Tuesday, April 17, 2012

McLaren MP4-12C Sighting!

McLaren MP4-12C
After a brief hiatus, the blog is back! Picking up where I left off...I had the pleasure of spotting a McLaren MP4-12C valeted in front of a fancy hotel the other day. Click through for some more pictures and commentary.

McLaren MP4-12C

In the 1990s, the name McLaren was synonymous with the fastest car in the world, specifically referring to the McLaren F1. (That title was of course later destroyed by the Bugatti Veyron). In the 2000s, McLaren collaborated with Mercedes on the SLR, and then last year, as a standalone company, McLaren released the MP4-12C you see above.

A few things I like about the car:
  • The design is the prototypical expression of a sports car. In other words, if I was playing Pictionary or DrawSomething and I was asked to draw a "sports car", I'd probably draw something that looks like the MP4-12C.
  • The MP4-12C certainly drew a crowd. A consistent flow of people - including both car enthusiasts and regular pedestrians - huddled around the car, taking pictures, posing, and glaring its beauty
  • The interior is very simple and ergonomic. There are few buttons or knobs, and the center stack looks quite similar to the Porsche Carrera GT
  • The rear active aero is SICK. All cars should have it.
  • And yes, the McLaren name still carries the same cachet that it did in the 90s
  • While I have not driven this car, listening to Jeremy Clarkson driving it on Top Gear affirms that the engine sounds amazing...
  • Above all, the rarity of this car speaks for itself. I may never see one in the wild again...

McLaren MP4-12C
And a few things I don't like about the car:
  • At over $230k, there are quite a few other competing exotic sports cars to choose from, such as the Ferrari 458, Aston Martin DBS, Mercedes SLS, Lamborghini Aventador, Audi R8, and others. I have to say that the design of some of those cars carries more intrigue than the McLaren
  • The front end design of the MP4-12C is not very exciting and perhaps a little squished. From afar, I might mistaken the front end for a last-gen Hyundai Tiburon (which, I might add, is not a bad looking car!)
  • According to Jeremy Clarkson, the MP4-12C was too restrained and not as fun or engaging to drive as the 458 Italia. Sometimes too much technology is not a good thing.
  • What a stupid, forgettable name...did they really need to add the "12C" to the end? Simply "MP4" would have been bland, but adding the "12C" makes it bland and confusing. It sort of reminds me of the Merkur XR4Ti (what does it mean, and why is the "i" lowercase?)
All-in-all, would I buy the McLaren MP4 if I had $230k? Not sure, given the stiff competition (and having not driven it myself...anyone want to let me drive theirs?), but given the excitement and intrigue the car stirred up just sitting in front of this hotel, I'd definitely give it a hard look.

1 comment:

  1. Impressive. Especially if it didn't have dealer plates on it!