So I finally took delivery (chassis 1427) on Friday. Drove off the forecourt at 3pm and pointed North. The plan: get the running in done over the first weekend by driving to the Scottish Highlands and back. Now the official running in page of the manual says use mix of revs, and engine load for the first 1000km and don't thrash from cold. Game on.
The first 130 miles were spent doing what I suspect most supercars would hate: crawling up the M6 motorway in stop start traffic on a Friday afternoon but she coped brilliantly. Quiet, comfortable, sitting in auto mode burbling along. Loads of attention and positive reactions from people around me (interestingly pretty much all the petrolhead cars I saw on my motorway travels would pull alongside for a thumbs up/play but of the 3 Ferraris I saw, none of them did. Just sayin').
Once beyond the urban sprawls and into the Peak district, the roads opened up and so did the throttle and the heavens making it a very rainy introduction to living with a supercar in the real world. Again, coped brilliantly - nay imperiously with the conditions. Adhering religiously to the manual I was 'forced' to indulge in a range of revs and gear selections
. I used this chore as an excuse to test out how noisy the inconel exhaust is in the various modes. Anything outside normal powertrain setting, but below 3500 rpm was pretty uncomfortable to live with particularly just cruising. Work the engine though and the steady drone vanishes and the soundtrack becomes much more livable (and very noisy).
I overnighted North of Glasgow near Crianlarich in a great little B&B set well back and secluded from the main road before heading out early for a full day of driving on some brilliant roads around the Highlands
before finally heading back South on Sunday. Even managed to hook up with an splinter group of Scottish Elise owners club hooning around Applecross.
Stuff I loved
- Seeing heat haze in the rear view mirror
- Beautifully damped indicator/wiper stalks, nice weight
- Using only half throttle in higher gears is still plenty fast enough
- Using full throttle in lower is visceral and laugh out loud
- Reactions from public
- She looks stunning
- Whooshes, chirps and whistles from the turbos
- Knowing I’ve barely scratched the surface of the performance capabilities
- Love the feel of the gear selector paddles in metal, couldn’t help wondering by comparison that the handling/powertrain, air-con rotary controlsvand mirrors/lights switches feel a bit cheap by comparison – too plastic-y. If they were aluminium and had a bit more weight to them would be more consistent haptic touch point
- I started experimenting with Pre-cog and think I could detect a difference in changes, would be nice to have some indication that pre-cog is ‘active’ to give confirmation to driver – flashing gear number in right hand display screen or a little bite point or resistance from the paddles maybe?
- I loaded a USB stick with WAV files for best quality uncompressed music, each album in a separate folder. I also had on there a few MP3 files as comparisons. The system only picked up the artist and albums names that were MP3 (because of the ID tags), but it listed all the WAVs as individual songs based on their filename. The search function only works on tagged files. In my RS4, the system would treat each physical folder of files as a separate ‘album’ – making things much easier to navigate.
- I’d like to have FLAC file format support for media which is a lossless format that also incorporates tags in the same way MP3 files do. All my current collection is in FLAC format
- Dropping gears whilst in anything other than track mode and using pre-cog seemed to produce a noticeable pause before engaging and power becoming available. E.g. cruising along in 4th and dropping to 3rd for an quick overtake was a bit clunky. Paddle, pause, revs, gear, go. Maybe it’s the expectation of the speed of upshifts being so fast that the downshifts don’t seem to have the same instant change in power delivery. In normal or sport modes I think I became more aware of the computer just having a pause to check itself before engaging the next gear.
I'll post seperately in the Meridian thread
on sound quality
Finally, and this is probably nothing that can be done given the nature of the semi-automatic box, a ‘blip’ option would be awesome for when driving through town and you spy a petrolhead jesturing wildly at you. In a manual car, you can dip the clutch and give it some revs, before re-engaging gear. I confess I didn’t test this but there’s probably no way to select neutral whilst on the move and do the same in a 12C. Yeah, yeah, I know a bright orange supercar isn't show off enough....
Enjoy the pictures, more on my Flickr here
Standard Wheels in Stealth with MO callipers
Carbon Vanes, Mirrors and Interior
Alcantara Interior with Contrast Orange Stitching
MSO Custom Zoned Black Outers McLaren Orange Inner Seats
MSO Alcantara Rimmed Steering Wheel with Contrast Orange Stitching