Contrasting with trade-show debuts, the 12C’s reveal was not preceded by a company executive’s teleprompter-aided speech, a high-stepping dancing routine or a languorous pulling-back of the gossamer by fashion models. Instead, Jenson Button, a driver for McLaren Mercedes’s team and 2009 Formula One champion, revved a 12C validation prototype up Goodwood Hill to The Sunday Times Supercar Paddock, where he posed for photos.
The validation prototype was joined by a 12C rolling chassis, which exposes the car’s innards — including its carbon-fiber tub. As noted in The New York Times last weekend, the 12C will begin shipping from McLaren’s factory in Woking, England, to five initial North American dealerships next summer.
In a display of brand-heritage synergy, Button also piloted a 1986 McLaren-TAG MP4-2C turbo, once driven by Alain Prost, a four-time Formula One champion, up the winding hillside course, which stretched 1.16 miles over 300 feet of elevation gain.
Keeping company with the 12C at the supercar paddock were a Bugatti Veyron Pur Sang, a Lamborghini Reventón, a Ferrari 599 GTO, a Zonda F and other examples of automotive unobtainium.