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Discussion Starter #1
McLaren comes in sixth and the review is very negative. Fastest lap time (by a sec in front of GT3 RS), but lack of interaction and confidence. Most disturbingly, they complain a lot about understeer.
 

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Well. having read the article, I'm a little confused.

On one hand they say the tight Rockingham circuit works against powerful cars, in particular the MP12 and GT3, and Donnington would have been better for a result but all drivers failed to gel with the way the car needs driving.

They concluded, my words, that the driver has to adapt to the car..........like a 911 then or I am missing the point?

You have to give it to UK journo's, they are a tough bunch to please. Love to hear Mclarens response to this 'the car dynamics need the driver to adapt' issue.
 

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This comment about having to 'learn the car' is consistent with other early reviews.

And by the way, I hope this drubbing further cements the very simple truth that faster lap time has no correlation to actual enjoyment and entertainment in a sports car once you get above a certain level. So keep flaunting that top gear lap time, because that's the only thing that can be pointed to right now that justifies the 12C's existence.
 

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This comment about having to 'learn the car' is consistent with other early reviews
Agreed and it takes me a few 1000 miles to get comfortable with a cars handling, power delivery, box and chassis but I would expect journo's to adapt or maybe their wordsmith's and not car drivers.

Coming back to the 'widow maker' 911 - even today's model need to be driven differently to other cars but as the journo's are familiar there is no comment.

I think Mclaren need to get their track/training programme brought forwards and do something on the PR side pretty soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This comment about having to 'learn the car' is consistent with other early reviews.

And by the way, I hope this drubbing further cements the very simple truth that faster lap time has no correlation to actual enjoyment and entertainment in a sports car once you get above a certain level. So keep flaunting that top gear lap time, because that's the only thing that can be pointed to right now that justifies the 12C's existence.
Laptimes do matter, but so does the enjoyment. My impressions were pretty different from what Autocar reported, but I do take their criticism seriously since
I did not drive the car on the track. They report significant problems with turbo lag, braking stability and throttle response, and crucially lots of understeer. I did not see any of those problems in my backroad play, but things can get exposed on the track. I am very surprised by the understeer, since as recently as earlier this week the Autoexpress commented on the total lack thereof.

A bigger point is that McLaren offers something that no competitor does. Real everyday usability with an ability to track the car extensively.

For comparison, Italia does not supply that. You cannot use the car as a track car since it will eat brakes and tires very quickly with its weight and in a couple years you'd spend half the car's value on running costs (I am intimately familiar with Ferrari running costs, unfortunately).

Porsche GT cars cannot really be used every day. They are harsher than the scud in everyday use. They also require their own peculiar driving style, anyway.
 

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At this stage it's disconcerting to say the least.

The under-steer issue is possibly due to the turbo drive. On my second test drive it was noticeable how hair trigger the throttle was and therefore you needed to be in the highest gear that was appropriate. Very different for me as I instinctively wanted to be in a lower gear but when I adjusted the car's handling changed and 'came together'.

The stiff chassis also need acclimatisation as you have to trust where the limit is as it's on a different level but a track session would answer a lot of questions.

I do hope this is an issue of familiarity.......ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

The car is ballistic so it is beyond a normal performance cars behaviour. For certain it does not have the mass/weight of a Porsche Turbo and is very much more responsive.

The turbo lag is possibly irrelevant as when your above a low rev threshold it's a non issue.......1500 revs, can't remember, but on the road it's OK so surely on the track you adapt?
 

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I really wish the Ignore feature on the forum would apply to quoted comments as well. If I wanted to read 10000rpm's mindless drivel, I wouldn't have him on ignore.
 

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Driven in heavy rain today,and tried the different modes,the car felt more planted than my 997 tt,but i suppose thats not a gt3 rs,horses for courses?
One big advantage in the wet is that nobody sits on your tail due to the large rooster tails of spray the rear venturi creates
 

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Andy, where are you on the understeer issue and how does it compare, turn in wise, with the 911 tt ?

A dose of real world owners view wouldn't go amiss !!!!
 

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Andy, where are you on the understeer issue and how does it compare, turn in wise, with the 911 tt ?

A dose of real world owners view wouldn't go amiss !!!!
Far more grip than a turbo,as for the understeer ,these guys are pro,s but we were told that the car initially understeers,thats when you give it more steering input and a boot of power to get the brake steer working,thats when it grips like s--t to a blanket and chucks you out of the corner.
I suppose it takes practice and confidance,ive only done it once and it was impressive ,if id done that in a turbo i think i would be facing the wrong way in the bushes.I think once Mclaren are sorted and they can give customers a bit of track time and tuition we will have a bit more of an idea.Shame they cant do that for the journos
Never got to grips with a 911 untill i had been on a circuit with good advice and large run offs,im sure the 12c will be the same when you know how to use it.Mainly because when you use all its abilities on the road you are travelling quicker than anything else,as gt cars dont have the compliant suspension that would let you get away with it,or your teeth or backside
 

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Thanks Andy, think I know where your coming from.

You have to get beyond involuntary sphincter clamp.

And the best place to do that is on track under instruction with Chris Goodwin or Kevin McGerrity or their ilk!
 

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The more I read about the MP4-12c in the British car magazines, the less I understand the tester. Is no one of these testers able to drive this car properly??? One test = traction is brilliant, no understeer, next test = a lot of understeer! One test = traction is brilliant, but slower than Ferrari, Porsche and Lambo, next test = traction is not good, but quicker than every other car??? For me it is now the time to read no more (british) tests. I'm going to form my own opinion in a few weeks (hopefully). Let you say I have driven him on an airfield and I was so fast as never before in my life on the road. Sure, I'm just a normal car driver, but it was really a revelation!!! And I've driven both on normal roads, the Italia and the MP, for me === the MP4-12 C == !!!!!!!!!! Don`t make you crazy because of these different test results!!
 

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when i drove the car at dunsfold track, i didnt notice any understeer, the grip was so brilliant and if you pushed too hard and too soon the car oversteer in a very natural way. the feeling made me very confident and the instructor gave us very freedom. It was a short test but very intensive. 458 has more understeer
 

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The more I read about the MP4-12c in the British car magazines, the less I understand the tester. Is no one of these testers able to drive this car properly???
That's a very good question and based on this article I would say, "no."

Despite the pictures, the lap times were done in the dry, and they somehow managed to lap a Cayman R 1.3s slower than a previous Boxster S time and lapped a 997.2 GT3 RS 0.1s slower than a previous 996 GT3 time. Then having lapped a Cayman R 1.3s slower than a Boxster S, they gave it the accolade of 'Best Driver's Car'.

They're okay when driving on their home track but when they venture across to a new track, the times are wholly inconsistent. I guess tyres could have been a factor here as regards traction if the PZeros were used but frankly these results make no sense.
 

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when i drove the car at dunsfold track, i didnt notice any understeer, the grip was so brilliant and if you pushed too hard and too soon the car oversteer in a very natural way. the feeling made me very confident and the instructor gave us very freedom. It was a short test but very intensive. 458 has more understeer
They probably feel that it understeers because they're actually entering the corner 10mph faster than they think.
 
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