McLaren MP4-12C

21st Century’s Greatest Supersports Car!

Throughout my entire motoring journalism career - it’s my 7th year - I have driven cars as naturally as you readers drink water every day. I am not trying to show off; this is my career and the career of every motoring journalist. I have driven the best supercars models on this planet from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Aston Martin, Maserati, Bentley, Jaguar, etc… I am very happy to be among the people who can give you a sincere opinion of this fresh era of supersports cars.

I am not a spiritual person but perhaps possess an innate wisdom of guts that allow me to speak to you strictly with no boundaries. It’s been about two years of attending conferences and motor shows that have kept us in check with Ron Dennis’ latest toy. This thing lit a fiery excitement within me, and finally the time came to drive the MP4-12C in Bahrain, where the Middle East Headquarters of McLaren is located.

Driving Impressions

The best comparison to the MP4-12C is the 458 Italia. I can definitely declare that the Ferrari 458 Italia is a remarkable car without a single doubt. But let me tell you something, the McLaren MP4-12C is a malicious and mysterious car that can bluff any of its competitors! With a 3.8 liter engine, twin-turbo V8, delivering 592 hp and weighing 1434 Kg (less than a ton and half), it can totally trick you. How is that? Follow me and I will tell you that splendid fairytale.

Ferrari has been in Formula 1 long enough and we all know that McLaren had their part too, which we can never forget. They know how to build a car that handles well. What is the secret? It’s the traction control. If we go back into history we all know that Aryton Senna was the perfect driver on a rainy day at the Grand Prix; the reason behind it is McLaren’s antidote versus the rivals…

I got inside the cockpit, adjusted my seat and was relaxed and content with the adjustable steering wheel. Although the interior is pretty good, it is too simple. Italians would have put in more effort. The buttons are all centralized in one place on your right console, which would sacrifice the Italian ornaments.

I put on the helmet and the action began!

First lap was a horrible one as I was still familiarizing with the vehicle. My apexes and braking point were too early or a little late. Anyhow, I still had 3 more laps to get from this lovely toy what I wanted. With 3 modes that can be switched within seconds and with the suspensions that are replaced by computers instead of the roll bars making every wheel independent from the other, means the result is much better cornering on the circuit!

At the end of the day I was lucky to be among the fastest drivers; the entire 252 kph drive on Bahrain International Circuit.

Verdict

A quote can really summarize it: “Ferrari’s horrendous dream has knocked on their door!” With such an accurate handling, light chassis and a very powerful and fast engine; what could you demand more than that? Pay less and surely get a car which has 2 faces similar to the Gemini Horoscope (I don’t mean to insult any of you folks), but this car can be well driven on track as well as on public roads. There is something missing in my opinion. If you have seen the factory, well sometimes too much perfection is not always a privilege. It lacks of that intuitive sensation which matches the driver and the vehicle; like Herbie the love bug and Dean Jones…

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