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23 juin 2012 6 23 /06 /juin /2012 09:40

mclaren_mp412c_dunsfold004.jpgI finished the translation of the article published in Auto Bild Sportscars, a different version of the previous comparison test published by Auto Bild. Cannot assure the translation is 100% accurate, but shall be close enough.

The focus of the attention is of course the McLaren MP4-12C, the only car in this comparison test to trust the rear wheel drive architecture to reach the best traction – and best lap time – thanks to a computerized chassis which ensures at every moment the optimal response of the four wheels with adaptive dampers and a variety of sensors. Thanks to its special architecture, the McLaren suppresses pitch and roll while still providing extraordinary comfort for such a super athlete.

The McLaren is unusual as soon as you board it. First you look for a door handle, which is missing. Instead, you open the pivoting doors by gently rubbing your fingers over the crease. You are then granted with a Spartan but very classy and sporty-looking interior, filled with carbon fibre and Alcantara. From the sporty and tight bucket seat, you have a direct look at the huge tachometer, the fingers palpate delicate steering wheel paddles to control the seven-speed double-clutch transmission and weight-saving shaped levers for turn signals and windshield wipers; the control unit for the automatic climate control is unconventionally placed in the driver's door. The sporting and low seating position gives instant urge to spur the nearly 200 000€ expensive super sports car.

During the first heavy braking, when the airbrake deploys fully and appears in the rearview mirror, you are reminded that you sit in quite an extraordinary super sports car. The steering feel and cornering precision are hardly comparable to anything else. Most likely you will have experienced something similar with a Lotus or the 458 Italia, otherwise you will barely find such a light-footed car. Initially, the McLaren V8 engine doesn’t show an overly pronounced desire to move, but it develops a strong boost from 3500rpm and shoots the MP4-12C to higher spheres. The shifting is extremely fast. If you enter the curve not too fast, but turns in late and hard, the MP4-12C goes through every turn with a high precision. This is not only the result of a good weight distribution, but also the effect of the direct intervention of the stabilizing ESP Sport mode. However, the pronounced understeer tendency is the backside of the extremely nimble agility of the McLaren.

Full article scans available on German Car Forum.

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