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Geneva Motor Show 2012: McLaren MP4-12C gets tuned

It seems like everyone wants to have a go at tuning the new McLaren...

The McLaren MP4-12C is certainly the hottest property in the Supercar market right now. Cars are being delivered to owners and they’re out enjoying the full 600 bhp and the classy understated looks. It doesn’t shout about the performance like the Ferrari 458, it just gets on with it in a somewhat reserved British way.

But at the end of the day it’s a 600 bhp Supercar with a 3.8 litre twin turbo V8 engine so there are going to be some who want more performance and wilder looks from their McLaren. Step up the tuning world.

Other than the new Porsche 911 (more on that tomorrow) the MP4-12C is the most popular tuners car at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. We brought you the story of the Mansory MP4 on Friday and now we can show you the offerings from Hamann, Gemballa and FAB.

Hamann are more widely known for their Porsche and BMW tuning, but they’ve had a crack at the McLaren with their grammatically nightmarish ‘memoR’, seen above in black and red. There are no performance modifications mentioned so this is purely cosmetic. What you get is a pretty basic visual makeover, with a new front bumper featuring a large splitter and vents at the sides, new side skirts and an extended rear diffuser. The most noticeable modification is the bright red roof vent which we assume feeds air to the engine. There is also a large fixed carbon rear wing.

Gemballa have been tuning Porsches for many years, most famously the Carrera GT based Gemballa Mirage. After a shaky couple of years where the founder was missing then found dead, they have now turned their attentions to the McLaren as well as Porsches. Again no performance specs were released so we assume it is running the stock engine. Named simply the ‘McLaren MP4-12C Aerokit’ their effort gets a vivid blue paint job that shows off the new body parts very well. There is a new front bumper which apes the MP4’s normal air intakes and emphasises them. Side skirts are added and at the rear there is a new bumper housing the exhausts with a new design. This stays closest to the original style but adds a little more aggression. The wheels are replaced by lightweight 20- and 21-inch alloys, in black with white painted faces.

Finally we have the creation by FAB Design, the Terso which is resplendent in white in our gallery. FAB are more known for their Mercedes tuning, but again they couldn’t help take a shot at the new McLaren and we think it’s the best of the trio. The front end is redesigned with a large lower air intake and carbon splitter, there’s a small spoiler at the base of the windscreen, a roof mounted air intake and a huge one-piece carbon fibre wing at the back. But unlike the other tuners, the  FAB Terso also has new carbon fibre front and rear wings which are extended outwards, increasing the front and rear track considerably. It also gives the MP4 a much wider, more planted look and we love it. Also unlike the others, this MP4 has been fettled under the bonnet as well, with tweaked turbos and a freer flowing exhaust system with carbon rear section helping it to achieve 680 bhp.

So, which one would we choose? Easy, we’d take a standard MP4-12C thanks. We think the boffins at McLaren did a pretty good job with the car exactly as it is…

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - www.ecurie25.com Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more