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by Harry Metcalfe

Long-time evo subscribers will remember that I have a special relationship with the people over in Woking. My early feedback was instrumental in making the McLaren 12C the world-beating supercar it is today and, as a result, Ron and Antony continue to call on me for advice, or use me as a sounding board. Generally, anything that I can provide to help further product development. Against that backdrop, I give you something new for evo. Not resolutions, as are custom for this time of year, but rather New Year's Recommendations. For the boys and girls in McLaren Orange, of course.

The following are the recommendations I made personally to Ron, when I met him in Paris at the public unveil of the P1 hypercar:

1. Install a windscreen wiper. In the real world, especially in Britain, it rains. A lot. These designers always want to be fancy and show the cars without wipers, but it's just not practical. Expect the production version of P1 to have a wiper.

2. Put tread on the tires. Again, it rains. Even for the ludicrously rich, Mother Nature makes no exception. While P1's tires look snazzy with the McLaren logo stamped into the surface, that will not clear nearly enough water to prevent hydro-planing. Can I be excused for assuming that McLaren's Formula One wizard engineers should know this? Anyway, the solution is to add another letter to the end, so that the script will reach the sidewall and thus channel water from underneath the contact patch. I suggested "McLarena", since the bonus effect is that the relatively boring word 'McLaren" becomes transformed into an Italian-sounding expression. That adds all kinds of emotion to the car. Journalists love emotional cars. I offered that Ron could even consider doing the same to his own name, becoming "Rona". He muttered something about a Canadian home improvement store.

3. The car needs an interior. I realize California and Miami are big markets for McLaren now, where everybody loves to black out the windows, so you don't really need an interior. But I think it is a big mistake to assume that all P1 owners will feel that way. Expect the production car to have an interior.

4. Fix the naming convention, already. This is getting ridiculous. P1 is way too many letters and numbers. It's confusing and when you confuse journalists, we can't concentrate on the car's emotions. They still have time to change the name. I suggested something with fewer syllables, like PWUN. Pronounced like FUN, but with a PW. PWUN. Very catchy and Ron can even start to incorporate the branding into his speeches: "Ladies and gentlemen, you may not be aware that McLarena has PWUN one out of every four grand prix races we have ever contested.....". I can tell Ron really liked this one because he gave me the most pensive look and immediately turned around and walked off.

5. Now, before anybody accuses me of favouritism towards the home team, I wrote Maranello with a New Year's Recommendation, too. Luca is always complaining. Every time I read the F1 news sites, there's Luca - complaining. "Wee donna like zees rule, we donna like zat. Our wind tunnel is sheeet." By far, the one I hear the most is "Formula One today eezza joke. There eez no relevance for our road cars. None! Eeza joke!". Well, Luca, 2013 is your lucky year because I saved my best NYR for you. Instead of your constant whining about aerodynamics and CFD and double DRS and blah, blah, blah... just lobby the FIA to adopt metal frames for all F1 cars instead of the carbon monocoque. Whammo! Instant relevance for your road cars! Everybody wins - Ferrari, Formula One and most of all the drivers since they will be driving cars that, just 30 short years ago, represented the pinnacle of racecar construction. I haven't heard back from Luca, yet, which can only mean he is giving it strong consideration.

That's all folks. I hope you have a wonderful New Year. And don't worry, when you wake up on January 1st, evo will still be here, your trusted authority on high performance motoring!
 
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