The McLaren MP4 12C is an innovative sports car with raw beauty and unrivaled performance. It is the car’s design that makes it so unique, however. Today we catch up with Bobby Price, car collector and automotive industry entrepreneur, who tells us about the 12C’s design inspiration and features.
Gathering of Experts: We don’t often get to see cars like this. Thank you for bringing it over today.
Bobby Price: Not a problem at all.
Gathering of Experts: It’s an amazing machine. We’d like to ask you a few questions about it, if that’s okay.
Bobby Price: Yes, please do.
Gathering of Experts: We understand McLaren has taken design cues straight from the pages of National Geographic. Can you give us some insight into that?
Bobby Price: Pretty much everything about the vehicle’s appearance and performance was patterned after nature.
Gathering of Experts: Such as?
Bobby Price: Everything from the paint to the way the metal is attached to the frame. Take a look, for instance, at the C12’s rearview mirrors. You’ll notice they aren’t encased in the same boxy design as are many cars’ mirrors.
Gathering of Experts: Now that you mention it, they have an almost insect-like quality; like the antenna of a scarab.
Bobby Price: Yes, nature has an outstanding ability to ensure its creatures are built for performance.
Gathering of Experts: Tell us about the body…
Bobby Price: The C12’s visible metalwork is essentially shrink-wrapped over the car’s mechanical structure. This reduces volume and makes the car more aerodynamic.
Gathering of Experts: Like the way you can see a cheetah’s muscles underneath its fur?
Bobby Price: That’s exactly right. Animals built for speed are always lean and light.
Gathering of Experts: Aside from the animal kingdom, where does McLaren find inspiration?
Bobby Price: Design director Frank Stephenson says the world is his muse.
Gathering of Experts: It sounds like McLaren is passionate about perfection.
Bobby Price: That’s absolutely true. Every single vehicle is painted by hand and quality inspected multiple times before leaving the factory.
Gathering of Experts: Tell us about McLaren’s special Pirelli tires.
Bobby Price: When McLaren wanted to reduce vehicle weight, they started with the tires. They chose Pirelli tires for their reduced mass and superior strength.
Gathering of Experts: And the McLaren uses LED technology for its front and rear lights?
Bobby Price: Yes, LED lights are brighter and more efficient.
Gathering of Experts: How many color choices are there?
Bobby Price: Straight from the manufacturer, there are 16 color options ranging from Standard White to Special Mercury Red.
Gathering of Experts: Let’s talk about the interior for a bit.
Bobby Price: One thing that has really stood out to me with my C12 is that it offers a panoramic view of the road.
Gathering of Experts: Tell us about the Formula One inspired gearshift.
Bobby Price: That’s one of the most inventive features found in the interior. It has a rocker shift paddle which makes pushing or pulling through gears easy. It feels very natural.
Gathering of Experts: Okay, so it’s built for speed but what about practical design elements?
Bobby Price: The 12C features a built-in touchscreen offering full control over the communications and entertainment system.
Gathering of Experts: What would you consider the most unusual feature on the car?
Bobby Price: That has to be the ability to control how much engine noise is heard in the cabin.
Gathering of Experts: That is interesting. It sounds like the car really does have it all. And again we thank you for letting us pick your brain today.
Bobby Price: It’s been a pleasure.