The more I think about it, the more annoyed I get. The Mac left the Ferrari in the dust. They said so on the roads. They concoct this super tight course to try to make the cars seem even and confuse the issue. If they ran it on their own track we know the result is and would be. It's like they concocted the entire thing to be a giant distraction and not say what is true. The Mac is better in every important way.
Ours have generally avoided self combustion and melting. Yes, I know of the one rental Mac that blew up, but not clear on cause, vs. design error on the 458.
I'm willing to go out on limb and say that the Ferrari's build's are generally way worse and have way more severe problems in the aggregate than Macs. I deposit the following as completely anecdotal evidence.
It's called romance. The Italians are very good at that sort of thing.
There's no point McLaren trying to compare or compete on that level. They are just going to have to plod on, making the best cars they can. In fifty years, they'll have a niche and a cache all of their own.
At some point a 2011 12C is going to be worth twice as much as a 2011 458. It's just a matter of when.
Top Gear was accused of pandering when it comes to the 12C. This may be an effort to seem balanced. There is always an effort on that show to maintain the widest audience. I just appreciate that there is a show with great visuals of awesome cars. I don't need them for an opinion. The thing that I really enjoy about this "romance" or "soul" discussion coming from the Ferrari crowd is how they made the opposite criticism of my Astons. When I drove beautiful, romantic high style cars with soul, I was criticized for a lack of performance. Now that I have a car that has all of the performance you want it, lacks soul or romance. I never really felt the need to defend any choice. To each is own. It just seems that there is always a defensive posture when there is a challenge to Ferrari or Porsche on the road or in the looks department. There is always an explanation from the owners. It almost seems like having the car and enjoying it isn't enough. I like Ferraris. I came very close to buying a 458. I just felt as if I would regret choosing it over the 12C after driving both.