First Drive: 2012 McLaren MP4-12C

Let’s see now. You’ve got your Ferrari 458 Italia, your Porsche 911 GT2 RS and 911 Turbo S and Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera 570-4. After all, if we’re setting the scene properly on the most important supersports car inauguration in quite some time – the 2012 McLaren MP4-12C – we should, in this first privileged go, at least be keeping our minds on sub-12-cylinder mid- and rear-engine road beasts. For now, that is. So if anyone brings up the 2012 Nissan GT-R or Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR, that’ll be us snapping your back side with a wet towel at the health club. You’ve been warned.

Before we’ve dropped into the Recaro support-o-rama seats of the MP4-12C, one of the Queen’s lairds of the realm announces, “Be prepared to drive the best handling sports car in history.” What do you say to Sir Ron Dennis, boss of the newly formed McLaren Automotive Company (a.k.a. the MAC daddy), when he puts pressure on like that? It’s like Bill Gates looking at us and asking enthusiastically, “So, don’t you just love that Windows 7?” What happens if you don’t?

But as luck would have it, the 2012 McLaren MP4-12C is quite possibly the best handling supersports road and weekend track car in history. Yes, this will certainly take some ‘splainin’, but bear with us. We’re just pleased that no royal beheadings will now be called for, as Sir Ron is not renowned for his merciful treatment of dissenters.

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