The McLaren MP4-12C on Aurora after the crash. (Via Quattroworld)

A crash in Seattle typically wouldn’t generate interest beyond the region, but car geeks around the country are buzzing about a wreck Saturday afternoon on Aurora Avenue, because of the vehicle involved: A McLaren MP4-12C supercar, which sells for upwards of $250,000 and wasn’t thought to have made it to North American buyers.

McLaren MP4-12C (McLaren image)

Curious about what happened, GeekWire enlisted the help of the resourceful Jonah Spangenthal-Lee of, who was able to track down the details of the crash from the incident report.

According to the report, the driver was on a test run, headed northbound, and changed lanes between the 300 and 400 block of Aurora. The driver lost control of the vehicle, the car spun 180 degrees and hit the east side curb — running into the back of a Metro bus. The driver later described the cause of the wreck as “mechanical.”

There were no injuries, and the bus left before police arrived.

Witnesses say a rear passenger wheel separated from the car, but the report doesn’t mention that.

Police aren’t releasing the name of the driver. The person is described in some reports as a “software engineer” but it’s not clear if it was the driver’s own car or a McLaren test vehicle. Which leaves two big questions: Who was driving, and what was the car doing here? If anyone has any additional insights, drop us a line at

Thanks to Jonah for his help. Thanks to Isaac Alexander for the tip. Top image via Quattroworld.

Update: Not the first appearance by an MP4-12C in Seattle it turns out. See this Road & Track piece about Boeing’s 787 carbon fiber technology, with a cameo by a McLaren. It looks like a different car to me, based on the paint color, although they could have painted it in the meantime. (Thanks to everyone who sent this in.)

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  • Mpknecht

    Ha! I drove past this scene moments later. Glad no one was hurt.

  • MikeLew

    UPDATE: It turns out the mechanical failure was a limited electrical signal between the driver’s brain and his right foot.

  • steve clayton

    i saw the car out of the corner of my eye when entering a building on Westlake Ave N last week…I knew I knew the distinctive exhaust design and this answers my question – thanks!

    and that is the same car at Boeing

  • Guest

    Interesting. I saw the MClaren in a long line of other sports cars on 34th headed West towards Freemont. They were driving aggressively and clearly in a group, having probably met somewhere for a car enthusiasts’ gathering. Glad everyone is okay. I wonder which group this was- Six Speed maybe?

  • Terra

    Well it must be someone from Microsoft, if not Bill Gates himself.

  • Bill

    Not surprising. Seattle drivers suck major cock.

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