing prototype. In the end, McLaren built its own engine, the M838T. It’s a twin-turbocharged, direct-injected, 3.8 litre, 90° V8, developing about 600 horsepower at 8,500 RPM. 80 percent of its 442 lb-ft of torque is reportedly available under 2,000 RPM. Also, it looks like mechanical sex.

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  • Brett Woods Brett Woods on Aug 30, 2010

    Interesting that McLaren chose 90 degrees of V out of all the possibilities. Could I order the engine only for my Locus Plethore?

  • DavidGTR DavidGTR on Jun 03, 2012

    Its a late reply.. but I finally test drived the MP4-12C yesterday! Its the fastest factory road car I ever tested . The car handles brilliant, carbon fiber monocell results a road car with a go-cart like handling.. I would say, the cornering limit of the car is very high. I switch everything into "track mode", I didn't feel the car bumpy at all, this is a result of a piece of engineering art work, lightweight and high power super car. Engine with turbos weights around 150kg . But the car has big turbo lag comparing with GTR, but top ends it will beat the GTR for sure due to V8 fitted with high flow turbos. One thing have to say good about the gearbox . The gear shift is seamless and smooth. This is the best gearbox I ever driven comparing with all other double-clutched gearboxes (like PDK, DSG) . Even with stand still start, the electronic clutch is very smooth. This shows Mclarens effort in their software engineering for clutch control during launch. Braking power..... absolutely amazing . With the car's weight, it just brakes like a cart with carbon ceramic brakes and 6 piston calipers . Overall, good race car, but difficult to sell....

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