2012 McLaren MP4-12C
Aanother set of car keys that doesn’t come along every day -returning to the road-car ranks is McLaren Automotive, and their 2012 MP4-12C is a worthy successor to the record-setting F1 supercar! With turns behind the wheel on both street and track, our first drive revealed a car with absolutely no compromises in poise or handling.
Credit that to its Proactive Chassis Control, which abandons mechanical anti-roll bars in favor of linked hydraulic dampers to handle roll control and ride stiffness. Four driving modes deliver flat cornering, maximum grip and cat-like reflexes on track, AND supple grace around town.
Starting with its unique carbon fiber tub, every inch of the MP4-12C was designed with the same fanatical attention to detail that drives McLaren’s F1 team to victory lane, including extensive use of their F1 simulator. Powering the McLaren is an ultra lightweight 3.8 liter twin-turbo V8 that delivers 592 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque with no lag. The only transmission is a 7-speed dual clutch semi-automatic with Formula 1 paddle shifters.
With launch mode active, the McLaren screams to 60 in just 3.2 seconds, on the way to a 205 mile-per-hour top speed. Power delivery is smooth with no lag and 80% of available torque is on hand from below 2000 RPM all the way to its dizzy 8500 RPM redline.
To slow things down in a hurry, this Airbrake pops up from the rear spoiler, keeping the rear end planted and stable. McLaren is hardly a new kid on the block, but the MP4-12C is a fresh face in the ultra-performance car field and a force to be reckoned with. It’s on sale now, priced at a cool $229,000.
Engine: 3.8 liter twin-turbo V8