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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I think this is a must-view for anybody who wants to understand the 12C and why some reviewers love it and some don't. It's a video and comments by Randy Pobst of his hot-lap at Laguna, as part of Motor Trend's best handling car shoot-out.

[spoiler alert]

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He puts in a scorcher of a lap, even besting the time of the Aventador by almost a whole second, and virtually matching (within a tenth) of the Corvette Z06 on Cup tires that has the best time they ever recorded. (although Viper SRT has recorded a faster time independently with their own driver). The 12C is on Corsas, steel brakes.

But the interesting part is his commentary, as you can literally see him struggling mentally with the effectiveness of the car, from a technological level. He both likes it and hates it, recognizing that the car is a new generation, but definitely not what he is used to, or necessarily wants at first.

Unfortunately, I don't think the Mac is destined to win the overall competition (as the 458 did last year), as there is a road driving component with other journos and lots of subjective "driver's car" criteria. Also, this year's competition features the Subaru BRZ and the new 911. However, more than any previous review, I think this video sums up the diametrically opposed realities of the McLaren: It does things differently than any other car, but its ultimate capabilities are on a whole new level. Fascinating to watch Randy Pobst work through it and the resultant lap time.

The video and notes:
http://www.motortrend.com/features/performance/1208_mclaren_mp4_12c_camaro_zl1_c63_amg_black_2012_best_drivers_car_contenders/

The list of previous year's times:
http://www.motortrend.com/features/laguna_lap/

Other contenders for this year:

http://www.motortrend.com/features/performance/1208_2012_subaru_brz_lamborghini_aventador_jaguar_xkr_s_2012_best_drivers_car_contenders/

AND

http://www.motortrend.com/features/performance/1208_nissan_gt_r_porsche_911_ford_shelby_gt500_2012_best_drivers_car_contenders/
 

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You beat me posting it, but I clearly agree on your comments : I don't see the MP4 winning overall. Hard to guess a winner. Not very good comments for Aventador or GT-R, they are out. Lots of praises for the 911. So, that's a potential winner for me. Results tomorrow.
 

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It's true of fast street driving too. The 458 and MP4 are very different cars to drive, even though their ultimate capability is very similar. For me, the 458 was instantly comfortable to drive quickly because it reacts a lot like previous fast cars I'd driven - it particularly reminds me of an open-wheeler. The MP4 is also easy to drive fast but it takes some getting used to - the computer is more involved in the process of driving and it results in some novel sensations. So, very very good - just different.
 

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He usually talks more during the hot lap, you can clearly see him trying to understand just how the McLaren does it's stuff. Great watch!
 
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