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Starting to put some miles on - thought I would share some first impressions - help satisfy the guys that are impatiently waiting for their 12Cs to arrive.. ;)

- All of the positive owner reviews are not a fluke or wishful thinking; you are going to love driving the car. I still have not wrapped my head around certain aspects of it, but there are many new sensations that I have not felt in any other car. The whole experience has a really high-tech feel to it. I'm not talking playstation nonsense; I mean it kind of feels like a slightly different mode of transportation than a car. The way the boost kicks, the whirring sounds of the pumps and faint hissing from the hydraulics when you adjust the handling dial, etc., it all gives the impression that you are inside a car from around 10-15 years in the future or something. Almost as if you could push a button on the console to extend swept back wings out the sides and then just roll into the throttle and lift off like a jet.

- Of course, you can drown all that out by flipping Powertrain to Track and letting the induction noise fill the cabin. It's loud, for sure, but I'm still not sold on the tweak and wonder if I might find it tiresome after a while. The middle Sport setting provides enough sound and still let's you hear everything else that is going on. I can understand why gallardo asked for the sound inlets to be plugged. I'll reserve final judgement until I get onto the track and see how loud it is while wearing a helmet.

- The lack of feeling inertia or G loading inside the cabin that michael glore talks about is definitely due to a complete lack of body roll. It feels a little bit foreign at first, when you take a corner (especially a long one like a freeway on/off ramp) and you expect to feel the car lean onto the outside tires, but instead the nose just darts to the inside and the whole car points in the new direction and it feels like not a single one of the four contact patches has grown or shrunk throughout the process. Almost as if you could steer by vectors and the car would just pivot on its yaw axis and continue in a straight line. I realize that sounds strange, but the gist of it is that you quickly realize that you weren't even close to the cornering limit of the chassis. For sure, the hydraulic suspension is responsible, as this is not the same "flat" feeling that you get from a go-kart or racecar, for example. It's a more complex sensation - you can feel things happening under each corner independently, yet the MonoCell, and therefore your body, doesn't roll at all. So, without your body tilting its own weight on yourself, you don't feel as much of the G load. Like I said, I'm still exploring the sensation, so haven't figured it out completely yet. I do suspect that, if I was only given 15 minutes to get to know the car, it may not be enough time to work up to, and explore, the full potential. It's not intimidating by any means, but it is just not what you are used to. Perhaps this is why some journalists haven't been able to get the most out of the car in their short time with it.

- Paddle action is too light now, for me. Damn you Harry Metcalfe and your arthritic fingers! I might get mine adjusted back to original spec weight, if the dealer can do it easily and inexpensively.

- Pre-Cog is endless fun, though. After 3 days, it already feels like I've been using it forever and can't imagine not having the detent, now. Feels incredible to brake hard into a corner and bang off 2 perfect Pre-Cog shifts in the blink of an eye. Wicked stuff.

- Not a glamorous detail, but the side mirrors are brilliant. I'm not sure how or why, but I seem to see rearward incredibly well with them, even better than my wife's SUV which has oversized truck mirrors! Good thing, since the straight back view is small - and even smaller when you need it most if the Air Brake goes up!

- Changing the suspension compliance via the Handling dial is more useful than I thought, even for daily driving. I'm constantly putting it into Normal when I get to rough road sections, back into Sport when it smooths out again or if I just want to change up how everything feels. I thought the Sport button in my RS4 was nifty, but this is something else altogether.

- Not a huge fan, yet, of the full Auto mode on the gearbox. Admittedly, I haven't used it much, but even when you are dawdling around, you can do a better job yourself with the paddles.

- and oh yeah, thank God the speedo is a big digital readout - even limited to 6000 RPM for break in, you can lose your license before you even have time to check the number.
 

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6th element. Thanks for the post, felt like I understood and was with you!

Your point about the feedback on the cornering direction change is a big issue for me that I sensed on my test drives. What is the sensation at the limit just before traction is lost at the rear? Guess it take miles to adjust.

One thing nobody seems to mention is that the car seems small and therefore it flows and is easy to place. Maybe more of an issue on European narrow roads.

Good post, informative, roll on March.
 

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Starting to put some miles on - thought I would share some first impressions - help satisfy the guys that are impatiently waiting for their 12Cs to arrive.. ;)

- All of the positive owner reviews are not a fluke or wishful thinking; you are going to love driving the car. I still have not wrapped my head around certain aspects of it, but there are many new sensations that I have not felt in any other car. The whole experience has a really high-tech feel to it. I'm not talking playstation nonsense; I mean it kind of feels like a slightly different mode of transportation than a car. The way the boost kicks, the whirring sounds of the pumps and faint hissing from the hydraulics when you adjust the handling dial, etc., it all gives the impression that you are inside a car from around 10-15 years in the future or something. Almost as if you could push a button on the console to extend swept back wings out the sides and then just roll into the throttle and lift off like a jet.

- Of course, you can drown all that out by flipping Powertrain to Track and letting the induction noise fill the cabin. It's loud, for sure, but I'm still not sold on the tweak and wonder if I might find it tiresome after a while. The middle Sport setting provides enough sound and still let's you hear everything else that is going on. I can understand why gallardo asked for the sound inlets to be plugged. I'll reserve final judgement until I get onto the track and see how loud it is while wearing a helmet.

- The lack of feeling inertia or G loading inside the cabin that michael glore talks about is definitely due to a complete lack of body roll. It feels a little bit foreign at first, when you take a corner (especially a long one like a freeway on/off ramp) and you expect to feel the car lean onto the outside tires, but instead the nose just darts to the inside and the whole car points in the new direction and it feels like not a single one of the four contact patches has grown or shrunk throughout the process. Almost as if you could steer by vectors and the car would just pivot on its yaw axis and continue in a straight line. I realize that sounds strange, but the gist of it is that you quickly realize that you weren't even close to the cornering limit of the chassis. For sure, the hydraulic suspension is responsible, as this is not the same "flat" feeling that you get from a go-kart or racecar, for example. It's a more complex sensation - you can feel things happening under each corner independently, yet the MonoCell, and therefore your body, doesn't roll at all. So, without your body tilting its own weight on yourself, you don't feel as much of the G load. Like I said, I'm still exploring the sensation, so haven't figured it out completely yet. I do suspect that, if I was only given 15 minutes to get to know the car, it may not be enough time to work up to, and explore, the full potential. It's not intimidating by any means, but it is just not what you are used to. Perhaps this is why some journalists haven't been able to get the most out of the car in their short time with it.

- Paddle action is too light now, for me. Damn you Harry Metcalfe and your arthritic fingers! I might get mine adjusted back to original spec weight, if the dealer can do it easily and inexpensively.

- Pre-Cog is endless fun, though. After 3 days, it already feels like I've been using it forever and can't imagine not having the detent, now. Feels incredible to brake hard into a corner and bang off 2 perfect Pre-Cog shifts in the blink of an eye. Wicked stuff.

- Not a glamorous detail, but the side mirrors are brilliant. I'm not sure how or why, but I seem to see rearward incredibly well with them, even better than my wife's SUV which has oversized truck mirrors! Good thing, since the straight back view is small - and even smaller when you need it most if the Air Brake goes up!

- Changing the suspension compliance via the Handling dial is more useful than I thought, even for daily driving. I'm constantly putting it into Normal when I get to rough road sections, back into Sport when it smooths out again or if I just want to change up how everything feels. I thought the Sport button in my RS4 was nifty, but this is something else altogether.

- Not a huge fan, yet, of the full Auto mode on the gearbox. Admittedly, I haven't used it much, but even when you are dawdling around, you can do a better job yourself with the paddles.

- and oh yeah, thank God the speedo is a big digital readout - even limited to 6000 RPM for break in, you can lose your license before you even have time to check the number.
Nicely put 6e,it must have been snowing hard for you not to be in the 12c,and have the time to write this piece:D.After a little time i now use the auto to get from my garage to the gates,i know i cant be right but it seems like the box needs to warm up first thing,so i prefer to be in manual and once there i like it too much to go back.So for me it only get used in stop start traffic,something you dont see much in Yorkshire.And the brakes are good for avoiding the horse and carts;)
 

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' I use the Sport auto to get from the garage to the gate' Andy your a funny man. LOL
 

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- Of course, you can drown all that out by flipping Powertrain to Track and letting the induction noise fill the cabin. It's loud, for sure, but I'm still not sold on the tweak and wonder if I might find it tiresome after a while. The middle Sport setting provides enough sound and still let's you hear everything else that is going on.
Do you have standard or sports exhaust?
 

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Damn you 6E! Now I'm even more impatient about getting mine. At least I'm getting a tour of the MTC next week when I'm in London on business, although that might make things even worse?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
6th element. Thanks for the post, felt like I understood and was with you!

Your point about the feedback on the cornering direction change is a big issue for me that I sensed on my test drives. What is the sensation at the limit just before traction is lost at the rear? Guess it take miles to adjust.

One thing nobody seems to mention is that the car seems small and therefore it flows and is easy to place. Maybe more of an issue on European narrow roads.

Good post, informative, roll on March.
Yes, it will take time. I can tell you already that this level of traction in a RWD car is also somewhat alien. I have purposely visited a few sections of highway that are in disrepair and a mixture of asphalt and concrete and that will normally make the wheels skip under power in my other cars. The 12C just scoffed at me. Yes, it really does "mug the tarmac" and has a determination for forward movement that I've only ever experienced before in an AWD car. And even then, the composure of the MonoCell is superior.

Glad you brought up the size as I forgot to mention. Yes, once settled into a comfortable position (I like to have the seatback straight up and get up on the wheel, as they say) the dimensions are Lotus Exige-like. I appreciate the unobtrusive dash, as it truly feels like there is little between you and the road ahead. And damn, it's low. People in normal sedan cars look like they are driving double decker buses beside you. Definitely keep your distance from cars ahead when stopped at traffic lights - if they decide to reverse back, they won't see you! Inboard seating position is also lovely - all cars should be built this way.
 

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' I use the port auto to get from the garage to the gate' Andy your a funny man. LOL
I actually meant it K,just the auto,then after ive pulled out onto the road i go straight into manual::) I think you know with the roads around me using auto would be an injustice
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Do you have standard or sports exhaust?
The sport. So far, the consensus from the masses is that "it sounds mean". Once the break-in period is through, I will make some sound clips using the full 8500 RPM.

Do you have ceramics or iron brakes and what are your impressions?
CCB. So far, exactly as I expected. The pedal is firm, probably a little firmer than most other cars. The first half inch of pedal travel with CCBs is always a slightly different feeling than steel rotors, in my experience. Not grabby, but the initial bite has a different edge to it, if you know what I mean. Once your ankle adjusts to the articulation, you'll be hard pressed to tell any difference from the steels, I would imagine.

Let me know if I've answered what you are looking for - if not, I am happy to field any and all questions and investigate further the next time I'm out (later today if my infant daughter is okay with that!).

Here are my options:

-Carbon Black
-Lightweight wheels in stealth, however standard stealth wheels with winter tires currently mounted
-CCB
-McLaren Orange calipers
-Sport exhaust
-Black leather & alcantara interior
-Contrast orange stitching

and most importantly:
Carbon MonoCell
Hydraulic suspension
Air Brake
Brake Steer
Pre-Cog
and, and, and.... honestly, it's the stuff that comes with every 12C that really makes this car and the driving experience. It will be difficult to go back to anything lesser, I am already certain of that much.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Damn you 6E! Now I'm even more impatient about getting mine. At least I'm getting a tour of the MTC next week when I'm in London on business, although that might make things even worse?
Sorry Tex!! Before my car arrived, I definitely watched every single youtube (most several times over) and browsed every article and picture available, sometimes late into the night! Now that I have my car, I feel I owe it to those waiting to give them something to ease the agony of waiting. Hopefully it won't do the opposite!! :eek:
 

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Well thought out points, 6e! Thanks for sharing and congrats on the delivery. ...Sounds like you just had a kid. :).

I found a new problem with mine, today: I'm having a tough time leaving Cars and Coffee with the crowd that builds around it!
 

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I have had mine for a month and my only criticism is I would like the McLaren logo at the back to be a little bigger: whenever I am driving in the traffic, a lot of drivers who don't know the car tend to come very close to read the name, and I hate that.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I found a new problem with mine, today: I'm having a tough time leaving Cars and Coffee with the crowd that builds around it!
I have had mine for a month and my only criticism is I would like the McLaren logo at the back to be a little bigger: whenever I am driving in the traffic, a lot of drivers who don't know the car tend to come very close to read the name, and I hate that.
So far, I have seen at least three people trying to take pictures or video of my 12C, while they were driving their own car! Biggest surprise was the guy who was turning left through an intersection at the same time! :eek:
 

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So far, I have seen at least three people trying to take pictures or video of my 12C, while they were driving their own car! Biggest surprise was the guy who was turning left through an intersection at the same time! :eek:
I'd say "that was the guy near my shop, right?", but you didn't see that one. As I was pulling the car around a guy in a green ~1990's toyota sienna was trying desperately to get out his camera phone to take a pic/vid. :D
 

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I'd say "that was the guy near my shop, right?", but you didn't see that one. As I was pulling the car around a guy in a green ~1990's toyota sienna was trying desperately to get out his camera phone to take a pic/vid. :D
One of the guys I saw was on the way to your shop, so maybe he followed me all the way there!
 

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I have had mine for a month and my only criticism is I would like the McLaren logo at the back to be a little bigger: whenever I am driving in the traffic, a lot of drivers who don't know the car tend to come very close to read the name, and I hate that.
Blip the airbrake OWL,unfortunatly you cant see their eyes when you do it,or if you dont like to take the risk flip the aero button a few times,they think your waving at them,and mostly they get the message:D
 

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CCB. So far, exactly as I expected. The pedal is firm, probably a little firmer than most other cars. The first half inch of pedal travel with CCBs is always a slightly different feeling than steel rotors, in my experience. Not grabby, but the initial bite has a different edge to it, if you know what I mean. Once your ankle adjusts to the articulation, you'll be hard pressed to tell any difference from the steels, I would imagine.

Let me know if I've answered what you are looking for - if not, I am happy to field any and all questions and investigate further the next time I'm out (later today if my infant daughter is okay with that!).

Have you driven other cars with CCB's? I dove early Lambos and Porsches and didn't like them. My V12V came with them and I couldn't be happier. I have since driven newer Lambs and they too are better. I would like to order them on my 12C but the expense plus the possibility that they are not well connected has me a little concerned. I drove a car with the standard brakes and they were great but I can't help thinking that I would miss the CCBS DOWN THE ROAD.
 
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