When McLaren was hyping up the MP4-12C supercar prior to its launch they were telling us it was going to the best car ever, pretty much. Once the finished article found its way into the hands of the world’s leading motoring reviewers things began to stray from McLaren’s script.
Group tests by Car magazine, among others, found the Ferrari 458 Italia was going to prove to be the 12C’s nemesis. That was certainly the view of Fifth Gear duo Jason Plato and Tiff Needell. Although, Jeremy Clarkson disagreed, prompting Plato to share his indifference with the world.
When the hallowed halls of Evo got their hands on the new McLaren supercar they too were left disappointed. In fact, senior writer Harry Metcalfe sent off a wish list of improvements to McLaren Automotive MD Anthony Sheriff.
To his surprise, just eight days later, Sheriff invited Metcalfe to the company’s Surrey headquarters to drive the revised car. After McLaren revised the gear change, steering and induction note Metcalfe declared, “It’s vastly better.”
Sheriff replied with glee, “In F1 there’s no time to mull things over. You look at a situation, you make a decision and you get the solution on the car for the next race. In the car division we reflected the comments made, looked at alternative solutions and had them on the car within a day or two and now they’ll be going into production.
“At McLaren we have the mentality to react very quickly,” he said.