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Test drove the 12c. Smooth, fast, looks great and has so much horsepower potential. You can feel the turbos spool up quickly and as soon as you feel the power start to really kick in the waste gates open and limit the power to 600hp. The turbos are limited to 80k rpm but are capable of 150k. A software upgrade and we will be at 700hp maybe even 800 with custom tune or race gas. My feeling is that the car just needs more hp to be more emotional and have more wow factor, it does feel very smooth and capable of handling the power...the extra 100 hp with tie everything together perfectly. IMO this will be the car to have for anyone the truly loves to drive a fast amazing car, once USA customers have seat time the demand will increase in a big way.

12c faster than 458
Transmission smoother in the 12c
Handling and traction better in the 12c
The 458 does sound better and looks better but not by much and the 12c doors really make a statement! All around the 12c is a much better package
for me.
 

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^^Yes it will. It'll be like gasoline on a fire once people can drive one themselves.

It has such tremendous breadth of character. That it turns lap times the way it does, and yet is such an easy car to live with that other 99% of the time you're in it is incredible. THAT'S going to blow people away.
 

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FINALLY drove it this morning. Great fun - truly amazing car. There aren't enough words to describe it. Even at the outset, you can feel the fact that it is unlike any other car, and it takes a few minutes just to appreciate the controls.

Took it up the freeway, through a few twisties, and sat in traffic. Car handled just fine. My only issue was the brake feel, but it was a prototype car. The car I drove also featured the older style paddle pull, and aside from constantly surprising the opposite hand, I liked the pull force. Journalists be damned.

Only a few more months of waiting to go. It will definitely be worth it. EPIC car.
 

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FINALLY drove it this morning. Great fun - truly amazing car. There aren't enough words to describe it. Even at the outset, you can feel the fact that it is unlike any other car, and it takes a few minutes just to appreciate the controls.

Took it up the freeway, through a few twisties, and sat in traffic. Car handled just fine. My only issue was the brake feel, but it was a prototype car. The car I drove also featured the older style paddle pull, and aside from constantly surprising the opposite hand, I liked the pull force. Journalists be damned.

Only a few more months of waiting to go. It will definitely be worth it. EPIC car.
Ok, this is not good enough. You have to say more. Duty calls!
 

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Ok... ok... lol. First off, the new McLaren San Francisco dealership is actually down in Palo Alto near Stanfurd Junior College. Showroom isn't huge, but very nice - right next door is the coming Fisker dealership. And they have a McLaren F1 parked in the middle of the showroom belonging to the owner of the dealership, Tom Price. Tom, if you're reading this, sorry about the drool marks.

My single greatest impression was that while the car feels big and planted, it's amazing how nimble it is, and yet never felt like it was on the edge of throwing me into the barriers. Now, some "journalists" might want to feel like they're a hair's breath away death every time they're behind the wheel, I prefer to reserve that feeling for the race track. I loved how the rear end didn't want to wiggle out around every bend. Obviously, as it was my first time in the car, and first time driving the particular route we took, I couldn't push it hard into the corners, but every corner did bring more and more confidence to pitch it in.

As for the sound... the car was the older model, so it didn't feature the upgraded bypass valve that allows more noise into the cabin, and it had the standard exhaust. The noise was aural bliss, to me. It wasn't yelling and barking in my ear at low RPMs like a Lambo, and when it needed to roar, it made a beautiful sound. Yes, the 458 is louder, and I can see why people like it better, but the 12C will be sharing daily driver duty with my Porsche, so having something that doesn't ALWAYS yell in my ear is rather requisite.

Speaking of the roar, when you put the hammer down in track mode, holy crap. I didn't think there was a mass produced street car out there that could pull quite like a 911 TurboS. And while the Porsche is supposedly faster 0-60, the 12C certainly felt faster - more akin to a roller coaster than a road car.

Visibility was eerily excellent. My only niggle with the car, besides some vibrations and rattles that the McLaren engineer attributed to the fact that the car was a prototype and had been abused amidst all the test drives - that means ALL you guys who got to drive the car in the past few weeks across the States - was the brakes. The car had the iron brakes, and I neglected to ask more about these specific brakes. I found them difficult to modulate, and the pedal quite stiff. There seemed to be little stopping power in the first half of pedal travel, but when you reached the lock, the car just stopped. Nice, but wish the balance was a bit better.

Lastly, it was pretty cool driving through areas of Palo Alto that are clearly familiar with McLaren, but hadn't yet seen one. At one point, we were driving in traffic, and people were rolling down their windows taking pictures. That's always fun!
 

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HyperMac954: I agree with you about the noise of the standard exhaust....it's all you need. Also the iron brakes gave me the same experience and surely they will be improved by Mclaren , maybe with softer pads or some other change.

An engineer said to me that double clutch box's are always in gear as there is no neutral and thus the engine is always pushing against the brake and is particularly noticeable at low speeds. Wonder if this has an impact on the initial over-run as the throttle is backed off?

HyperMac954: No mention of the ride quality or did you say something earlier?

It is ballistic and then some!

ps I have a Cayman R for two days next week, hope it stays dry weather!
 

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HyperMac954: I agree with you about the noise of the standard exhaust....it's all you need. Also the iron brakes gave me the same experience and surely they will be improved by Mclaren , maybe with softer pads or some other change.

An engineer said to me that double clutch box's are always in gear as there is no neutral and thus the engine is always pushing against the brake and is particularly noticeable at low speeds. Wonder if this has an impact on the initial over-run as the throttle is backed off?

HyperMac954: No mention of the ride quality or did you say something earlier?

It is ballistic and then some!

ps I have a Cayman R for two days next week, hope it stays dry weather!
i thought it was me that told you about the gearbox/brake impact,still i dont mind being called an engineer;)
 

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Andy. I'm getting to the stage in life where people tell me things and it's a blur. I remember you telling me that it was impossible to stall the car because of the box...........and you certainly could have told me as you have engineering instincts..........I did have the conversation with a development engineer working at Gaydon, but what do Jag/LR know?

But I was talking to an old contact at Porsche I am due to test drive the Caymen R next week and we discussed the fact it has a flappy paddle box. I asked him if customers were still bitching about the 911 flappy box and how it hesitates at 'T' junctions and Roundabouts. He then qualified that some box's do and some don't and they tell customers that there is no neutral and it is always in gear but the software has to decide if the throttle request is for an up or down change...hence the hesitation...blah, blah, blah. I know of one early flappy ppaddle 911 owner who sold his car after 6 weeks and repurchased the same spec to eliminate the problem.

My Q5 has the same trait if you give it big throttle, hesitates - then after a pause decides to go like a scolded cat - but if you feather the throttle it behaves.

And I'm sure we had the same conversation, didn't we :-0
 

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The flappy paddle gearbox in my R is gorgeous. I'd say significantly better than the 12Cs at low speeds.
 

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Hypermac: Is that correct that the Cayman R has an automated standard box as opposed to a dual clutch box?
 

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