Here we are, waiting for the traffic light to turn green. We've only been driving the McLaren MP4-12C on urban roads for about 20 minutes now, but we're already looking for a way out.
That's because while the MP4-12C can handle city driving, it won't bring too much pleasure inside the cabin while it's inside the city.
The adaptive technical side of this McLaren means that the downsized V8 or the dual-clutch gearbox aren't intimidated by busy or stop'n go traffic. However, this kind of setup doesn't bring a smile on your face unless you allow it to show some violence and since you wouldn't want to get arrested, you can't do this inside the city.
The active hydraulic dampers, which are all linked to each other, make an excellent job at dealing with typical urban asphalt irregularities, so you can count on the suspension for being a good friend to you and your passenger. Nevertheless, the suspension can't really handle larger obstacles and it will send the force of the impact underneath to the car.
When we drove the MP4-12C, the vehicle was still offered in its launch configuration, which meant that it was a total stranger to the notion of "lift". Since the MP4-12C comes with one of the tiniest ground clearances in the automotive world, we were absolutely bullied by typical city driving obstacles such as speed bumps.
Neither the nose, nor the rear diffuser of the car, will experience any scraping. Instead, you'll scratch the two flexible skirts that channel air under the car. These are placed behind the front wheels and to keep them safe you'll need to generate a small traffic jam every time you reach a bump. The 2013 model year MP4-12C does feature an optional lift system, which operates up to a speed of 37 mph (60 km/h). McLaren didn't want an extra button in the cabin, so this can be activated using the trip computer menu.
The steering is light enough for city use, but the racing-focused shape of the steering wheel will stand in between you and effortless parking maneuvers. Fortunately, the parking sensors allow you to complete this kind of maneuvers in a decent manner.
It's obvious that the dihedral doors provide quite a show to whomever happens to be around the MP4-12C when you park, so you'd better practice your elegant egress.Continue reading
Hold on, Lou Cheeka would like to say something...
This is a memorable day for me, I think I’ve met one of the best Ferraris in my life! This must be the 458 facelift, right? Anyway, they didn’t allow me to express myself in the chapters of the test drive, so I decided to give you a review of my own.
Read the full opinion and flame the editor →