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2012 McLaren MP4-12C

This ride brings F1 muscle to the interstate.


 

Psychic Shifting
As the gear-shift paddles near their activation point, the McLaren prepares the next cog for a quicker transfer of power.

Sporty Steering
The paddle shifters and steering wheel shape are inspired  by McLaren’s seven-figure F1 car.

Air Brake
Slam the left pedal at break-neck speeds and an air brake stabilizes the tail and improves stopping distances.


As we whip our McLaren MP4-12C around a corner, perilously close to the grassy edge of a high-speed test track, two words come to mind: holy and fuck. Used in a sentence: “Holy fuck, this thing is fast!”

The supercar we’re piloting costs just shy of a quarter-mil, and if we had that much in the bank to blow, it’d be worth every penny. While the two-seater may lack room for your groceries, it packs a techy arsenal of performance goods, like a twin-turbocharged V-8 that shoots 592 horses to the rear wheels, a dual-clutch seven-speed transmission, and a hydraulic suspension system that does away with traditional roll bars.

But the real key to this car’s super speed and maneuverability? It’s super lightweight. For that you can thank a carbon-fiber tub that keeps the haul down to an anorexic 2,900 pounds.

With suspension and drivetrain electronics on their tamest settings, the MP4-12C virtually floats along the road. But crank things up and this ride does its best open-wheel racecar impersonation with a screaming engine whine, glued-to-tarmac handling, and blink-fast gear shifts from steering-wheel-mounted paddles. The Hulk could take a lesson from this car’s pussycat-to-powerhouse transformation. McLaren smash!

SPEC CHECK
Price:
$229,000

Engine: Twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-8

Horsepower: 592

0–60 mph: 3.2 seconds (3.0 with a special performance tire package)

Top Speed: 205 mph

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