The super-sleek McLaren MP4-12C super car unveiled Monday night at the Kimmel Center - one of only 400 available for purchase in the United States this year - can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about 3.2 seconds.

Crafted from aluminum, its 3.8-liter V-8 engine can produce 529 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque.

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Auto lovers call these kinds of statistics car porn, and by their standards, Monday night's unveiling at the Kimmel Center should have been rated triple-X, amid talk of a super-light battery and a central core made out of carbon fiber.

Here's one more paragraph to arouse these folks:

"It delivers relentless acceleration through the 'rev range.' Eighty percent of maximum torque is available below 2,000 rpm all the way up to redline at 8,500 rpm, guaranteeing pure driving pleasure."

The chassis will be on display. "You'll see what no one wants to show you, what's under the dress," said Peter Freiberger, McLaren's sales manager for North America.

Oooh, baby. It's all good for $229,000, making the MP4-12C the most accessibly priced pure McLaren available. The 10 outlets will be the first stand-alone McLaren dealerships in the United States.

So why is the coffee holder so abysmal, tucked awkwardly under the electronics console?

"Ha, ha, ha," chuckled a wealthy hotelier from the Philadelphia region, who has already plunked down $10,000 as a deposit but wants to stay low-profile.

"Cup holders are meant for commuters," he explained, kindly. "But that's not how I'm going to use the car."

We could go on and on about this car, but the real story of the car and the Kimmel Center is more about marketing - and not just marketing the car.

It's about how Robert DiStanislao, Main Line Porsche president, persuaded McLaren to choose him to build a brand-new McLaren dealership in West Chester. DiStanislao's allotment is 40, and he thinks he's already got 19 sold, even though the car won't be ready until the fall. Among those placing deposits? Five orthopedic surgeons.

"I'm happy to say there is an ample supply of wealthy people who want to distinguish themselves by buying this car," DiStanislao said. "You are buying a piece of automotive history."

People who know about cars know that McLaren, a British company, is famous for more than its race cars. In 1993, McLaren introduced its MP4-F1 into the consumer market, priced at $1 million. Those cars are trading up in the $3.5 million range now.

So how did DiStanislao get to be one of the 10 dealers in North America? The closest other dealership will be Greenwich, Conn., the staggeringly expensive New York suburb.

Freiberger used to work for Porsche and knows DiStanislao's sales chops. And, DiStanislao was willing to agree to some tough criteria. The dealership's floor tiles had to be 597 square millimeters, spaced with 3 millimeters of grout.

And if one of these cars so much as hiccups, DiStanislao must send a covered truck to pick up the car and bring it back for service.

To capture Freiberger's attention, DiStanislao proferred his company's binder at the big interview in England - one covered with a custom-made aluminum mesh cover, evoking the car's carbon-fiber core.

"It shows he gets it," Freiberger said.

DiStanislao also prepared a slide show and PowerPoint presentation. One slide showed Comcast's office tower and then pictured three Comcast execs who already are DiStanislao's customers.

The MP4-12C may be able to handle the rigors of the Comcast executives' commute, but that's not the point.

"It's more of a statement car," said Heather Silman of Scranton, who traveled to Philadelphia in her bright-red Porsche Cayman to attend Monday night's McLaren unveiling, one of an exclusive crowd of 288 invitees who DiStanislao thinks might spring for a MP4-12C.

What's the statement?

"I have a ton of money," she said, "and I can drive anything I want."

Contact staff writer Jane M. Von Bergen at 215-854-2769 or jvonbergen@phillynews.com.