The McLaren MP4-12C – which is just about to arrive with its first buyers – has had a range of tweaks to address criticisms raised by motoring press.
McLaren thought they’d built a car in the MP4-12C that bettered the finest competition in the world. Or the Ferrari 458 Italia. It’s the same thing.
And on paper – and on the Top Gear Test Track too – they have. Trouble is, we expect British and Italian cars to have more than just OCD levels of attention to detail; Teutonic levels of obsession with perfection are commendable - and should make a car that lasts like a Porsche – but it doesn’t imbue soul.
And that was the feedback from the press on the McLaren MP4-12C; brilliant car but no heart. Clarkson actually managed a simile we could relate to straight away. He called the McLaren a pair of tights to Ferrari’s stockings. And we instantly knew what he meant.
The criticisms have stung McLaren in to action and they’ve introduced a range of changes that they hope will make the MP4-12C not just the best on paper, but the most desirable to own and drive too.
The changes include more sound channelled to the cabin, because many thought the lack of aural sensations in the cabin (one friend of Cars UK described driving the MP4-12C as an insulated and unemotional experience) was depriving drivers of a big part of the supercar soul.
The paddles-shifters on the steering wheel have also been made lighter after complaints that they felt at odds with the lightness of the MP4-12C; more Victorian clunk than modern Elizabethan click. And some extra feeling has been dialled in to the steering.
McLaren hopes this will take the MP4-12C from the simply great to the frankly world-beating.
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