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29 juin 2011 3 29 /06 /juin /2011 21:00

mclaren mp412c 002Most of the full test is available on Autocar Website. I will just provide a short summary.

 

The car has been tested with the optional (stickier) PZero Corsas, as well as with carbon ceramic brakes, lightweight wheels and exhaust.

 

For each category, results are as follow:
- Design & engineering : 4,5/5
- Interior : 4/5
"Unconvinced that even the options quite pull the interior up to the perceived quality of the Ferrari's cabin."
- Performances : 5/5
- Ride & handling : 5/5
- Buying & owning : 3.5/5
- Verdict : 4.5/5 (2nd behind 5/5 Ferrari 458 Italia)

Dry circuit
1min 8.6sec vs 1min 8.9sec for the Ferrari 458 Italia
The 12C lapped marginally faster than a 458 Italia despite some damp patches.
Wet circuit
1min 19.1sec vs 1min 12.7sec
The McLaren is an exceptionally well balanced and adjustable mid-engined car. Only a Lotus Evora and a Porsche Cayman are more manageable at the limit... strange comment if you look at the lap times ! Error in the printing ?
 

At the limit (the online article refers a lot to this particular part)
Thanks to its ProActive dampers, there's precious little dive under hard draking, but the carbon-ceramic brakes aren't the easiest to modulate.
That the brakes take some modulating means it's tricky to trail them into a corner to get the nose to stick, but that shouldn't be a problem thanks to the 12C's 'Brake Steer' system. It's an extension of the ESP system that brakes an inside rear wheel to dual out understeer, but it doesn't require grip to run out before it activates.
In practice, some understeer does build up. In faster corners this is nullified by a lift of the throttle or touch of the brakes. In a car with a limited-slip diff, that would bring the rear into play too, but in the McLaren that's not the case. Because of the slight turbo lag, coming back on the throttle only offers sufficient power to push the front wide again.
Instead, at the point of understeer, if you give extra commitment on the steering wheel and stay very enthusiastic on the throttle, the Brake Steer will tug in the front end via a dab of brakes on the inside rear wheel, and allow a lot of power to be directed through the outer wheel. The result is spectcularly fast and, when it slides, fabulously adjustable.

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