Looks like McLaren’s obsession with beating Ferrari is taking to the roads again, although this time with a less ambitious offering than their highly impressive F1 three-seater of yore. That’s an artist rendering you see pictured here, and although it has some of the styling cues of the F1, a lot of commenter on various message boards have slammed the car as looking derivative; some see a lot of the Porsche Carrera GT, others see various Japanese influences.
Those are just random people with opinions (in most cases) but perhaps the most damning criticism comes from within.
The new car, dubbed the MP4-12C features an automatic variable rate suspension, that at low speeds is softer “to prevent the jaw-jarring experience you get in most sports cars if you hit a pothole at slow speed,” according to McLaren main man Ron Dennis. And when you park the MP4-12C at home, you can use wireless internet to download MP3 music files, phone numbers, e-mail addresses and Google maps with driving directions from your computer to the car. Which is nifty, no doubt about it.
Dennis and his partners have already sunk £100 million on the venture, and they plan racing variants, as well as extending the model range down, to include a car to go head-to-head against the likes of the Porsche 911 and another model higher to compete against cars like Ferrari Enzos and Bugatti Veyrons.
Best of luck with that, Ron. He has decided to launch a new, high end car brand during the worst recession since The Great Depression, and to also go up against people like Ferrari, Maserati, Audi, Aston Martin, Bentley, Porsche, Bugatti and even Ford.
The MP4-12C is small two-seater, as any real sports car should be. Out back there’s a high-revving V8 engine, and a seven-speed gearbox. The chassis is carbon fiber and it features “gullwing” doors that open upwards, not outwards.
The design of the MP4-12C was done by Frank Stephenson. On the upcoming MP4-12C he says: “It has an iconic design, like the E-type Jaguar and, on all performance parameters and price, will be better than our competition.” Strong stuff, and who could disagree with him since he’s the same fellow responsible for the new Mini, Ferrari’s F430 and the new Fiat 500.
Well one guy who is, is Gordon Murray, the man behind the McLaren F1.
“It’s bound to disappoint,” Said Murray expressing his uncertainties “There’s no point in trying to outdo the F1, they’ll never do it. The world has moved on and anyone who thinks the market for Gallardo-type cars is going to bounce back to levels of two or three years ago is dreaming… “From what I’ve heard, McLaren has gone back to producing a big car with a heavy engine. People will inevitably see it as a successor to the F1 but I can’t see any way in which people aren’t going to be disappointed. They’ve just taken the wrong route for it. That’s a shame.”
Sour grapes, or fair criticisms from a man who knows what he’s talking about?
Source: Axis Of Oversteer