McLaren's New 12D Hatchback Is A 161mph, RWD Diesel Tearaway

Due to tightening emissions laws, McLaren has introduced a high-powered, rear-drive diesel hatchback to its line-up

By Alex Kersten, 01 April 2014

Picture 2

McLaren has revealed a radical new model, the 12D. Described as a car that will 'meet the everyday demands of existing McLaren 12C, 650S and P1 owners with a family,' the 12D marks a sizeable shift in the brand's current two-seat supercar/hypercar direction.

Thanks to a new tie-in with Ford, the 12D is based on a Focus ST donor car, which is stripped of its components and running gear and rebuilt with existing parts from McLaren's illustrious parts bin.

Under the McLaren 12D's skin, the diesel hatch features a longitudinally-mounted 3.2-litre, twin-turbocharged V6 with 306hp and 336lb ft torque. Power to the rear wheels is transferred to the tarmac via a seven-speed dual clutch auto. With the assistance of launch control, the 12D will hit 62mph in 4.4sec, making it one of the fastest production diesel cars currently on sale.

At the rear of the car, the 12D features a prominent carbonfibre splitter which aids downforce at the 12D's claimed 161mph top speed. The rear lights are designed in-house and the rear hatch - made from fibre-reinforced plastic - tips the scales at just 6.5kg to keep the car's weight low.

Picture 5

Further helping to keep the 12D's weight down (the official figure remains undisclosed) are a set of magnesium alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber. The beefy breaks (above) are carried over from the existing 12C and are said to stop the 12D from 62mph to zero in a scant 31 metres.

Like Aston Martin's introduction of the Cygnet model (which has since been axed), the 12D's existence is thanks to ever-tightening emissions laws, which require manufacturers to meet certain C02 targets across the fleet.

Prices for the McLaren 12D have not been revealed, but insiders suggest "well over £65,000" is likely.

Next article Here's What It's Like To Wrestle A C7 Corvette Stingray On Soaking British Roads