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    McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    He really likes the car. Claims the best mid-engine sport car ever built. Quite a compliment coming from a car critic who has driven just about every car.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203630604578074942883102394.html?google_editors_picks=true


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    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    I view the McLaren much like the 911 in regard to a spyder version.. I could never do it. I dunno, it's too pure a car and just looks much better with a roof. Also, a cabrio should provide a different angle of fun.. for this I would pick a Lamborghini for example, just to get that extra bit of sensation.


    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    You wouldn't like the depreciation on one of those Nick


    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    I would like to hear of how the McLaren compares to the new Audi V10 Plus S-tronic which sells  at 3/4 of the MP4-12C price. Both are strong on "civility" and ride besides speed. 

    Has anyone tried both to have an opinion he can share with us?

    I don't think McLaren's brand image and competition history is much higher than Audi's to justify the extra outlay. Besides, Audi being a proper road car manufacturer has the more complete production and quality control procedures. Ferrari is at a different level in terms of charisma and legend to be compared with those two.


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    "Form follows function"


    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    In my view you cannot compare the Audi R8 V10 with the McLaren MP4. Even the 458 feels like it is behind. The McLaren is the next generation sports car. It will lead the way for the next iteration of models from other manufacturers.


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    Porsche 997 Carrera S in Carrara White with black leather interior. PASM-Sport Suspension (-20 mm), PSE.

    Audi S5 cabrio in Ibis White with black leather interior.


    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    Funny you should say that given that most commentators preferred the 458 and that the Italia has also achieved better lap times in 80% of the cases.


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    FERRARI RULES!!!

    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    Funny you should say that with a FERRARI RULES!!! signature indecision


    --

    Porsche 997 Carrera S in Carrara White with black leather interior. PASM-Sport Suspension (-20 mm), PSE.

    Audi S5 cabrio in Ibis White with black leather interior.


    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    I do not hide my preferences. Then again what I said is true!


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    FERRARI RULES!!!

    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    bluelines:

    In my view you cannot compare the Audi R8 V10 with the McLaren MP4. Even the 458 feels like it is behind. The McLaren is the next generation sports car. It will lead the way for the next iteration of models from other manufacturers.

     

    I know that the components are different and more advanced in the McLaren, like carbon tub chassis, unique suspension system et al. But I was wondering about how much is the tangible difference between the two in the end result, bearing in mind that the McLaren does not offer the more hardcore sensual supercar experience of the Italian cars.


    --

    "Form follows function"


    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    REALZEUS:

    Funny you should say that given that most commentators preferred the 458 and that the Italia has also achieved better lap times in 80% of the cases.

    1)Bedford Autodrome West Circuit (post 06/2008)
    Ferrari: 1:19.3
    McLaren: 1:19.6

    3)Autocar Dry Handling Track, Great Britain

    McLaren: 1:08.6
    Ferrari: 1:08.9

    4)Top Gear Track, Great Britain (2820 m)
    McLaren: 1:16.20
    Ferrari: 1:19.10

    5)Rockingham International Super Sportscar, Great Britain (3122 m)
    McLaren: 1:27.50
    Ferrari: 1:28.30

    6)Hockenheim Short, Germany (2604 m)
    McLaren: 1:08.70
    Ferrari: 1:09.70

    7)Anglesey National, Great Britain (1931 m) 
    Ferrari: 0:59.20
    McLaren: 0:59.30

    8)Nordschleife, Germany (20600 m)
    McLaren: 7:28.0 (HVS)
    Ferrari: 7:38.0 (HVS)

    9) Mireval, France (3298 m) 
    McLaren: 1:30.58
    Ferrari: 1:31.60

    10) Balocco, Italy
    McLaren: 2:43.46
    Ferrari: 2:43.90 

    11) Laguna Seca, USA (3602 m)
    McLaren: 1:34.50
    Ferrari: 1:36.22

    12) Ring Knutstrop (Conf 2), Sweden (2070 m)
    McLaren: 1:08.00
    Ferrari: 1:10.00

    SO it is (McLAREN 10-2 FERRARI), THUS the Ferrari is no match for the McLaren on track  
    Smiley


    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    Thank you for this compilation. 

    I think that someone who is in the market for a supercar of this level will be looking at Ferrari first because as a rule this is the dream car of the vast majority who can afford to move up to this level. I don't think many will be swayed by these figures and let's be honest they are so close as to be of academic importance to 99.9% of owners.

    Supercar ownership is more related to emotion, sensory overload, self gratification and how others look at you. It is not a Formula 1 grid that every fraction counts.

    Having said the above, McLaren have achieved something very commendable.


    --

    "Form follows function"


    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    ISUK:

    You wouldn't like the depreciation on one of those Nick

    Iain, right you are. Also, service location issues. 

    FWIW, a couple of months ago I had a chance to study an orange MP4 coupe and concluded from an appearance standpoint it did not project a super sport car. I believe that was what Dan Neil was referring to in the article. That said, the car appears to look more super car with the top off.


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    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    The P1 looks so much better, something about the proportions of the MP4 isn't right, can't put my finger on it precisely though.

    McLaren-P1-Paris-Motor-Show-AutoMiddleEast-2.jpg


    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    palenimbus:

    The P1 looks so much better, something about the proportions of the MP4 isn't right, can't put my finger on it precisely though.

     

    I think it's the lack of "surface tension" on the 12C that is it's main problem. If you compare it to the 458 you can see how Pininfarina have managed to make the 458 look taught and almost in motion even when standing still due to the surface tension they have created around the front and rear wheels. There is very little metal work above each wheel when viewed from the side. This almost gives the impression of skin pulled tightly over muscles like a well honed athlete's body. It's a skill Pininfarina have become very adept at with some of their more recent designs, the Maserati GranTurismo being another great example. Have a look at the surface tension on that car compared to a Jaguar XK8 for example then bear in mind that the Gran Turismo sits on the same wheelbase as the Maserati Quatrroporte and you start to appreciate what an amazing piece of design that car is.

    The 12C has another styling issue. If you look at the relationship between the length of it's relatively short door against the expanse of metal behind the door to the wheel arch it gives the visual impression that the body is too long and makes your eye think the rear wheel is too small. The glass house appears overly long as a result of this and gives a strange stretched look when viewed side on. Look at the same are on the 458 and you'll see the door is longer making that rear wing section to the rear wheel visually much shorter. This gives it a more classic two seat sports car look and the glass house looks more like a canopy as opposed to the coupe like glass house of the 12C. Interestingly the Audi R8 suffers from the same stylistic flaw when viewed side on yet the Gallardo which shares it's basic chassis does not thanks to steeper raking of the side glass and a more shallow angle tapering of the roof and C pillars.

    12C vs 458.JPG

     


    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    reginos:

    I think that someone who is in the market for a supercar of this level will be looking at Ferrari first because as a rule this is the dream car of the vast majority who can afford to move up to this level. I don't think many will be swayed by these figures and let's be honest they are so close as to be of academic importance to 99.9% of owners.

    +1 Smiley I would think so too.

    The lap times are a great achievement for McLaren, but in the end pointless. A tiny fraction of the owners can and will ever drive these cars at the limit.

    The Ferrari has an advantage on the emotional level, the McLaren on the innovational level. The rest is all down to personal preferences and a fat wallet Smiley


    --

    Porsche 997 Carrera S in Carrara White with black leather interior. PASM-Sport Suspension (-20 mm), PSE.

    Audi S5 cabrio in Ibis White with black leather interior.


    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    ISUK:

    The 12C has another styling issue. If you look at the relationship between the length of it's relatively short door against the expanse of metal behind the door to the wheel arch it gives the visual impression that the body is too long and makes your eye think the rear wheel is too small. 

    I think the R8 suffers from the same design issue. I guess this is why they "invented" the blade in a contrasting colour...


    --

    Porsche 997 Carrera S in Carrara White with black leather interior. PASM-Sport Suspension (-20 mm), PSE.

    Audi S5 cabrio in Ibis White with black leather interior.


    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    ISUK  - all good points  - though I think you have chosen one of the 12C's worst angles. Here's a better one in my view:

    DSC_0238.JPGI'm also partial to the angle in my Avatar Smiley The 12C is an immense car, and my respect has grown for it the longer I have had it. . So much so that I have deferred my 458 Spider to next year. Plus I'm looking forward to my free (take note Ferrari) power upgrade. Let's rejoice in the choices that we all have Smiley (refer to my review of 458 vs 12C ownership of some months ago).


    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    pxaxh:
    REALZEUS:

    Funny you should say that given that most commentators preferred the 458 and that the Italia has also achieved better lap times in 80% of the cases.

    1)Bedford Autodrome West Circuit (post 06/2008)
    Ferrari: 1:19.3
    McLaren: 1:19.6

    3)Autocar Dry Handling Track, Great Britain

    McLaren: 1:08.6
    Ferrari: 1:08.9

    4)Top Gear Track, Great Britain (2820 m)
    McLaren: 1:16.20
    Ferrari: 1:19.10

    5)Rockingham International Super Sportscar, Great Britain (3122 m)
    McLaren: 1:27.50
    Ferrari: 1:28.30

    6)Hockenheim Short, Germany (2604 m)
    McLaren: 1:08.70
    Ferrari: 1:09.70

    7)Anglesey National, Great Britain (1931 m) 
    Ferrari: 0:59.20
    McLaren: 0:59.30

    8)Nordschleife, Germany (20600 m)
    McLaren: 7:28.0 (HVS)
    Ferrari: 7:38.0 (HVS)

    9) Mireval, France (3298 m) 
    McLaren: 1:30.58
    Ferrari: 1:31.60

    10) Balocco, Italy
    McLaren: 2:43.46
    Ferrari: 2:43.90 

    11) Laguna Seca, USA (3602 m)
    McLaren: 1:34.50
    Ferrari: 1:36.22

    12) Ring Knutstrop (Conf 2), Sweden (2070 m)
    McLaren: 1:08.00
    Ferrari: 1:10.00

    SO it is (McLAREN 10-2 FERRARI), THUS the Ferrari is no match for the McLaren on track  
    Smiley

    Given that the Macca was on semis I still think that the 458 is the quicker car.


    --
    FERRARI RULES!!!

    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    ISUK:
    I think it's the lack of "surface tension" on the 12C that is it's main problem. If you compare it to the 458 you can see how Pininfarina have managed to make the 458 look taught and almost in motion even when standing still due to the surface tension they have created around the front and rear wheels. There is very little metal work above each wheel when viewed from the side. This almost gives the impression of skin pulled tightly over muscles like a well honed athlete's body. It's a skill Pininfarina have become very adept at with some of their more recent designs, the Maserati GranTurismo being another great example. Have a look at the surface tension on that car compared to a Jaguar XK8 for example then bear in mind that the Gran Turismo sits on the same wheelbase as the Maserati Quatrroporte and you start to appreciate what an amazing piece of design that car is.

    The 12C has another styling issue. If you look at the relationship between the length of it's relatively short door against the expanse of metal behind the door to the wheel arch it gives the visual impression that the body is too long and makes your eye think the rear wheel is too small. The glass house appears overly long as a result of this and gives a strange stretched look when viewed side on. Look at the same are on the 458 and you'll see the door is longer making that rear wing section to the rear wheel visually much shorter. This gives it a more classic two seat sports car look and the glass house looks more like a canopy as opposed to the coupe like glass house of the 12C. Interestingly the Audi R8 suffers from the same stylistic flaw when viewed side on yet the Gallardo which shares it's basic chassis does not thanks to steeper raking of the side glass and a more shallow angle tapering of the roof and C pillars.

     

    That's the best description I have ever read of the looks of the 12C compared to the 458. I think it sums it up very well.

    I still think that overall the 12C is incredible especially considering that it is essentially made from scratch from a relatively new car company.


    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    Crayphile,

    The 12C is very colour sensitive, much more so than the 458 IMHO.  It looks a lot more like an exotic when painted in a colour like the new pearlescent yellow the spider has been shown in for example. I merely chose the side on view as that is where I think the 12C's real weakness lies for most people. I always felt the Audi R8 I owned also suffered from the exact same side profile design flaw. I merely remedied that by having mine in bright metallic green in order to stun onlookers so they wouldn't notice this smiley You have achieved the same with McLaren Orange kiss

    I've never doubted the performance of the 12C but the styling is something that just doesn't push the right buttons for me personally. I had hoped that Frank Stephenson would make a real difference after he came aboard as I've really liked most of his previous work but the P1 is a major disappointment for me and is a car that has far too many clashing visual design cues on it. When you compare it to the masterpiece he created with the Maserati MC12 the P1 just pales in comparison. That was an outrageous Le Mans car for the road with presence that is almost unmatched by any other car. It makes an Aventador look contrived in comparison.

    13515526767461.JPG


    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    Slightly out of topic, what does anyone think about the upcoming little brother to the 12C, a mid-engined sportscar designed to rival the 911. The codename is P13. There is not many mid-engined cars in this segment, I guess the Audi R8 V8 is the only one.

    McLaren has said that all McLarens will share the same trademark doors. I can't help to imagine that it will be so much prettier than the 12C.. given the 12C's design is function over form.

     


    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    REALZEUS:
    pxaxh:
    REALZEUS:

    Funny you should say that given that most commentators preferred the 458 and that the Italia has also achieved better lap times in 80% of the cases.

    1)Bedford Autodrome West Circuit (post 06/2008)
    Ferrari: 1:19.3
    McLaren: 1:19.6

    3)Autocar Dry Handling Track, Great Britain

    McLaren: 1:08.6
    Ferrari: 1:08.9

    4)Top Gear Track, Great Britain (2820 m)
    McLaren: 1:16.20
    Ferrari: 1:19.10

    5)Rockingham International Super Sportscar, Great Britain (3122 m)
    McLaren: 1:27.50
    Ferrari: 1:28.30

    6)Hockenheim Short, Germany (2604 m)
    McLaren: 1:08.70
    Ferrari: 1:09.70

    7)Anglesey National, Great Britain (1931 m) 
    Ferrari: 0:59.20
    McLaren: 0:59.30

    8)Nordschleife, Germany (20600 m)
    McLaren: 7:28.0 (HVS)
    Ferrari: 7:38.0 (HVS)

    9) Mireval, France (3298 m) 
    McLaren: 1:30.58
    Ferrari: 1:31.60

    10) Balocco, Italy
    McLaren: 2:43.46
    Ferrari: 2:43.90 

    11) Laguna Seca, USA (3602 m)
    McLaren: 1:34.50
    Ferrari: 1:36.22

    12) Ring Knutstrop (Conf 2), Sweden (2070 m)
    McLaren: 1:08.00
    Ferrari: 1:10.00

    SO it is (McLAREN 10-2 FERRARI), THUS the Ferrari is no match for the McLaren on track  
    Smiley

    Given that the Macca was on semis I still think that the 458 is the quicker car.

    HOW ?!?!?


    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    Simply because I know from experience that a semi gives 2-3 secs per lap easily!


    --
    FERRARI RULES!!!

    Re: McLaren Spider review by Dan Neil

    ISUK:

    I think it's the lack of "surface tension" on the 12C that is it's main problem. If you compare it to the 458 you can see how Pininfarina have managed to make the 458 look taught and almost in motion even when standing still due to the surface tension they have created around the front and rear wheels. There is very little metal work above each wheel when viewed from the side. This almost gives the impression of skin pulled tightly over muscles like a well honed athlete's body. It's a skill Pininfarina have become very adept at with some of their more recent designs, the Maserati GranTurismo being another great example. Have a look at the surface tension on that car compared to a Jaguar XK8 for example then bear in mind that the Gran Turismo sits on the same wheelbase as the Maserati Quatrroporte and you start to appreciate what an amazing piece of design that car is. [...]

    This gives it a more classic two seat sports car look and the glass house looks more like a canopy as opposed to the coupe like glass house of the 12C. Interestingly the Audi R8 suffers from the same stylistic flaw when viewed side on yet the Gallardo which shares it's basic chassis does not thanks to steeper raking of the side glass and a more shallow angle tapering of the roof and C pillars.

    Iain,you are absolutely spot on with that comment. The surface tension plays an imporant role and Lamborghini and Ferrari feature much taughter surfaces. Both employ little tricks to make the cars look taughter, and, apart from the volume created by those body panels, it primarily is the direction shutlines and surfaces take in relation to the overall shape of the car and to the wheels. It is especially interesting to note that both the McLaren and the Ferrari feature similiar dimensions, with the latter actually being the bigger one. Still, the McLaren employes styling features that are more reminiscent of a coupe or limousine than of a supercar. The same goes for the Audi R8 and I am pretty sure this was done on purpose. The major dilemma on the 12C, even in comparison to the R8, is the visual mass over the rear axlee and the huge air intake that is even bigger than the wheels. 


     
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