Pros: Improved performance; standard ceramic brakes; unique trim and colors

Cons: Even more expensive than today's model; only 50 of each available

What's new: The new 50 models commemorate McLaren's 50th anniversary.

McLaren announced it will soon offer limited-production MP4-12C models to celebrate the brand's 50th anniversary. Dubbed the McLaren 50 12C and the McLaren 50 12C Spider, the new models offer improved performance and revised styling both inside and out.

On the outside, the McLaren MP4-12C special edition models will be hard to distinguish from the standard MP4-12C. Three unique colors are offered: Carbon Black, Supernova Silver and a striking McLaren Orange. For those who choose black or silver, the model will offer only two exterior revisions. One exterior revision is badging: The 50th anniversary model will have an emblem that commemorates the automaker's anniversary.

The other revision is a new front bumper. Designed by McLaren Special Operations, the new bumper increases downforce. The result is the 50 12C and 50 12C Spider will stick to the road better than the standard models, especially under hard turning. While much of the bumper is color-coded, a section is carbon fiber, which reduces weight.

But a new bumper isn't the only performance upgrade. Both models also come standard with McLaren's optional ceramic brakes. Although ceramic brakes don't offer greatly improved stopping distances over traditional steel brakes, they are remarkably fade-resistant. That means drivers won't need to worry about changing brake pads when they're on the track.

The new 50th anniversary McLaren MP4-12C special edition models also boast several important interior enhancements. Namely, the cars feature the brand's optional full leather upholstery. They also feature an "anniversary dedication plate" on the driver's door and "subtle branding" on the standard floor mats. The 50 models will feature black-painted alloy wheels, as well.

While McLaren has not announced pricing, the anniversary models will likely start above today's base prices of around $240,000 for the coupe and $270,000 for the Spider. Production is limited to 100 units: 50 coupes and 50 Spiders.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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