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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well I finally had a test drive, under blue sky, in the company of a very knowledgeable and helpful co-pilot from McLaren London, Mark.

Let me say from the outset that this car is everything it claims to be and more with the test drive proving( although on public roads ) and confirming the performance is on a level that few will reach ( or take many miles of learning ) but at the same time capable of being civilised and thus usable in all situations.

It's ballistic like no other car I have been in and sticks to the road like it's glued on rails. The tyre feedback as speed increases fills you with confidence and I imagine a track environment will astonish drivers with it's capability.

The shear drive of the engine from fairly low revs is laugh out loud unbelievable - a real shocker as the never ending thrust seemingly arrives with no effort - so the engine just spins and spins with no resistance, the porting and breathing must be perfect.

The sports exhaust emits a deep guttural symphony of entertainment, fabulous and does raise the question what the journalists were wanting? But it can be all day quiet in normal mode for those long trips or when in town.

The gearbox works fine and the paddles always in place with, for me, perfect Haptic when pulled forward but too hard to push with my fingers as Lewis does in his track runabout. I liked the paddles and ease of use with instant response.

Steering is light at low speeds but you have no doubt that it will turn at your chosen point with trusted accuracy. The car is so easy to place on the road, contributed to by seating position, very low and wide screen, suspension composure and steering predictability that it adds to the pace and enjoyment. I found the 458, by way of contrast, physically wide and restrictive on country roads but it is only and inch wider so the MP12's seating etc really makes it place-able which is important for fast safe pace.

The big shock for me was the suspension and ride quality. It is so different it ' throws' you to begin with as it is so compliant and comforting - no jarring, vibration or tyre thumping sensations, a la 458 or Porcshe, just serene progress. But change the settings, which have distinctive qualities, and the car stiffens up to your command. The sport/sport setting was perfect for spirited road use. The track setting allows no body movement with fast steering and throttle response. What 'throws' you is that you just don't expect to have the combination of compliant ride and ballistic performance in a car.

The seats and sitting position are perfect. All day perfect. I'm 6'2" and it was easy to get the steering wheel and seat just so with lots of adjustment in all directions. The first car for me that has a steering wheel that can be set perfectly.......why aren't all cars like this......isn't the steering wheel and it's position key for control and comfort?

Fit and finish - as good as anything else with the interior probably as good as it will get, paint perfect and panel gaps OK. I'm sure McLaren will improve as time passes just like Porsche and Ferrari have but the key issue, especially for early adopters, is that early cars are to a high standard and you will have to be 'picky' to spot areas of improvement.

Concerns - two. The brakes are awesome and the spoiler popping up adds entertainment, but on this car there was a small amount of travel before they bit the discs and I found that off-putting but I'm sure it's solvable with ease. Secondly the exhaust, do you get the sports one which is awesome or the liveable standard one?

My conclusion, McLaren are producing an awesome performance and dramatic sports car that can deliver on it's promises. It is usable in all types of driving or journeys and can be serene or warp fantastic ballistic, your choice - at your command
 

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The more that people drive it,the more they will realise how wrong the press were!!
 

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@ roundincircles
I m very happy to read this!!!!!
Thanks for your post!!!!
I love this car so much!
@ Andy c
1+
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Heinrichoerchen. I guess on the unrestricted autobahns in Germany you will be at ' Warp speed Mr Zulu' most of the time! Guess you had Startrek on German TV ! This car is from the future.
 

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Yes, we have Startrek on german TV!!! I love it! Cant wait to drive with "Warp-Speed";) Will get my Mp4 in 4 - 5 weeks!:):)( Hope so)
 

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Great info - thanks
Just to be clear - I gather that the car you drove has the optional sports exhaust?

If so, does it "quiet down" enough in normal cruising at under 3000 rpm to be liveable every day, or does it drone when cruising along?

Have you heard the normal stock exhaust as well, and if so, can you describe the difference between the two.
Many Thanks
 

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I spec the sports exhaust. On sports or track mode how does the car sound below 3,000 rpm. My 458 was really quiet before i "open the valves" Appreciate your feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You know it's hard to remember the detail after your first drive as you are dealing with so much that is new.

The car I drove had a sports exhaust. In normal mode I think it's all day liveable and probably in Sports also.

In TRACK mode it rort's away under acceleration but much quieter when cruising. I think it's very different to the 458 which is a scream where as the MP12 is more guttural and very 'V8'.

I could probably live with it but I prefer normal exhaust on a long road trip type holiday. I need to drive a standard exhaust.
 

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Solid! Thank you for that! :)
Very encouraged to read about the steering wheel adjustability, which is also one of my biggest pet peeves in most cars. Often, you can't get a wheel position that is comfortable in stop and go traffic, but that also lets you feel the front end when you get going again through the bends. Plus, when you drive on the track, wheel position is everything for confidence at speed. Glad to hear they nailed that usability feature.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just to make it clear I judge the sports exhaust is all day usable especially as it is softened in normal mode. However here in the UK it will be Track illegal at Donnington, Brands etc because it's now over 105 Db - not sure if you could fiddle it by doing a noise test in Normal mode.
 

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Just to make it clear I judge the sports exhaust is all day usable especially as it is softened in normal mode. However here in the UK it will be Track illegal at Donnington, Brands etc because it's now over 105 Db - not sure if you could fiddle it by doing a noise test in Normal mode.
The modes on the powertrain put more sound in the cabin,but the only thing that effects the external sound are the drive by flaps,and when ive been on track they want you to rev beyond those to check your db.
But glad you have jogged my memory because i was beginning to regret not ordering the sports,now youve reminded my why i didnt in the first place
 

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Personally glad I went with standard exhaust. The sports was a bit too intrusive on the comfort settings on the road e.g. if you want to make a phone call etc.

With sports you should be fine on trackdays with 105db static test. Won't stand a chance at somewhere like Bedford though.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
ANDY - YOUR correct about the noise test on track as it's at 4000 revs, from memory, so the bypass flaps /valve will be open.

It has to be the standard exhaust for my favourite tracks then!

I don't think it's a big issue for me but I need to drive the standard car to be sure.
 

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Thanks for your review. Your impressions are similar to mine. My thoughts are that i had no true sensation of speed because of the excellent view and glass area. I went barreling into a corner, jumped on the brakes, (standard) then got right back on the throttle because i thought i had braked to early, only for the Mclaren engineer to tell me " we don't normally go through here like that, your using a lot of brake steer", and I'm no great driver, i just felt like the car could do SO much more in every corner
I am fortunate that i get to drive all the Ferrari's and Lamborghini's as well, and this is how i finally decided to describe the difference to everyone.

The Ferrari makes you feel like you are fast and look classy, the lambo tries to makes you look fast but with no class, the Mclaren makes you fast and classy...its just so different to the others, and in my opinion much better for it.
 

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hmmm not sure if i'd be so classy when i'll overtake all of those guys in theirs flashy red 430sc or 458 at le mans for example, or spa... :D

so quickly in fact...

really not sure of the look hmmm

:p
 
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