Development of the McLaren MP4-12C is entering its final phase ready for launch in 2011. The latest Experimental Prototype (XP) 12Cs are undergoing intensive appraisal at a number of test locations around the world.

The company said one site being used is Spain’s Applus IDIADA facility, one of the most comprehensive independent proving grounds in Europe.

McLaren Automotive has obtained special permission to capture on camera the XP beta cars in action at Applus IDIADA and is releasing a series of short films to provide an insight into a performance car testing programme from the perspective of the development team responsible for the 12C.

Featured in the short film are XP8 and XP10, two XP beta-phase prototypes. These test cars feature significant technological advancements that take the 12C nearer to production.

A revised version of the M838T twin-turbo engine, transmission with new gear ratios, a more efficient cooling package, new suspension geometry and upgraded electrics are the key features of current prototypes, denoting key differences between XP and XP beta cars.

Performance figures are expected to be announced next month.

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McLaren programme director Mark Vinnels said: “There is an extensive list of subjective and objective targets set for our prototype vehicles. These cars are already achieving outstanding results in many of the subjective areas, which includes ride quality, handling and many other aspects of dynamic performance.

“The benchmark competitor vehicles we have tested become nervous and twitchy at higher speed, but the 12C feels more stable than anything I have driven. Because the bump rejection is so good, the ride is smooth and the steering is solid.

“Between now and production the vehicles and the team are working flat out.”