October 24, 2012
Two of the companies that go to making our new Need for Speed game are situated just nine miles apart in the South East of England: Criterion Games, the developer of the Burnout Series, Hot Pursuit and this year's Most Wanted, and McLaren Automotive, the manufacturer of the stunning high tech masterpiece: the McLaren MP4-12C.
As we countdown to the release of the game, we thought it would be cool to give you some insight into the journey the 12C took as it went from supercar dream to in-game favorite.
To know the 12C, you need to know a bit about McLaren.
The company was founded in 1964 by Kiwi racing legend, Bruce McLaren. He had was, at the time, the youngest ever winner of a Grand Prix and his success on the race track extened into car production and is the life blood of the company to this day.
It's an incredible heritage on the race track. McLaren are (by race wins), the most successful Grand Prix team of all time. World champoins include Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton. This year's car, the MP4-27, is driven by fellow-Brits Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button (pictured).
McLaren’s first road car was the legendary F1: a no-holds barred, race-tuned street car that was McLaren through and through. It was all about insane performance, balanced handling and obsessive attention to detail. The gold engine bay lining, the bespoke lightweight stereo, the carbon composite body and chassis, the aerodynamic styling and the central driving position all showcased an unparalleled pursuit of performance that made the F1 the fastest production car in the world by some margin and for some time afterwards.
With this as the standard, McLaren approached production of the MP4-12C as a major commitment. A new production facility was designed and built at their Woking HQ. The goal was to go into full-scale production of a supercar, and the facility reflects McLaren's long-term commitment. It is spectacular.
The MP4-12C owes its unusual name to its grand prix heritage. MP4 is the reference number of the race cars. The 12C refers to the extensive use of carbon fiber.
You can see McLaren’s F1 technology in the high-end suspension design, which combines high-speed performance and road-going luxury and comfort, an unusual combination in a supercar. The car also sports a full carbon chassis for added strength, stiffness and weight saving.
The inside of the McLaren production facility is like something from the future: stark, white, precise and relentlessly high tech.
Roll stright out of the factory and hit the track.
Or just park up and admire the high quality finish.
The McLaren's at home on the race track as it is on the freeway. Push it to the limit or commute in luxury and style.
For Need for Speed Most Wanted, we worked closely with McLaren to create a perfectly accurate model of the car. We start with the data actually used on the car and build out a detailed model from there. It begins as a simple, untextured wireframe.
The model slowly evolves slowly into a fully lit, fully textured model that's a close to the real thing as your gaming hardware will allow.
Eventually it's ready to take out on the road and join the cops and online racers of Fairhaven for some in-depth gameplay testing. That's when the real fun starts. We'll work on refining the physical feel of the car to recreate its real performance but also to make it fun to drive in Most Wanted.
Our designers rip it through every inch of Fairhaven City, get in hundreds of hours of chases with the cops and batter the car through online testing until it feels, plays and looks just right.
What we strive for is the McLaren experience you'll never get on the road, even if you can afford the real thing. We want players to to rip it through speed cameras, race their friends, hit ramps, get chased by the cops, crash and drift at high speed through traffic. All the things you couldn't possibly do in the real thing. Check out the 12C in action:
We're out in a few short days, so head over to our pre-order page and secure your copy now.
Then blast it into the (online) sunset and live happily ever after.