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McLaren MP4-12C road-legal supercar: F1 on the M1

You won't see McLaren's newest supercar, the MP4-12C, on a track: you can see it stuck in tailbacks after McLaren Automotive opens its doors and begins building road cars

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm

Formula One is coming to an Asda car park near you with the launch of the McLaren MP4-12C, a road car from the people behind the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 team. It will be the first to be built by McLaren Automotive at a new British factory for road-legal supercars.

The UK company is looking to expand beyond racing after the end of its F1 partnership with Mercedes-Benz. The BBC reports a new factory is planned next to the racing team's Woking headquarters, which will employ 800 people. Production will start at 1,000 cars a year, rising to 4,000 over time.

It's been nearly 10 years since McLaren produced the legendary centre-seated F1 road car. The 12C supercar packs a 3.8-litre, twin-turbocharged, 600bhp V8 with a seven-speed dual-clutch flappy-paddle gearbox, all encased in a carbon-fibre monocoque. McLaren reckons no other car will be as powerful relative to its CO2 emissions, even though it pumps out over 200g/km of CO2 blah blah blah. Sorry, we stopped listening after '600bhp V8'.

The McLaren MP4-12C will hit the high street in 2011 for between £125,000 and £175,000. With the trade-in value on your Mondeo that's probably do-able, right?