Ferrari or Mclaren? - McLaren Life
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post #1 of 30 Old 12-30-2015, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Ferrari or Mclaren?

I decided to buy another sportscar in early 2016.
I experienced this community as very open minded and there are a lot of great topics which were discussed on a high level of tolerance and passion.
I appreciate the experience of other sports car owners and therefore may ask you for your opinion concerning buying
Ferrari 488 GTB or F12 or Mclaren 12C or 650s:

I think you cannot go wrong with any of this cars but I think it is worth to discuss benefits or disadvantages as every car fits a certain purpose more or less.

Ferrari F12: Did I drive recently. Comfort and exhaust note are superb...real great touring car. I think it will be a future classic as turbocharging and hybridization goes on. I had not the chance (too much traffic) to go for a high speed driving therefore I dont know of the sports car qualities of F12. I think it will be minor to Mclaren but still sufficient to give you a rush of happiness.

488 GTB: Will I drive recently in January. I will post my experience soon! I try to get on an unrestricted autobahn to test acceleration above 250 kph in comparison to 650s. I think 488 is the best choice as it is in between F12 and 650s and the demand will stay strong the next years. So switching from 488 to P14 may also be an option in the future.

Mclaren 650s/12C: Will surely be the technical more advanced cars. But 650s and 12C are really close competitors. Buying a 2012 MP4-12C (which start with good options at 130k or more realistic 150k from a Mclaren certified dealer with about 10 000 miles on it) I think is a real bargain. Great value for the money. I dont know if 650s is worth 100k more than 12C. Maybe go for 12C and switch to P14 is the better deal??
I will drive 650s one day after driving 488. The memory being still fresh it will be a thrilling experience I think. I will write my comparision.

As my heart goes for the Mclaren experience I appreciate any kind of input..are there any things I should pay attention to during test drive? Did anybody do the comparison between 488 and 650s? Or does anybody own both to give any good advice?
Thanks in advance.
Best regards Nick

Last edited by Luciddream; 12-30-2015 at 07:16 PM.
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post #2 of 30 Old 12-30-2015, 07:23 PM
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post #3 of 30 Old 12-30-2015, 07:53 PM
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Hi Nick. If your ultimate plan is to get a P14 I'd vote for getting the 12c now, make sure it has a few years of warranty left (or can be extended) and then drive the doors off of it until your P14 arrives. The 12c has likely seen the bulk of its depreciation already happen. If your market works the same as the US your analogy about the Ferraris holding value the best is only true if you don't drive them much. If you wouldn't put many miles on the car, maybe one of the 'F' cars is the better bet, but if it were me and I was just looking to cover the gap between now and P14 I would go 12c all day.

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post #4 of 30 Old 12-30-2015, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Luciddream View Post
I think 488 is the best choice as it is in between F12 and 650s and the demand will stay strong the next years.
I wouldn't count on that if I were you. I had a 458 Italia and a 458 Spider and I had ZERO interest in a 488. It's a turbo with all the existing baggage of the 458 - mediocre chassis, mediocre transmission, and old-time gadgetry. Whatever Ferrari replaces it with will be the car that inherits the demand curve of the 458.

If your heart is into McLaren then go make the best deal you can on a used McLaren 12C or 650S which will give you comparable performance to a 488 with a better chassis at a much lower price. This way you're situated with a McLaren dealer when the P14 goes on sale. I expect demand for P14 is going to be pretty high.
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post #5 of 30 Old 12-30-2015, 09:10 PM
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Not sure what Country you're living in, but if you're in the UK, unless you've already got your order in, and are a favoured customer of Ferrari, or prepared to pay £20k over list, you'll be waiting at least 12 months to get into a 488
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post #6 of 30 Old 12-30-2015, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
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post #7 of 30 Old 12-30-2015, 11:55 PM
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I was reading the other day not sure if it was you but was going to test drive some cars in January.

Well the person was stating 488 is a 12-18 month wait and I thought that was crazy. Might as well put your name on whatever list there is for a P14 instead. Only way to go because it will be superior if you are into the look that is revealed. F12 I know many have as a daily driver but I never liked the architecture of the front end since it's used on another car. I am getting the F12 tdf but I like the reviews because it will be a handful when nearing its top end.

I know about 5 cats that I have turned onto McLaren(650S) that skipped the 675 LT update and are waiting for the P14 eagerly.
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post #8 of 30 Old 12-31-2015, 12:13 AM
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Well first, the 12C is faster than the 488 from what we've seen so far. They are VERY close though.

2013 mclaren 12c vs 2016 Ferrari 488 GTB

However, the 12C still has a carbon fiber tub, and a better suspension. Also, the 12C is a bargain right now.

I'd get one that has ENOUGH miles on it. I know everyone wants to get a car with low miles, but with mclarens, it works the opposite of your quick intuition. Meaning, if you find a 2012 with 500 miles on it, you're more likely to have problems. Mclarens like to be DRIVEN and driven hard and often. A car that isnt driven is more likely to have dry seals and the original owner probably didn't shake out all the early bugs. You want a car, IMO, that is driven a MINIUM of 3000 miles per year to make sure it has a proper shake out, and is in good running order. Getting sub 1500 mile cars is at your peril...

The 12C will give you a feel for the car, and is a great place holder until the P14. But, you can get new 650s for around 220k from what I've seen, if you shop around.

To be fair to the 488. It's still way too early. The reviews were useless normal fawning bs. Drivers cars, well, not that many out there being driven. I have little doubt it's a brilliant car.

F12, FANTSASTIC car, but more a cruiser, IMO. The 12C can and is a great cruiser, but ultimately, it has it's engine in the right place. That said, the F12 is a fantastic GT car, and if you need more interior space, and storage, it's a great ride.

All that said, I'm obviously biased and frankly cannot take ferrari seriously when a 12C is 5 years old and has a carbon fiber tub and the brand new 488 does not.

All THAT said, you're absolutely right. Not a bad choice among them... Good luck and please let us know what you try out and what you get!
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post #9 of 30 Old 12-31-2015, 01:18 AM
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post #10 of 30 Old 12-31-2015, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by MarkNC View Post
I wouldn't count on that if I were you. I had a 458 Italia and a 458 Spider and I had ZERO interest in a 488. It's a turbo with all the existing baggage of the 458 - mediocre chassis, mediocre transmission, and old-time gadgetry. Whatever Ferrari replaces it with will be the car that inherits the demand curve of the 458.

If your heart is into McLaren then go make the best deal you can on a used McLaren 12C or 650S which will give you comparable performance to a 488 with a better chassis at a much lower price. This way you're situated with a McLaren dealer when the P14 goes on sale. I expect demand for P14 is going to be pretty high.
Well, from a poster called luciddreams talking about a rush of happiness, I just had to respond!

I chose Mark's post to quote, mainly to offer a different view to his first paragraph, although funnily enough my conclusion would be exactly the same as his second paragraph (except the better chassis part)!

I have owned a 12C and have 'moved' back to buying Ferraris again. Not because I didn't like the 12C but partly because I preferred Ferraris, especially the Speciale but not only.

I have driven an F12 on track a few times and it is an outstanding car at track speeds, though not as benign and adjustable as the 458 which, in my view, has an absolute peach of a chassis in all its forms. Why? It is very friendly (more than the McLaren) and it emphasises driver control over outright grip - whereas the Mac does the reverse, which is achieved by the car being able to help you to go very fast, perhaps faster than any other car you will have driven to date. The McLaren chassis is a technological marvel really and if you love tech, it makes for a very interesting and excellent choice.

For me though, the balance and adjustability of the 458 chassis is more to my liking and in the Speciale it presses all my buttons. A rush of happiness indeed!

With the F12, the key difference is not McLaren v Ferrari but front v mid engined as well as turbo v n/a. This is a key consideration. Personally, I love both, though if I could only have one, mid engined would take it hands down. If you don't feel like that, then the F12 is a strong contender. That V12 is worth the entry price alone and if sound is your thing, there are very few cars available to buy that sound as good. Certainly no McLaren or 458. Perhaps you could say it like this; the F12 is a GT car that does high performance extraordinarily well. Whereas the Macs and the 458 are high performance cars that do GT extraordinarily well.

The big advantage of the Mac is that carpet ride. On a mid engined, light car (usually quite difficult to make light cars ride quite well, unless you're lotus who seem to have had some brilliant chassis engineers over the years) this is a remarkable achievement. However, to some degree it might be overplayed. I say this because I prefer the ride of my FF to the 12C I had for comfort, and the ride of a 458 is also very acceptable, if not quite as cosseting as the Mac. Still, if you like mid engined, light cars, then you will not find a better riding one than the McLaren.

I haven't driven the 488 but have one on order. From what I can gauge, Ferrari have worked harder than McLaren to eliminate lag. Perhaps they have done this to the detriment of mid range, lower gear torque which has been restricted to make the car respond more like an n/a car. This is very important to me and the way I want to drive. I dare say it will not be anything like as razor sharp as the Speciale, but close is good enough for a more standard edition car.

Although the video posted by Zombie seems to suggest the 488 is similar pace to the 12C, I suspect it is misleading. Journalists (cue Zombie again ) such as Chris Harris and others have remarked specifically on the pace of the 488, suggesting it feels outrageously quick. I think you have to assume they mean when considered against its competition since they have all driven P1, LaFerrari and 918 which are all a measure quicker again than 650 and 488. Either way, I'll know for myself soon and even if the 488 does not feel any faster than my 12C, I only ascribe about 20% importance to that. Other aspects are far more important.

As Mark said though, sometimes you just 'fancy a go' with a car or a brand. I did when I bought my 12C and it was not a mistake at all. Ok, I lost a bit on it, well, quite a bit actually. But if you choose a 12C and wait for P14 you should be able to avoid that.

Having said that, I think 458 prices will do well too with that n/a 458 sitting out back.

Driving them all will help you decide, although you do learn much more about these cars after a month of 'hard' ownership than you ever can in a test drive. Nevertheless, you may find it indeed comes down to which badge you want sitting six feet in front of your grinning face!
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Last edited by Lukeylikey; 12-31-2015 at 04:35 AM.
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post #11 of 30 Old 12-31-2015, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your answers...did not expect to get that much attention ..
First to my person...I live in Germany about 15 miles away from a Mclaren dealers. As the Ferrari dealer is also nearby I consider both for my next car.

@nh4: I think the german and the US car market is very similar. Strong demand for certain cars. Also pricing is nearly the same as USD and € are nearly on par. Concerning Fcars it is the same. Drive many miles-> big depreciation, drive less than 4000 miles a year and the value should stay good. 12C lost value despite not being driven that much. Used cars come with about 500-20000 miles with pricing about 130k-170k €. Used 458s keep their value much better.
As for me I plan to drive about 5000-7500 miles a year...should be no problem with modern ferrari or mclaren.

@MarkNC: Interesting to hear that! I talked to 458 owners on cars & coffe in my area and was amazed that they too have not much interest of replacing their car with 488. I think ferrari draws many new customers with 488. I guess people like me . But delivery time for 488 is crazy....should be about 12-18 months the dealer said. Thats a bit annoying and will seriously affect my decision.

@StormBringer: Yes that was me...I mentioned my test drive in january in another thread. It is next week. I will write a short review of it.

@ZombiePhysicist: I watched the video multiple times. Very interesting to see.....I am confused to see that but it speaks more than words for Mclarens performance. I agree that the reviews out there are uninformative. German Auto Motor Sport did recently testing 488 0-300kph in 25,6 sec. Pretty good result but it was a press car ...maybe 12C and 488 are on par in real life.

@Lukeylikey: I think Ferrari and Mclaren are two different animals. You have to like both as their difference is part of the cars personality. I value both car brands and for us customers it is always good to have a choice! It is a fortune and I am thankful having the problem of deciding between the two brands. Thanks for sharing your insight! I appreciate it very much, it will help making my decision. Speaking of ownership I already learned my lesson as I changed cars every year and also lost quite a bit on my Mercedes AMG and BMW M-cars. Maybe I am still in a kind of development process.

Best regards from Germany
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post #12 of 30 Old 01-06-2016, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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I did drive 488 GTB today..first thoughts:

Does it drive like a naturally aspirated engine?

No certainly has minimal lag but it is a real twin turbo engine. You hear it you feel it. Ferrari claims to have eliminated turbo lag but this n/a engine mimicry is more an electronic gimmick. When you put your foot down on throttle, even minimal pressure of the pedal (by the weight of your shoe alone ) makes the automobile electrics raise turbo boost that you can accelerate nearly without loss. I can believe the claimed reaction time of 0,8 milliseconds or whatsoever Ferrari claims for 488. You barely feel any lag but you definitely hear the turbos working before you press the pedal. Interesting engineering concept.... I dont know any other car I noticed this before.

Engine is really strong, initial torque wave is impressive. Mid range torque is almost diesel engine like but in higher rpm it runs dry. My former BMW M5 twin turbo engine was much more rewarding to drive. The higher you rev it the better it gets. I miss F12 V12 contest although they should be equally fast.....488 power output significantly decreases from 5500-7000 rpm. I think thats the point about former 458 owners complain about. The engine does not really want to get revved out but gearing is very short that you have to shift up very soon. When you drive with the flip paddles your hands have to work hard. It has that linear acceleration which you can feel it is electronically limited. No surge of locomotion by limiting power output. That is the point the whole car feels a bit artificial and synthetic. It feels a bit castrated on a very very high horsepower level of course...maybe you have to drive it more often to get used to is just my subjective perception.

Exhaust Note?
Well loud ....but not screaming is a more deeper and grumbling tone. Not that loud feels a bit muffled. Cabin noise is loud and feels artificial enhanced. Did not like the drone from 3500rpm till the end but liked the turbo hiss from 6000-7000rpm. F12 is noticeably louder. Going through a tunnel in F12 is 488 it is......well....another loud car ahead.

Other thoughts:
The car looks brilliant from any angle. The seating position is low and comfy (!no electric seats!). With my 6.1ft I had enough room that I could sit upright. Wearing a helmet is no problem either. Cabin is spacious and overview is very good. Getting in and out of the car is a joy in comparison to 650s . It handles superb in fast corners. Feels really planted on the road. CCB are very good once they are heated up. Did some repeated stoppings from 220-80 kph. No fading and no disturbance in the chassis. Alas I could not go beyond 250kph as I initially planned ...too much traffic..but I believe that the car feels stable at higher speeds too.

Verdict for now:
I consider 488 as a very good daily driver.
It is still a really impressive car and I think it will find many customers but it is different from what I expected.
I am very excited of test driving the 650s.

Last edited by Luciddream; 01-06-2016 at 10:07 PM.
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post #13 of 30 Old 01-06-2016, 09:49 PM
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Thanks for the post. Did you get to take it to a track, or just tooling around some back roads? Regardless, thanks for sharing your thoughts!
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post #14 of 30 Old 01-06-2016, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately no track driving....was just on the autobahn and country roads. On some german autobahn sections you can go as fast as the traffic allows you. Of course on track I think it would have revealed more characteristics.

Best regards
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post #15 of 30 Old 01-07-2016, 06:11 AM
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Interested in your 650S comparison impressions. I went from a 430 Scud to a 650S. The Ferrari was a far better "investment" but the 650 is so much better in every single way. I do wish I could go back just over two years ago and NOT sell my Challenge Stradale though. :-(

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