The world’s press is currently raving about the recently launched Mclaren MP4-12C. Some may be wondering what all the hype is about.
This is the second proper road car after the breathtaking and record crushing F1, a car conceived in the mid-ninties to set the record as the fastest car in the world. The F1 still holds the world record as the fastest naturally aspirated car in the world. The new car , the 12c has some big shoes to fill.
Interestingly, however this car was not designed as a successor to the F1, but as a direct rival to the Ferrari 458 Italia. The car uses some of the most high tech materials and technologies available. The backbone of this car is a carbon monocell tub, which is the lightest material available. This tub is the supported with aluminium subframes. As is the norm nowadays, the car uses a twin-clutch seven-speed gearbox developed with Graziano, a name synonymous with producing some of the best gearboxes currently available on the market. The suspension setup makes do without conventional springs and anti-roll bars, and uses a interlinked struts that does the job of both the anti-roll bars and the suspension. The engine is a 3.8litre V8, boosted with two turbos, producing 592bhp, precisely 30bhp more than the Ferrari 458. 0-62mph is done in 3.3s, 0.1 of a second faster than the Ferrari. These figures result in a car that, technically is miles ahead from the Ferrari.
The interior has a clean and simple design, using a touchscreen interface for the main functions such as radio, GPS navigation and telematic functions. The exterior design is clean simple, maybe , as some would argue lacking any flair.
Does this mean that Ferrari taken a downturn? Well not really. While, these specifications are impressive, the aren’t, in my opinion at least, ground breaking. The Mclaren uses twin turbos, while the Ferrari is naturally aspirated. While making extensive use of carbon fibre in building their car is interesting, the only reason Ferrari doesn’t use with carbon fibre and makes do with aluminium is because they argue that nobody knows the full capabilities of carbon fibre.
I do not want to sound as if I do not like this car, but cars like these depend on the individual. Some people will want a Ferrari and nothing else, while other people, will like the Mclaren, the attention to detail in and outside the car.
Images curtesy of Google Images