June 19, 2011

Mclaren MP4-12C vs Ferrari 458: Ouch!

Some interesting previews of an upcoming super test from EVO have hit the net and Mclaren comes out looking a bit like Lewis Hamilton's chin strap beard.

The test pitted the MP4-12c against the 458 Italia, the Porsche Turbo S, Mercedes SLS, Ford GT and the Noble M600.

Here are some of the more surprising figures:

Mclaren weighed in at 1433 kg/3159 lbs with the carbon brake option, the 458 at 1469 kg/3238 lbs a much smaller weight delta than I imagined.

And the track time at the Bedford Autodrome:

Mp4-12c: 1:20.6
458: 1:19.3

Mclaren had sent a full sized technical support team with the car for the test (where is the outrage Mr. Harris?) who then fitted Pirelli Corsas on the MP4.... they still lost, 1:19.6 , The Ferrari was on Michelin Super Sports.

More troubling for Mclaren are reports magazine testers found the handling "unrewarding", the brakes laking feel and the ride "citroen like" (yikes) at regular road speeds. at fast road speeds the MP4 "...suddenly feels all at sea, with only moderate loadings to deal with, the strange Citroen like ride reactions are back and the chassis feels out of tune with road''




  1. That's why why real cars still have to be tested on real roads by real people, otherwise they are all fake and fuñl o s#%t like Lewis Hamilton

  2. Btw, 430 Scuderia still the best car in the world.... Unless you can afford a Pagani Zonda R, which the Axis stll can't unfortunately....

  3. the 58 scuderia yoou will even be able to drive on the street legally :)

  4. The car is that bad, yet it is only 1.3 seconds slower than the Ferrari? What does that say about the Ferrari if the McLaren really is as bad as they claim?

    BTW, it's McLaren with a capital L.

  5. (Sorry if that posted more than once!)

  6. I guess it says the Ferrari is a faster car despite being more of a GT and that Mclaren now knows being the British Ferrari is not so easy?

    Mybe if they had been less clever with the suspension and spec'd an LSD??

  7. To the guy above who said "only 1.3 seconds slower" :

    Go race something competitively for a few years and then put the prefix "only" in front of a time frame of "1.3 seconds."

    I think you will find 1.3 seconds PER LAP is a massive amount of time.

    People never cease to amaze me ;-)

  8. I'm really surprised to be honest. Over a second! What a shame for McLaren as the 458 is obviously the prettier car too. It looks like McLaren tried to be too clever with the car? I look forward to the passive, lightweight GT version to see if it can redeem itself.

  9. @CG you can admire Mclaren but you fall in love with Ferrari... (hey, I'm Italian, can't help it, sue me :) )

  10. Could it be that the Ferrari has better weight distribution and aerodynamics? Did the Michelins have something to do with it? After all I believe that's the same tire that was able to give the ZR-1 that blistering Nurburgring time. None the less, I am quite surprised the McLaren was so much slower seeing as there were rumors it was the fastest car around the Top Gear track and not to mention its supposed less than three second 0-60 time.

    @CG...completely agree the 430 Scuderia is the best car...in the world(Jeremy Clarkson voice)

  11. Did the McLaren had some sort of mechanical issues? 'cause all the reviews I have read so far have been nothing but 'almost perfect'. This is the first time I read a review that criticise the McLaren's performance.

  12. Bla bla bla. Can't afford one, don't care!! ;-)

  13. They're using the hydraulic system, which is inherently compromised. It needs roll-bars, otherwise over continuous rolling undulations you get a weird harmonic imbalance over the front and it gets 'floaty'. The system can't deal with it and you have to back off the throttle. As said, very Citroen like.
    I reckon the LSD compromises this further, handling is even weirder.

    Don't believe me? Just look at their GT3 car, they ripped out the hydraulics and they installed roll-bars and an LSD. McLaren know about this problem, they're just in denial and think they can work around it.

    Still don't believe me? You know who else used that system?
    Honda F1 first used it on the R107, their whole suspension used this hydraulics to keep the aero tight, didn't work at all and comprimised their whole car.
    Super-Aguri came in ripped all the hydraulics out and just ran the car with roll-bars and Sato was overtaking Ferraris.

  14. Oh by the way, there is rumors that their GT3 cars (which run the stock engine) have had engine failures. There was meant to be the press launch of the GT3 car, its been called off though and the cars haven't been raced yet.

    Their new factory hasn't even come on-line yet either, was meant to a while back.

    No one is reporting any of this stuff, the Brits would normally, but its a British manufacturer, there is absolutely no way they'd have a go and jeopardise them by hurting their public image.

    Only reason I know about this is via Phil Bennett, he's a tester/racer.

  15. Fyi, Top Gear Magazine also chose the 458 over the Mac.

  16. 1.3 seconds slower isn't bad when you consider Ferrari have been making road cars for god knows how long and have a state of the art factory that has been running for years . So you would expect the 458 to be near perfection .
    Not bad for your second road car at least you don't need to win lottery to buy the MP4 12C.

  17. 1) Why does everyone (including McLaren) forget the SLR. Mercedes went to McLaren and said "build that" (Vision Concept) so they did. Granted it wasn't exactly McLaren's idea. But it was perfected in house by Gordon Murray and the McLaren team and built at McLaren by McLaren employees. Same as all the variants being developed by McLaren.

    2) People would forgive the McLaren IF they hadn't spent the last 2 years hyping the thing to the hills as being better than any Ferrari or competitor,

  18. Good 2nd point anonymous. Everyone would be raving the Mclaren performance figures and accomplishments if they had not been so arrogant in their claims over the last 2 years.
    My expectations were enormous, but I had my doubts given the suspension design (full hydraulic, no rollbars) and lack of LSD.

  19. Still no sign of outrage from Harrismonkey... hmmm, so it's OK for Mclaren to send cadres of techs to car mag tests then? :)

  20. Have you guys tried asking Harris on Twitter?

  21. There are several reasons why I would buy a McLaren over the 458 Italia if I was in the market, despite all this:

    - The Ferrari is a hideous dog's dinner externally, whereas the McLaren has an inherent rightness to its looks
    - The Ferrari's interior is no better, with woeful ergonomics, whereas the McLaren is really thoroughly thought-out
    - The engine note just sounds fake, I don't like flat plane crank V8s much anyway and so the McLaren's low-rev rumble, as opposed to the Ferrari's flat whine, appeals more
    - I want to support British jobs, local jobs, and I live a mere 13 miles from the McLaren factory, so good for customer support and good if anything goes wrong
    - Nothing will go wrong, it's a McLaren (though Ferraris are pretty reliable too)
    - The McLaren is faster, much torquier and more economical, so will go further on a tankful
    - Getting in and out of the McLaren gracefully is a lot easier than with the Ferrari
    - Much better visibility in the McLaren
    - Much better ride in the McLaren - if it rides like an old Citroen I'm in!

    The only minus point for the McLaren is that, generally, I prefer natural aspiration. Minus points for both cars - the lack of a manual gearbox option.

    As for the supposed problems with the hydraulics, and the GT3 cars having anti-roll bars, McLaren didn't want to rip out the hydraulics from the GT3 cars, it was forced on them by the FIA regulations. Oh, and I'd be surprised if there had been major engine failures with the GT3s, they're running less boost than the road cars (about 500bhp to the road car's 592bhp). Again, this is the FIA at work, trying to ensure close racing rather than having the McLarens lapping the rest of the field...

  22. Go ahead, mate=)) Money for nothing. Lucky you're - 13 miles from MCL factory. "26 everyday miles" will be obligatory. Have you seen MCL service bills? That will be another surprise for you. It all goes wrong with quality and reliability now.


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