LINEAR ACTUATORS IN THE MCLAREN MP4-12C

In 2011, McLaren Automotive unveiled the most sophisticated, fastest car in human history: the McLaren MP4-12C. This impressive piece of machinery boasts a 3.8-litre, V8, twin-turbo engine with about 616 bhp an and 443 lbs/sq ft. of torque. In 2013, the McLaren tore apart the lap record at Highlands Motorsport Park at 1:14.9. It’s no small wonder, since its top speed comes in at 333km/h. Without linear actuators, this car couldn’t be the speed monster it is today.

Design director Frank Stephenson designed the McLaren in September 2009.  Not since the McLaren F1 in 1998 has the company completely designed their own car. They have taken back the wheel with a bang, and it will only cost you $229,000. You don’t really want to send your kids to college do you.

Those who take a good look at the McLaren MP4-12C may notice that it is a little less flashy than its predecessors. The designers have said they have built something that is ‘90% functionality, and 10% beauty.??? As disappointed as you might be with its looks, it certainly makes up for it in performance.

Spoiler Alert!

For this car to have stability and handling at such high speeds, it is fitted with a retractable spoiler.  12V actuators are used to control the movement of the spoiler, because they are very lightweight and require little maintenance. When the spoiler is extended, the downward force pushes the car firmly onto the road, enabling the car to grip the pavement.

The spoiler is closely connected with the airbrakes on this car. The airbrakes are able to sit in three different positions on this car, a feature learned from the F1.  To function properly, the airbrakes needed downforce. When the airbrake is deployed manually, it provides additional downforce along with the spoiler and the car can navigate corners at high speed.

Adaptive Suspension

The McLaren required the best handling, and the designers have achieved this with their adaptive suspension. Using hydraulic actuators, they developed a system of cross-connected hydraulic lines and dual-chamber shocks that moves any excess pressure from one side of the car to the other. The suspension system is so effective at preventing body roll during corners that McLaren didn’t feel the need to install a roll bar.

Not long after the 12C was unveiled, McLaren introduced the McLaren MP4-12C Spider.  This car is a little sleeker, has a retractable roof and a new brake system. Mechanically, it is identical to the 12C and is worth every mile you put on it.

McLaren, finally back into the game of designing their own cars, has come out with something that will turn heads and blur vision. The actuators in this car play a vital role in its functioning, and the Mclaren MP4-12C just wouldn’t be the same without them and their control systems.

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