Twenty-five brake horse power doesn’t sound like much of an improvement, and at first glance it makes little or no difference to the McLaren MP4-12C’s performance figures, but there’s one increment that tells the story about where that extra performance has been tucked away – 0-186 mph, which is now a full 1 second faster than before.

The MP4-12C’s mid mounted, twin turbocharged V8 engine now produces 616bhp (625PS) up from 591bhp which delivers more vivid acceleration at track speeds with no loss in efficiency. In fact CO2 emissions remain at just 279 g/km, with fuel economy of 24.2 mpg (combined).

To accompany its improved performance, McLaren has also enhanced the 12C’s Intake Sound Generator (ISG) system, which controls the amount of engine intake sound heard in the cabin. The system works by controlling engine intake noise within the cabin at differing levels, depending on the Powertrain mode selected for the car.

Moving up through Normal, Sport and Track Powertrain modes enhances the aural drama and driving experience of the 12C, with engine noise in the cabin changing when throttle power is applied and revs increase.

2013 MP4-12C performance data comparison

  2012 MP4-12C * (600 PS) 2013 MP4-12C *(625 PS)
0-62 mph (0-100 kph) 3.1 sec 3.1 sec
0-124 mph (0-200 kph) 8.9 sec 8.8 sec
0-186 mph (0-300 kph) 27.5 sec 26.5 sec
¼ mile (400m) 10.7 sec @ 135 mph (218 kph) 10.6 sec @ 136 mph (219 kph)
V Max 205 mph (330 kph) 207 mph (333 kph)

With the 2013 specification 12C, the ISG system is now programmable across three levels in all three Powertrain modes, allowing the driver to select the amount of aural drama he or she wants to enjoy, via an electronic menu in the instrument cluster.

The 12C’s 7-Speed SSG transmission has been updated to deliver crisper throttle response and improved clutch control for gear changes that are both faster and smoother.

To appease existing owners, as well as attracting new ones, McLaren are offering the package of upgrades, including the extra 25bhp, at no additional cost. Cars will receive these upgrades from October 2012, at the same time as the wholesale roll-out of fixes are applied to their IRIS info-tainment system.

Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive Managing Director said: “Given our racing heritage, it is in our nature to continuously seek out improvements. The team at McLaren Automotive recognises that our existing and future customers deserve the very best product and service we can offer, and the launch of the enhanced 12C reaffirms its position as the most powerful luxury sports car among its competitor set.

“We designed and engineered the 12C from a clean sheet of paper, and I am delighted with the innovative technology package created for our first sports car. Our customers love driving a car with technologies and systems that have proved successful in Formula 1 and which create an incredible driving experience in a unique new high performance sports car. New and existing customers will now enjoy an even better experience thanks to the upgrades.”

Detail changes

As we’ve come to expect with McLaren’s F1 team, the MP4-12C road car receives a whole raft of ‘detail’ changes, such as remote opening of the passenger door, enhanced equalisation options on the Meridian surround-sound system and of course the aforementioned programmable engine note.

The McLaren ‘Speed Marque’ badge, has been modified and is now available in two different finishes – Rocket Red/Silver as standard, or Stealth/Silver as an option.

The 2013 12C features a new door entry system. A small button mounted on each door replaces the 12C’s touch sensor system, intended to simplify its operation and improve reliability.

A new high quality paint finish has been added to the 12C’s options list – Volcano Yellow joins the ‘Elite’ set of paint finishes available for the revised model, joining the popular Volcano Orange and Volcano Red finishes selected by many 12C customers since the car was launched in 2011.

A new 5-spoke lightweight-forged wheel design is available, together with a selection of new finishes. Standard Silver, optional Stealth and eye-catching Diamond Cut finishes are available on the new design, as well as forged wheel designs available to order from the existing range.

Other changes worthy of note include a vehicle lift system for improved ground clearance, new higher quality and more naturally textured leather trim for the doors, seats, dash and centre console, plus piping around the perimeter of the seat and along the edge of the door card insert.

The 2013 series MP4-12C is available to order now at a price that starts from £176,000 in the UK, while the upgrade package will be applied to existing cars from October 2012.