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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All:

I'm new to the forum and going to test drive a 458 and Mac tomorrow. I've done a touch of research and both cars seem great, although the Mac seems to have a lot of benefits.

Question Short Version
I was hoping someone could give some feedback on how the updated MP4's shifting compares to the 458/911?

Question Long Version:
I read a bunch of comparisons with the 458 and the earlier MP4 and it seemed there were only really 2 rubs on the MP4:

(1) some of the drivers couldn't disengage the nannies which frustrated some of the more spirited track driving. I believe this has been solved with the 2013 MP4 by making it easier to turn all the nannies off.

(2) The second issue that the comparisons brought up was that the drivers were almost euphoric after driving the 458 in how immediate the shifts were and how exact the 458 was in doing what its told, when it was told. All I've read about the 2013 MP4 is that the shifting is "better" or "improved" but it's somewhat in a vacuum.​


Can any folks comment on how the shifting is relative to the 911's of the 458?

Thanks.
 

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It sounds like you're a track man if you're even considering disengaging the nannies. I'm not savvy to comment much. Going sideways, and slower, is fun.

BTW I think you'll find the 12C exhaust underrated. Quite a treat, a variety of burbles and whooshes. Sinister, not 458 drama queen.

As you probably know the 458 is the more spirited car at lower speeds. Everything is dramatic and immediate. Twitchy. The 12C is different in throttle response, shifting, steering, braking, everything. It's less immediate but surer.

The PDK and F dual clutches are superior at low speeds. Shifts seem instantaneous in all three, but the 458 accepts inputs quicker. Changing modes to "race" or "sport" alters little IMO. Its Blonde versus brunette.

Basically I agree with the early reviewers who said PreCog is addictive, rewarding, but it takes some work and learning. Please post your impressions tomorrow.
 

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The shifting is simply different - one is no better than the other.

Every Mac owner could have bought a Ferrari 458 - you gotta ask yourself why did they choose the Mclaren.

Enjoy the drives :)
 

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Owned a 458 for about two years and a Mac for about a month. Both are awesome cars.
To me the 458 definitely shifts a little quicker and crisper than my upgraded Mc, but both are very nice.
 

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Owned a 458 for about two years and a Mac for about a month. Both are awesome cars.
To me the 458 definitely shifts a little quicker and crisper than my upgraded Mc, but both are very nice.
Ferrari is all over the place on the 458 shifting - depending on what year of mfg

The 2010 shifting seems to be the most popular for guys who had Scuds which given your timeline seems applicable.

I think once you get the pre cog shifting it's fun / fast and more advanced than it's competitors but it takes some practice.

http://www.autoblog.com/2011/05/13/graziano-highlights-the-pre-cog-dual-clutch-transmission-in-th/
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ferrari is all over the place on the 458 shifting - depending on what year of mfg
I think once you get the pre cog shifting it's fun / fast and more advanced than it's competitors but it takes some practice.

http://www.autoblog.com/2011/05/13/graziano-highlights-the-pre-cog-dual-clutch-transmission-in-th/
I guess the question is to compare 2012/13 458 to the 2013 Mac. When you pre cog is it as sharp/fast as the 458? I guess I'll find out tomorrow. :)

Has Precog shifting become second nature to you like manual shifting? Or is it something that requires constant attention. I've never managed to get rev matching to be second nature (darn feet mush all the peddles :) so it's not a second nature thing.

I've been driving manual all my life, so depending on how I like them, this will be my first paddle ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The PDK and F dual clutches are superior at low speeds. Shifts seem instantaneous in all three, but the 458 accepts inputs quicker. Changing modes to "race" or "sport" alters little IMO. Its Blonde versus brunette.

Basically I agree with the early reviewers who said PreCog is addictive, rewarding, but it takes some work and learning. Please post your impressions tomorrow.
thanks I will. Will be interesting :)
 

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I have a 2011 458 and traded it in for a 2012 MP4. The 458 is fun, but I just felt that the MP4 was more refined. The ride is amazing and while the shifting is quite quick the 458 might have been a nano second quicker. The MP4 is no slouch, you will see once you drive both of these master pieces.
 

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Let me know how cool it is when you swipe the scissor door and slide over the cf tub.

Pre cog becomes second nature - doubt you will get it tomorrow but it's rewarding once you do.

It's a PIA to get in and out of my 16M - I assume it's the same door on the 458 that has to be open super wide.

Either way these are good problems - enjoy!
 

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From my experience the 458 shifts faster than the 12C in any situation other than wide open throttle. The 12C's Graziano box is throttle dependant. The harder you drive, the more instantaneous the shifts become. Nobody outside of McLaren seems to know exactly why the box is calibrated this way, but that is the way it is. My theory is that it is a combination of usability and reliability. A lot of 12C owners, unfortunately, never take the car out of Normal/Normal/Auto - let's face it, it's true. The Auto mode in this situation is near perfect with the current calibration, so I can see this feedback being important to McLaren.

If you are driving in Manual box mode, at city speeds you will notice varying shift speeds, both in terms of immediacy (i.e. response to input) and the actual time it takes the shift to complete. In my experience, this mimics exactly how you drive a 3 pedal manual in the city. At light throttle application, your shifts are slightly drawn out to keep forward progress as smooth as possible; you don't kick the clutch and crash the shift lever from gate to gate as fast as possible. I don't know if it is McLaren's intention to mimic this, or if reliability is the more important dictator.

Regarding reliability, see here: http://www.pistonheads.com/news/default.asp?storyId=25818
The 12C's box, on the whole, has certainly proved to be more reliable than the 458's. Although, different people (or indeed, even different Ferrari dealers) will tell you different things about why they had issues. It seems possible that early faults were due to an electrical wiring issue and that the SLS's higher inertia load through the box means they could never use Ferrari's calibration. I have no idea, I'm just passing along what I have heard.

What I do know is that post 10.2 upgrade, the 12C's gearbox is NOT faster than it was before. Upshifts at full chat are the same speed and downshifts are actually slower. Everybody wanted the emotional blip, so now the there is a longer pause to enable those extra revs before the drive re-engages. A perfect example of a trick that makes you think you are going faster, but really it is the opposite. Does it make any difference to a lap time, probably not, unless you encounter a situation where you were going to get back on the throttle during those extra few ms while the box is giving you all that emotion that you couldn't live without. But downshifts are slower, from what I can tell.
 

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Interesting stuff indeed, thanks for the links.
Here is a question I tried to find an answer for so far unsuccessfully: What makes the car creep? It cant be (one of) the clutch, it would be up in smoke in no time after sitting at a traffic light while leaving the transmission in gear. Is there another kind of clutch? like a fluid coupling e.g. similar to a torque converter? Did anybody ever find any information on this subject? curious minds want to know........lol

Here is another question about driving the DCT: Do you guys disengage the transmission when coming to a traffic light - e.g. puttering along in 5th or 6th gear towards a traffic light, knowing there will be a minute or so wait, I disengage the transmission and roll to the light, so it does not have to uselessly shift down 6 cogs, wasting all those synchronizers for no good at all...... who else does this? I mean, that is how we drove the rowing boxes of yore...... :p
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Impressions.

Please post your impressions tomorrow.
Both cars are freak'n awesome.

Big take aways.

The 458:
The ferrari is better than my current vette in acceleration, handling feel, but was not an intimidating car relative to the Vette. Very light, crisp steering and shifts. The engine is super sweet in how quick you get up to the high band. The car feels like it's "always/instant on" with it's responsiveness and that it's always dialed up to 11 in hyperness (in a good way). When I mashed the peddle, the acceleration was great, but, again, not scary.

The Mac:
The mac is weird, and I don't fully understand it; this is not necessarily a bad thing. It's complex like a wine, while the ferrari is like a coke. I love both at different times. They both quench your thirst in theory, so they both accomplish the same things, but just very different. The Mac scares the s**t out of me when I mash the peddle. I think I started seeing warp colors or something. It's a way bigger step up from the vette. It's funny, relative to each other, the 458/Mac are not far apart, but measured from my starting point with the vette, the mac was just an insane leap forward with speed.

Shifting:
WRT the shifting, when I was giving the car the gas hard, the shift time between the 458 and Mac was not appreciably different. When you're farting around driving slowly, the 458's shifting was always in "11" "jack-tussle-terrier" "on it" mode, whereas the Mac would be a bit lax. The Mac seems to apply some context to the immediacy of the shifting, which to me made a lot of sense, but at first was a touch disorienting.

When I pulled out of the lot going slow, in normal/normal mode, I felt like the car was driving on marmalade roads. And so were the turn ins. It was kind of surreal. But as soon as you switch over to sport, it's a different car, and when you give the gas and push it to turn in, its just this vicious terrorist lunatic. The shifts were great when pushing the car, but it was hard for me to tell if they were less fast or less crisp than the 458 because there was so much sensory-overload drama from how the car was roaring; it was tough to trust my perceptions. The 458 seems like it may have been more crisp, but the engine frankly felt more "tinny" when really pushing it in. Kind of the difference between "warp" speed and "ludicrous" speed. I think the speedo in the Mac hit "plaid."

I didn't have the opportunity to push the turn ins too hard, but I loved the balance of the 458. Rear biased but this feeling of the nose clawing around the corner without plow. I had the confidence to push it about without drama. The Mac was just too insane for me to trust I had enough feel to catch it, so I'm not sure I have apples to apples comparison here, but the the turn ins seemed to be non-drama non issues. It just hit the turns, got you through, no celebration needed, it's like the car yawns mocking the lack of effort it requires to get through.

A few untruths (IMO) from what I heard about both cars:
(1) the 458's ride is in no way harsh, and the car in no way is "tough" or tedious to drive in crappy traffic. Supper easy ride. The ride was in no way tiring.
(2) the Mac spider at speed (over 90) did not buffet or have wind problems at my head, or wind noise that was in any way disturbing. Not sure why some mags stated this, but not an issue in the car I took out.
(3) That the Mac doesnt make enough engine noise or doesnt have as nice engine note as the ferrari is false. The Mac's engine noise is like from a banshee fed gravel groaning from sinister evil intent and then sounding like its being feed lava making it wale a note that will scare the dead into attempting mass suicide; i.e., not subtle. Very gravel-like bowels of hellfire sinister note is amazing on the Mac. It's loud. Not sure what deaf people reviewing the car couldn't pick up on the note, but it seems a problem with the testers and not the car. This thing will scare children when you flare it up. The ferrari has a great engine note, but more a formula 1 howl, or overstuffing a 50 jars with bees and then whipping them around simultaneously with rodeo lassos. I love the sound of both. This is totally a personal pref thing; you're not going to have a bad time with either sound-wise.
(4) the interior of the 458 is kinda lame italian fiatish crud. It's ok. Fit and finish are "italian" and I mean in a 1980's superbrava way. The climate control looks like it came off a GM plant. The window buttons are kinda cruddy. I mean, it's a very nice place to be overall, but there are these anti-flourishes here and there. But from the raves I read about it, it set my expectations high, and maybe that's not fair, but was kind of let down. The steering wheel turn signals and double-paddle pull/reverse button are daft, but livable. Again, nice nice car, but the interior was significantly cruddier than the Mac. Although looks wise, I tend to like the Ferrari's snout a tad bit better. Again, both cars are amazing.


The results?
I bought the Mac. New 2012. Loved and respect both cars. But liked how much more a step up in performance the Mac was over my vette. Liked the interior bit more. Liked the contextual awareness of the car wrt to its performance dial in. I can see others might go the other way, and I do not think there's a "wrong" answer here. Just spectacular and different expressions of great engineering.

Anyway, sorry for the rambling, but hopefully its useful to someone else nosing around.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Let me know how cool it is when you swipe the scissor door and slide over the cf tub.
I felt I might have benefited from ballet or yoga lessons getting in. Cool jet pilot feel though. :)


Pre cog becomes second nature - doubt you will get it tomorrow but it's rewarding once you do.
I look forward to trying. Was a bit too much sensory overload for me to try to do much more than keep my s**t-eating grin from cramping my face.


Either way these are good problems - enjoy!
Thanks for the info!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
From my experience the 458 shifts faster than the 12C in any situation other than wide open throttle. The 12C's Graziano box is throttle dependant. The harder you drive, the more instantaneous the shifts become. Nobody outside of McLaren seems to know exactly why the box is calibrated this way, but that is the way it is. My theory is that it is a combination of usability and reliability. A lot of 12C owners, unfortunately, never take the car out of Normal/Normal/Auto - let's face it, it's true. The Auto mode in this situation is near perfect with the current calibration, so I can see this feedback being important to McLaren.

If you are driving in Manual box mode, at city speeds you will notice varying shift speeds, both in terms of immediacy (i.e. response to input) and the actual time it takes the shift to complete. In my experience, this mimics exactly how you drive a 3 pedal manual in the city. At light throttle application, your shifts are slightly drawn out to keep forward progress as smooth as possible; you don't kick the clutch and crash the shift lever from gate to gate as fast as possible. I don't know if it is McLaren's intention to mimic this, or if reliability is the more important dictator.
I think the above is right on the money wrt my limited exposure today.

What I do know is that post 10.2 upgrade, the 12C's gearbox is NOT faster than it was before. Upshifts at full chat are the same speed and downshifts are actually slower. Everybody wanted the emotional blip, so now the there is a longer pause to enable those extra revs before the drive re-engages.
Sorry, I'm not up to speed with some of the terms here. I guess the 10.2 upgrade was the 2013 update that gave the car 612hp and better shifts, etc.? Is that the up-to-date software? Is there some place to check and see (a) what version our car has, and (b) what the latest software is?

Also, what is the emotional blip?


A perfect example of a trick that makes you think you are going faster, but really it is the opposite. Does it make any difference to a lap time, probably not, unless you encounter a situation where you were going to get back on the throttle during those extra few ms while the box is giving you all that emotion that you couldn't live without. But downshifts are slower, from what I can tell.
Hmm, thats interesting. Even with the downshifts being slower, when pushing the car, I didn't find them "appreciably" slower than the 458. I wonder if part of it is rev/match being a bit more drawn out in the Mac? But the Mac was on a pragmatic vantage, really really fast so as not to be bothersome. If the ferrari was really really really fast, I can believe that, but I'm not sure that the extra delta was necessarily getting me to an appreciably happier place. But it was a relatively quick test drive, so I'll defer to those that have driven both for more substantial periods of time.
 

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If you have the 10.2 upgrade you will know as you will have the downshift blip,were the throttle blips between downshifts and is more aggressive depending on what mode you are in,if not the gear just goes straight in with no blip.
As with confidance on turn in,,that soon comes when you learn to get brakesteer working,then you know the car is unreal and you are pushing it :)
 

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Jkheit, sounds like you had a great test drive, as everything you are saying lines up with my tangible experience. Congrats on the purchase, it really does only get better as you become one with the car and, of course, become more acclimatized to the thrust...

With regards to the post 10.2 blip downshift, what I meant was that there is now a slight pause to actuate the blip in between gears. So the downshift is slightly slower than it was before. I can feel it in the engine braking, which used to be more immediate; now there is the blip, then the cog swap and engine braking. I did not mean that the downshifts were appreciably slower than the 458. When driven to the max (i.e. wide open throttle and max threshold braking), the 12C's upshifts and downshifts are every bit as instantaneous as the 458. The thing is, people rarely get a chance to drive the car that hard, especially on a test drive.

Regarding the warp, yes the car can induce vertigo under acceleration - the first road car that ever made me experience that. You will get used to it, but do mind your passengers!
 

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Jkheit

Congratulations - feel free to post some Kodak moments :)

Another success story when going mono e mono is always a good read - thought you were going to keep us in suspense and post your decision after the weekend. :)

I have only owned my Mac for a few weeks and have yet to stop smiling - enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If you have the 10.2 upgrade you will know as you will have the downshift blip,were the throttle blips between downshifts and is more aggressive depending on what mode you are in,if not the gear just goes straight in with no blip.
As with confidance on turn in,,that soon comes when you learn to get brakesteer working,then you know the car is unreal and you are pushing it :)
Thanks, I'm looking forward to getting a feel.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Jkheit

Congratulations - feel free to post some Kodak moments :)

Another success story when going mono e mono is always a good read - thought you were going to keep us in suspense and post your decision after the weekend. :)

I have only owned my Mac for a few weeks and have yet to stop smiling - enjoy!
Thanks, I should get the car next week and will spam the group some shots.
 
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