Video: McLaren had Formula 1 world champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button driving the two prototype vehicles to celebrate the occasion
The McLaren MP4-12C has a 3.8-litre twin turbo petrol V8 engine under the hood, with maximum power output of 441kW (592 bhp / 600 PS) developed at 7000rpm. Maximum revs is reportedly 8500rpm.
Peak torque is 599 Nm (442 lb-ft) from 3000rpm. Apparently 479 Nm (353 lb-ft) is available from 2000rpm. Performance figures are not available yet but rumours suggest 0 - 100kmh in 3 seconds and a top speed over 300kmh.
Torque goes to the rear axle through a 7-speed double clutch gearbox. It offers a choice of Normal, Sport and Track driving modes. There's also two configurations - H and P. H refers to handling and changes things like steering weight, suspension stiffness and stability control. Choosing P mode alters throttle response, gearshift times and engine sounds.
McLaren Automotive reports that CO² emissions are significantly low - 300g/km. This is likely due to the compact size of the MP4-12C (4507mm long, 1908mm wide, 1199mm high and with a wheelbase of 2670mm), a carbon composite monocoque, and claimed dry weight of 1300kg.
The MP4 is now entering its final stages of development - having completed more than one million test miles on five continents - and building is underway at the McLaren Production Centre where the car will be built from early 2011.