Some new details, but not the ones we were hoping for.
No, we’re not in France right now covering the 2012 Paris Motor Show. We’re stuck here in the middle of Manhattan, thousands of miles away from the hubbub and hysteria of all those new car introductions. But at least we can watch from afar…a task made easier by the lovely press shots most of the manufacturers are releasing. First on our list: the McLaren P1, revealed in further high-res detail above. (more…)
When, oh when, will the new Porsche 911 Turbo and GT3 finally make their public debuts to the world? It seems like they’ve been roaming the roads and tracks in varying degrees of camouflage for years now, and yet the company still has given no word on when the 991 generation’s twin flavors of high-power 911 will reach their adoring fans. But judging by just how skimpy the clothes covering the prototypes has become, we doubt the big reveal could be that far away. (more…)
Expect to see the car in the flesh this week...if you're in Paris.
Jaguar’s much-awaited F-Type sports car will finally make its production debut at the Paris Motor Show this week, and while the world holds its breath waiting to learn about what mechanical magic will lie under that body (hint: it’ll involve a supercharged V8), we’ll have to bide our time with a batch of press images that snuck onto the web prematurely. (more…)
You won’t find Jim Glickenhaus on the 2012 Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans (though he does have piles of cash), but you will find him on most car guys’ list of people they’d try to emulate if they won the lottery. (more…)
McLaren redefines the super sports car. And we're okay with that.
Story: Michael Crenshaw
Photography: Andrew Link
The McLaren MP4-12C isn’t perfect; it’s a 99 percenter. Perfection is a relative term in the world of supercars. They’re “super cars” literally and figuratively, and about as close to a perfect car as you can get. However, they’ll usually break your back if you thrash them around every day. But with the MP4-12C, McLaren has developed a car that, if anything can be considered the ultimate supercar, it would be this. It’s the future.
There’s so much tech in this 3,161-pound carbon-fiber, aluminum and magnesium amalgamate that it begs you to research the build process and the intricacies behind it. Going into the entire process would take too long, so we won’t get into all of it here, but let’s just say McLaren builds this car to the most exacting standards in the world. Cast a critical eye over the whole car, you’ll see why. Stitches are perfectly sewn; the steering wheel falls into place under your mitts like your hands were their archetype; and the body seems to be designed from all your childhood dreams of what an automobile should look like. It’s magical.
The McLaren MP4-12C drives like it’s under a spell, too. Think, look, twist the steering wheel, gas and you’re there—all without the slightest interruption of your thoughts. It’s almost as if you’re just an avatar for its skin, which seems to wrap around you. It’s almost too good at perceiving your every thought—practically before you do. With three different transmission, suspension and vehicle dynamic modes—Normal, Sport and Track—the MP4-12C changes its character with the flip of a toggle and can go from subliminal to sublime. If you’ve ever wanted to know what “beast mode” is like, switch it to Track and hold on, ’cause your senses will need some time to react to the altering of space around you.
Propulsion is provided by a gold-encrusted, diamond-powered rocket motor. Okay, maybe no gold (as in the original McLaren F1) or diamond is used in this McLaren, but the engine is a jewel. The 3.8-liter aluminum twin-turbo V8 will rev to 8,500 rpm and spit out an outrageous 592 horsepower with a snarl that’ll twist your lady’s panties backward during full-throttle upshifts. Nearly imperceptible shifts occur from the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox when in Normal mode, but switch to Track and you’ll feel every horsepower and every shift throw you back in the sculpted bucket seats. It’s the best example of contrasting personalities in a car we’ve ever come across; “dynamic” is a word the MP4-12C does not fall short on.
Now, what does make this McLaren fall short of being perfect is that it doesn’t let you loose—literally. No matter how hard we tried, whether it was going into turns at triple-digit speeds or trying to do doughnuts, the McLaren just wants to grip. In other words, you can’t upset the car even when the traction control is “fully off.” With a combination of advanced electronics and “brake steer” (applies brakes to offset wheel spin and understeer), the “electronic nannies” interfere far too often to let loose and allow the car to be 100 percent natural. Basically, the McLaren MP4-12C throws up two middle fingers at physics and says, “Read ’em and weep.”
After spending time with the MP4-12C, it was hard to give it back. Okay, the lack of being able to fully drift at high speeds or do doughnuts was disappointing, but that’s obviously not what this car is about. It’s made to be driven every day and turn into an animal at the flip of a switch, which it does perfectly. If you want car that’s 99 percent perfect, this is it. Too bad you need to be part of the one percent to own one…
The Porsche 911 Turbo usually scores whatever Porsche’s latest performance technology du jour is at the time the car rolls out. In the case of the 991 generation, that may wind up being rear wheels that help point the car in the direction the driver wants to go…even if the driver doesn’t have a firm mastery of oversteer. (more…)
One Chinese customer orders his Agera with a few substitutions.
Ever been to a restaurant and try to change part of your order, only to have the server rebuff you? Even if you just want that grilled cheese with bacon, and you know they have bacon back there because they sell a side of bacon, and all you’re asking them to do is just throw that very same bacon onto the sandwich for the three minutes it’s on the grill, for God’s sake, but the waiter is all like, “If we let you do that, then everyone’s going to want to substitute something,” which is a bullshit argument because clearly there’s a huge difference between adding bacon to a sandwich and asking them to pick the chicken out of the chicken soup or something? (more…)
Attorney Matthew Weiss reveals the truth behind your questions.
The law is usually pretty serious—but as anyone who’s ever visted dumblaws.com knows, there can be a lighter side to it, too. In our latest installment of traffic law questions with traffic attorney Matthew Weiss, we touch on a scenario that’s absurd enough to stump even his broad legal knowledge.
Johnny asks via email:
“This is a little out there, but I was reading about Abby and Brittany Hensel, the conjoined twins who share a body and have had a bunch of reality TV shows. According to the preview for their new show, they have their driver’s licenses. So I was wondering, given that they have one body but two heads and are recognized as two separate people…if they were pulled over for speeding, who would get the ticket?
You stumped me. I have no idea. If I was the police officer, I would issue them both a speeding ticket and let them fight it in court.
Sandra asks via email:
“Why do police officers seem to be able to drive as fast as they want whenever they want, even when they don’t have their lights or sirens on? Plenty of times, I’ve seen police cars shoot past me on the highway at 90 or more. Aren’t they supposed to follow the same rules of the road as the rest of us?”
Police officers are supposed to obey the traffic laws (except in emergency situations). In reality, it is not uncommon for them to take advantage. After all, who is going to issue them a traffic ticket?
Harry asks via email:
“Can an officer give you a speeding ticket without using radar or laser? For example, could they just follow along behind you at the same speed long enough to write down how fast you’re going, then pull you over?”
A police officer can issue a speeding ticket without the assistance of radar or laser devices. He or she can based the speeding ticket solely on his visual estimate.
Got a traffic law question for Mr. Weiss? Leave it in the comments below or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org