But seriously. If anyone ever hands you the keys to a 200mph+ supercar for the weekend, learn from my mistake. Go West, North, or even South to the Channel Tunnel - anywhere the roads are made for driving. Just for the record though, I would like to know whether anyone else has driven an MP4-12C across the Humber Bridge. (Don’t worry, I circled the roundabout at the far end and headed straight back!)
I wrote my MP4-12C impressions for PistonHeads, and I’m not going to all the effort of spelling it out again – you can read my thoughts over there if you want to.
Meanwhile, here’s an ATFULLCHAT review of what some other testers have said:
Autocar (4.5 stars out of 5). Frankly, there doesn’t seem to be much standing between the McLaren MP4-12C and a five star rating from Autocar. Their testers cite sensational performance (Go figure. Geddit..?), a terrific ride and ‘adjustable on-limit dynamics’ as the Pros. A bit of turbo-lag on track, too much understeer and an uncharismatic engine note as listed as the Cons.
Evo (5 out of 5 stars). Chris Harris in his first drive reckoned the MP4-12C is “faster than a Ferrari 458 Italia, has more useable performance, rides better, has more mechanical grip and is much, much more useable”. A pretty comprehensive pasting for the Italian job by the sound of it, although Chris then succumbs to the ‘Ferraris are more emotional’ argument and says the McLaren isn’t the car “you’d sell your family to own”.
Car. Gavin Green’s YouTube MP4-12C diary highlights the difficulties in making riveting video content on a magazine budget, but the story he wrote alongside it offers valuable insights – particularly his list of 10 reasons why the 12C may be a better buy than the Ferrari 458. We like number 4: “The McLaren has carbon where it matters. Not useless bits of carbon appliqué.”
Road and Track. The MP4-12C achieves its performance targets in the same calculated fashion of the McLaren F1 team, says America’s oldest automotive title. “It appeals to “in-the-know” car enthusiasts who prefer their supercars understated, a different path than Ferrari, which wows its customers with more emotional appeal.”
0 to 60mph: 3.0secs
Max speed: 205mph
Engine: 3799cc Petrol V8 - twin turbos
Gearbox: 7-spd auto
Max Power: 592bhp/7000rpm
Max Torque: 442lbft/3000-7000rpm
Emotion, schmotion… The McLaren 12C is every bit as awesome as the 458 Italia (more awesome in lots of important ways), and we're pleased it doesn't go around shouting about it. 12 stars out of 10 from us.