Eight years later, a second-hand McLaren can be had for about $125k.
With the introduction of the Sports Series, McLaren has gone further down-market – relatively speaking – than it ever had before. But you're still looking at nearly $200k for a new 570S, and other models (like the 720S and Senna) go for even more. Much more.
So what's a fan of Woking's finest to do if those prices are just a little out of reach? Buy a used 12C, that's what. McLaren Automotive's debut model, the MP4-12C (later dropping the MP4-) was, after all, made from the same basic building blocks as the company's latest.
Like every model that's come since, the 12C is built around a carbon monocoque chassis, with a twin-turbo V8 placed in the middle and driving the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Now don't get us wrong: McLaren has improved those basic elements and the packages into which they've been assembled by no small measure in the years since. Where it originally kicked out 592 horsepower in the 12C (later upgraded to 616), the engine's been tuned to deliver over 700 hp in later models. And with everything else improving along with it, performance has increased commensurately.
As evolved as McLaren's latest may be, they still follow that same basic formula as the original. And you can get one for a fair bit less.
In fact the automaker's own pre-owned database currently lists 11 used 12Cs for sale in the United States alone (both Coupes and Spiders) some of them even certified by the factory as McLaren Qualified. And with the exception of one outlier listed (probably mistakenly) for nearly $300k, their prices hover around the $125k mark. That'd barely be enough to buy a new Porsche 911 these days, but could get you something entirely more exotic on the second-hand market.