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FrontRunners: McLaren

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Launched in 1992, the McLaren F1 was a standout among supercars. But after a production run of just 107 vehicles, the model reached the end of the line in 1998. Now, however, the British racing brand is back—and is planning to build about 1,000 examples of its new 2011 McLaren MP4-12C (www.mclarenautomotive.com).

McLaren engineered, designed, and is building the MP4-12C entirely in-house. (The F1 used a BMW V-12 engine.) Equipped with a twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-8 power plant, the car will produce 600 hp and 433 ft lbs of torque. A carbon-fiber-chassis design will help make the MP4-12C one of the lightest sports cars on the market, as well as one of the fastest: It promises to reach 60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds and a top speed of more than 200 mph. Priced from $234,000, the MP4-12C should compete for buyers with the forthcoming Ferrari 458 Italia.

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