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Maff

Original Poster:

535 posts

152 months

[news] 
Tuesday 20th September 2011 quote quote all
After a wait for a few issues to be sorted by the dealer I picked her up this afternoon, and, WOW!

The McLaren has a lot more visual appearance on the road than any photo's portray, and has quite a stance. The interior fit and finish is very good, better than the Ferrari's, exterior fit and finish is probably on par.

I happened to be driving my GTO and California this morning, and got straight out of those and into the MP4-12C. The first thing I noticed is how small the McLaren feels compared to the Ferrari's, but its actual size is slightly bigger than a California.

The MP4 feels much more nimble than the GTO, but most of that will be down to the weight difference. The MP4 is certainly quicker than the GTO once it gets going, and it pulls like nothing I have driven before once you get to 4500rpm all the way to 8500rpm. However I would guess from a standing start the GTO would pull away, as the GTO just sits down and goes off the line with no wheelspin at all, whereas the McLaren gets a lot of wheelspin and needs to be modulated, I assume due to the turbo torque kicking in. Once the McLaren is up to 80mph or so then it would start to pull away at quite some speed from the GTO. The McLaren really IS quick once rolling and I would be amazed if at motorway speeds anything bar a Veyron would currently pass it (except modified cars wink

Oh, and one thing I was not expecting! The noise!!!! I have the optional sports lightweight exhaust and inside the cabin the exhaust/engine noise is much louder than the GTO, not sure how that compares outside - I would guess the GTO is louder.

I drove the GTO and MP4 back to back on my local twisty hilly roads and the MP4 does handle better than I expected. In comparison the GTO just simply sticks and does not slide very much at all unless properly provoked or driven in a very agressive manner, whereas I found the MP4 to be a little more playful than the GTO but still very well balanced, and the GTO would have its work cut out trying to keep up with the MP4 on the twisties.

Ride is very good, nicely sprung and still dampened to what you would expect. Sometimes feels a but floaty but only in a straight line over undulations, paint finish is very good, better than Aston, Ferrari.

And the not so good bits:
- Seats don't have enough adjustment for height and backrest (and these are the optional electric memory ones)
- interior does feel a bit small, but then as a plus it makes the car feel smaller than it is
- TURBO LAG! Below 3000rpm the small engine does show through. You really have to be above 3000rpm all the time otherwise it feels like I am driving my smart car. There really is virtually no get up and go at all compared to my similar cars. Even compared to my California and C63 AMG below 2000rpm its lousy and between 2000 and 3000rpm its just about on par. To be fair my other cars are NA, but you know its a turbo engined car in the McLaren. And once the power does come on when you back off to brake at say 6000rpm it feels as if the power is still being delivered for a very short amount of time, as if the turbo is still 'un-spooling' which I found a little strange.
- Throttle response leaves a little to be desired. Maybe harsh comparing it with the GTO which is just perfect, but I did expect a little better.
- I wont mention the 'launch car' issues as these have been mentioned in other posts, but they did detract from the experience.

Overall, even with the items above it is a still a great car, and something for McLaren to be proud of. Yes its not perfect, but some of the issues above could be sorted out over time. My main gripes are with the turbo lag and responsiveness, and should be issues that can be fixed.

Some may say its not fair to compare to a 599 GTO which costs over £110k more than the MP4-12C, but its just my way of comparing to what I know very well (>7000 miles on my GTO now and numerous track days).

The MP4 will be put through the same paces as my other cars so it will be interesting to see how it develops with some use and track days.

Some crappy iPhone photos:












Matt.

Anubis

668 posts

64 months

[news] 
Tuesday 20th September 2011 quote quote all
A good honest write up - enjoyed reading that, please keep us all informed. Enjoy! smile

traxx

2,827 posts

107 months

[news] 
Tuesday 20th September 2011 quote quote all
Car looks great in White

Congratz

russy01

2,734 posts

66 months

[news] 
Tuesday 20th September 2011 quote quote all
looks lovely, looks much smarter than the GTO. I was surprised with how big the GTO was, Think it was yours at Caring with cars.

limpsfield

3,272 posts

138 months

[news] 
Tuesday 20th September 2011 quote quote all
Maff said:
I happened to be driving my GTO and California this morning,
I fking love this line!

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RobboC

895 posts

146 months

[news] 
Tuesday 20th September 2011 quote quote all
Great write up, and it looks stunning. I know some like LFB have had some issues etc, but even with that, and the cost, it seems to be such a staggeringly fast and accomplished car from a Britsh maker.

I for one applaud that.

The problems? Character. biggrinwink

Diamond blue

2,281 posts

85 months

[news] 
Tuesday 20th September 2011 quote quote all
Matt,
You appear to be living the boyhood dream of a lots of us.
All those earnest schoolboy conversations about fantasy garages seem to be reality in your backyard. cloud9

Was it a 275GTB last week as well.....

Fantastic, Wonderful collection of cars and all driven as they deserve to be. 7000 miles in your GTO , thats how they should be used.

milk2sugars

262 posts

43 months

[news] 
Tuesday 20th September 2011 quote quote all
Looks great in white!! And so does that GTO !! Good God!!

Not Ideal

2,034 posts

73 months

[news] 
Wednesday 21st September 2011 quote quote all
Great write-up.

So given a choice - the GTO or MP4..??

Beefmeister

11,938 posts

115 months

[news] 
Wednesday 21st September 2011 quote quote all
Christ that's some spec you've got there - all the carbon-y bits - any chance you'd let us know the final build cost? biggrin

But you might want to pop back to the dealer anyway, i think your spoiler is stuck... tongue out

Oh, and an MP4 & GTO twin shot would be rather nice too, thanksverymuch...

thumbup

Andyuk911

1,908 posts

94 months

[news] 
Wednesday 21st September 2011 quote quote all
Matt,

did you ever get a test of a pre-production car ??

Also perhaps they can change the throtle map on the car?

Wanta996Gotta

5,608 posts

92 months

[news] 
Wednesday 21st September 2011 quote quote all
Diamond blue said:
Matt,
You appear to be living the boyhood dream of a lots of us.
All those earnest schoolboy conversations about fantasy garages seem to be reality in your backyard. cloud9

Was it a 275GTB last week as well.....

Fantastic, Wonderful collection of cars and all driven as they deserve to be. 7000 miles in your GTO , thats how they should be used.
+1. Couldnt have put it better.

DayTrader

776 posts

52 months

[news] 
Wednesday 21st September 2011 quote quote all
Louder than a GTO inside...wasn't expecting that!

Diamond blue

2,281 posts

85 months

[news] 
Wednesday 21st September 2011 quote quote all
DayTrader said:
Louder than a GTO inside...wasn't expecting that!
Isnt that the "Harry Metcalfe" upgrade,
Different channelling of the intake noise through the cabin in track mode?

Quite right too. Cant believe McLaren didnt realise how important noise is to the driving experience.

Frik

12,503 posts

128 months

[news] 
Wednesday 21st September 2011 quote quote all
Louder than the GTO? Blimey.

Cheers for the write-up. Christmas certainly comes early in your house doesn't it?

bertie

6,280 posts

169 months

[news] 
Wednesday 21st September 2011 quote quote all
Jeepers that's some car collection, awesome!

Well done that man!

ls3steve

1,176 posts

56 months

[news] 
Wednesday 21st September 2011 quote quote all
Totally agree that the car looks much better in person than in photos. The stance etc is spot on.
Not seen one in white yet so i look forward to seeing your car at Sunday Service next weekend (i saw your name on the list, hope you dont have to cancel)

Great write up too, thanks for sharing


trackdemon

9,453 posts

146 months

[news] 
Wednesday 21st September 2011 quote quote all
Have to say, that looks absolutely brilliant in white/carbon. I guess(hope!) we'll be seeing at a VMAX event in the future? wink

y2blade

54,388 posts

100 months

[news] 
Wednesday 21st September 2011 quote quote all
thank you for sharing your new car and experiences with us smile
it does look stunning in white (first one I've seen that colour)


please keep us updated, I'll be following with interest (purely as a daydreamer you understand)
I hope it works out well for you.
good on you

enjoy
coffee

concours g60

25 posts

83 months

[news] 
Wednesday 21st September 2011 quote quote all
good review,there are always going to be niggles with new cars all you owners are part of the testing process. They do sound good with the sport exhaust, which dealership did you get it from?
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