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Hello. I've just registered and this is my first post.

I am in the market within the next year or so, for a high end sports car. The MP4 is at the top of the list for me. I was wondering what kind of ownership costs would be involved with daily driving it and using it for 10-15 track events per year, with a total mileage of 8-10k per year. I live in Washington State and the nearest dealers are either in California or in British Columbia. I'll plan on doing a lot of the easier maintenance myself (like fluid changes, brake pads/rotors) if it is possible to get replacement parts.

I currently have two kids in college and it's unknown how much longer they want to go to school. I'm not wealthy enough that if ownership is going to cost $10k a year for this use, that I feel I can afford that. I currently have a 2011 Corvette which fits this need pretty well and is very cheap to maintain under this usage, but there is no comparison between it and an MP4 or any of the other cars in that category.

Is the MP4 suited for this kind of usage? Thanks for your opinions.
 

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That's the mileage ive done over the past 2 years and have had nothing like those costs,but not done that many track days,The 12c is quite kind on its tyres compared to other brands,depending on usage people have been changing between 5k and 10k for rears and a lot more on the fronts,so if you pitch in at 3 sets max,and pads seem to be similar with hard usage,but if only had the one set of fronts so far.
But im sure there are plenty out there that have done similar things with more knowledge a few members have done well over 10k track miles,with costs depending on the cuircuits.
 

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I did 12 full on track days in 9 months and 8k miles.

My only expense apart from Oil. The 12c does like a drink. was one set of Tyres at 7k miles and one set of Pads. I only had to replace the tyres due to not keeping an eye on pressures on track.

I would give very serious consideration to investing in clear protection film.
 

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I think you will find that the 12c is decently cheap to run for that kind of mileage, including track work.. things to note on the track stuff however..
the manual mentions that if you intend to track the car, then you should have it inspected before and after the event, so as not to void the warranty... with you being a decent distance from either dealer it would seem, you should consider this. I would suggest however that there is a somewhat more relaxed approach to this 'requirement' from the dealers then is suggested in the manual. Indeed there is no 'stamp' if you like in the book, to say you've had the inspections done, so it's a slightly grey area I would suggest... what it practically works out is a request by McLaren to see the car more frequently than the once a year, if you put it on track, more for safety than anything required mechnanically... indeed if you're of a mind to do some of the mechanicals yourself, you may feel it's unnecessary.

From an oil perspective, mine used a little oil (and I mean a little, one litre or so in the first 7000 miles or so, but since first service and a number of track days since has used basically nothing). Obviously doesn't exclude checking it, but its very good in this department it would seem. For completeness, some guys have had issues, wheel liners is still a problem that we're not absolutely sure has been fixed yet, but it does appear the latest software may have attempted to address that issue also..

I have had the inspections done a number of times and aside from new pads and tyres, have never had need of anything other than the labour to do the inspection. I think in time McLaren will gain the reputation for excellent reliability, indeed perhaps even over engineering. The teething problems for the earlier cars, lets say sub 1000 vin, appear to be close to being a distant memory.
 

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This is a lowish cost supercar for 10,000 miles per year. I agree with all that has been said above........Mikeyb in particular used the cars dynamic ability to the envelope edges, as intended by Mclaren, so his view on reliability is well founded.

My car at 9000 mile or so uses no oil and the pads/discs are OK after two track days and 3 tours to the Alps.

Tyre wear is remarkable. I could have left mine on to 11,000 miles but chose to change. I never got beyond 5000 miles, typically 4000, in my 911's.

The cars ride is limosine comfortable, if you want, and can be super quiet with the standard exhaust on a feathered throttle. On one trip my wife and I did 550 miles with one stop for take away coffee and at journeys end went out for dinner with friends. No problems.
 

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Actually I should also add with regard to inspection, the u,s has different legislation and the u,s chaps believe have agreement that the inspections can be done at a non Mclaren garage, so that more flexible than in Europe.., do check this with the dealer though. Perhaps one of the u.s guys will comment on this point.
 

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This car is not that expensive in maintenance. Out of the 17 visits I only had to pay 2. All the rest was update and warranty work.
 

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Hello. I've just registered and this is my first post.

I am in the market within the next year or so, for a high end sports car. The MP4 is at the top of the list for me. I was wondering what kind of ownership costs would be involved with daily driving it and using it for 10-15 track events per year, with a total mileage of 8-10k per year. I live in Washington State and the nearest dealers are either in California or in British Columbia. I'll plan on doing a lot of the easier maintenance myself (like fluid changes, brake pads/rotors) if it is possible to get replacement parts.

I currently have two kids in college and it's unknown how much longer they want to go to school. I'm not wealthy enough that if ownership is going to cost $10k a year for this use, that I feel I can afford that. I currently have a 2011 Corvette which fits this need pretty well and is very cheap to maintain under this usage, but there is no comparison between it and an MP4 or any of the other cars in that category.

Is the MP4 suited for this kind of usage? Thanks for your opinions.
If you intend use the car for 10-15 track events per year, which is actually a lot, you will very likely end up with a much bigger bill than just $10k.

When tracking the car properly, you will find yourself paying for:

2-3 sets of tyres = $3-4.5K
2-3 sets of pads = $2-3K
1-2 sets of steel rotors = $2-3K
Pre/Post Track Checks incl. changing fluids and some bolts = $5K-7K (if done at a McLaren dealership)
Yearly Maintenance $1.5-2K
Insurance $???

Quite obviously there are some little bits missing on that list above and the numbers are rather conservative as swell.

Plus expect the car to use a tank of fuel every 40-60 minutes when driven hard. Don't know about the gas price in your country but this would account for another $5K over here..

Personally, I'v gone through almost a full set of pads on every trackday this year. Steel rotors lasted 3-4 trackdays. Tyres lasted around 2 to 3 trackdays.

IMO the 12C car is absolutely superb but also expensive to run on track. It eats pads due to the lack of proper track oriented pads and limited cooling. You are not allowed to use aftermarked pads like Pagid as this would void the warranty. Same for the rotors. Tire wear is actually pretty standard for the amount of power the car offers.

Pre/Post Track Checks are quite expensive too, at least over here in europe. But it helps keeping your warranty intact when driving the car on track. That is a big plus and I'm not aware of any other [supercar] company offering this level of protection.

Don't want to spoil the fun just trying to give you some real world numbers regarding running cost when used as a track toy beside the regular street driving.



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Finally a post by someone who obviously drives the car pretty hard. I have tracked mine a few times and in two 30-minute session large chunks were gone from the tires and at the rate pads were wearing I know I'd only get a few more sessions. Now I think there are savings to be had

Run R888s at a bit lower cost than the PZero street tires and with more grip.
I had slotted steel rotors made for my car and a set of 4 (you must re-use the hats) is more like $1500 a set.
Pads I am very happy with EBC Blue or Orange compounds and it's more like $250 an axle set.

PS, here in the US McLaren cannot refuse to honor a warranty unless the aftermarket modification caused a premature failure and I find it hard to imagine that wear items that are not subject to warranty (pads & rotors) would void any other warranty items.

Regular oil, filter and brake fluid changes DIY should not be too bad.

but 10-15 events a year? That's a lot and personally, I'd invest in a dedicated track car and the rig to tow it. I track my MP4 just occasionally simply because it really is hard on a car to track it with much pace. Among other things you are going to have some road rash due to debris or an off, and that can get pricey.
 

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I've done 10K in 9 months. No oil. No tires. No problems. 10k service on the way.

So, as a daily driver, the operating costs are not a big issue.

Tracking the car once a month may be a different story. The guys above have done a good job estimating the consumables, and some of the wear and tear issues.

But consumables are likely not going to be your issue--the possibility of meaningful financial depreciation is going to be the risk. As has been well discussed elsewhere, a 12C that gets driven will have a depreciation curve closer to that of a regular car. Rack up the miles (on and off the track) and you will feel it on the exit.

Honestly, I don't think it is reasonable to try to run a car with large sticker and have its total economic cost be low. Some cars appear to trade this way--but only if you don't drive them.

The 12C is an awesome car. And an amazing daily driver. But it can not run as cheaply as a Corvette--which is why the Corvette is such an amazing car.:)
 

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Agreed with JP. My last ride was a vette. Great car. Insanely cheap to keep. One oil/filter/service over 4.5 years. Total cost $100. I tracked it only twice though.

That said, I've priced a bunch of cars out, and compared to cars in it's bracket (458, Aventador), the Mac is about as cheap as you're going to get. If we can petition McLaren to tweak a few things (let us use Michelins, use a few of the top end brake pads, etc.), it will make the car not only perform a lot better, but be a bit cheaper to maintain to boot. All letting us stretch the legs of our cars a bit more as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks to everyone for your very helpful answers.

I guess I underestimated the cost of tires/pads/rotors. I guess I thought the performance potential of an MP4 is going to be so far beyond what else is running, and beyond my abilities to get close to its limits, that the wear on tires and brakes wouldn't be that great. But as much as I couldn't afford to replace an MP4 if I crashed it badly (I guess that's what HPDE insurance is for), I also couldn't own it and then not run it at least occasionally on a track either.

In any case, it doesn't sound like I can go wrong, especially if I keep another vehicle that I can run as a track car and daily driver, and I'll plan on doing that. I'm also planning to buy lightly used to help keep the initial outlay down. I hope to join you as an owner soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
If we can petition McLaren to tweak a few things (let us use Michelins, use a few of the top end brake pads, etc.), it will make the car not only perform a lot better, but be a bit cheaper to maintain to boot. All letting us stretch the legs of our cars a bit more as well.
A quick question. This caught my eye as did the post by McDC, and I don't think I've seen this so far in my reading on this forum.

Does McLaren limit warranty coverage so that you must use only factory approved parts or it is voided? If I were to use non-factory rotors and pads, would I only lose warranty coverage on those parts or is my entire warranty voided?
 

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Im not sure about the voiding part, and some of that will vary by state/country. So I know some folks have put on Michelins, and different/better pads. WRT the tires, there is no setting on the car for other tires, which is annoying as it's not clear how much the software in the car is calibrated for the tires.

I would love to hear from some owners that put on the Michelins if they experienced any weirdness with the car.

As for the pads, I think those that use better pads reported it works fine.
 

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I'm running the Michelin PSs tires and the weirdness has nothing to do with the tires. (Eg cruise control fault, side window nit closing, heater sometimes not working) so nothing to do with the tires. Where i went wrong was putting on too wide tires on the back rear with 335's as there's not enough space between the body and tire. On Spa the first 10 laps were great until for some reason the rear left tire constantly lost air. According to specialists the tire was being pushed of the wheel as the body does roll considerable and the wheels keep planted on the road. For daily driving they are great especially in the rain they are much better. For occassional track days I'm convinced now that an extra set of wheels with R888's or similar real reack tires is a must.
I'm still discovering track events but as far as I experienced with a dedicated M3 track car .... A road car will never be the ultimate track car and a track car is impossible to drive on the roads. There'll allways be a compromise to be made. If i pursue this I'm thinking about a dedicated track car like a radical or similar
 

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I think we have to differentiate beween warranty covering road usage and warranty covering track useage.

For road usage, McLaren claims only the factory approved tires, wheels, pads and other parts may be used otherwise it would void the warranty. How this would end up in a concrete case remains to be seen. But McLaren is no different here than other manufactures like Ferrari, AM, Porsche. To me it seems, dealerships in the US and especially Canada seem to be far more relaxed regarding the installation of aftermarket parts. How that works with the factory, I don't know...

For track usage, it is a very different story. McLaren is completely free to define the rules by which they are willing to keep the warranty under track conditions.If they want you to wear orange trousers, that's up to them. The pre/post track checks are a reasonable thing and even make sense from a technical point of view.

If you track a Porsche or Ferrari, you are voiding your warranty. At least over here in europe. If they then end up paying for a repair/faulty part, thats just goodwill from their side, nothing more. Nothing you can insist on.



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I think we have to differentiate beween warranty covering road usage and warranty covering track useage.

For road usage, McLaren claims only the factory approved tires, wheels, pads and other parts may be used otherwise it would void the warranty. How this would end up in a concrete case remains to be seen. But McLaren is no different here than other manufactures like Ferrari, AM, Porsche. To me it seems, dealerships in the US and especially Canada seem to be far more relaxed regarding the installation of aftermarket parts. How that works with the factory, I don't know...

For track usage, it is a very different story. McLaren is completely free to define the rules by which they are willing to keep the warranty under track conditions.If they want you to wear orange trousers, that's up to them. The pre/post track checks are a reasonable thing and even make sense from a technical point of view.

If you track a Porsche or Ferrari, you are voiding your warranty. At least over here in europe. If they then end up paying for a repair/faulty part, thats just goodwill from their side, nothing more. Nothing you can insist on.
Did you do change rotors on the frozen one McDc? Am sure you mentioned it previously bit I don't remember .. Getting old.. Apologies. I know you were doing some pads!
 
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