Battle of the spiders: Ferrari vs McLaren

It's not a better car as such, but it's a car that fits my subjective preferences more closely. Weirdly, I'd rather be able to ?say that I owned a McLaren than a Ferrari - a brand bias?I didn't realise that I carried until today - and there are elements of the 12C that I just can't help but admire. However, when the decision needs to be made, I prefer ?the idea of the McLaren, but the experience of the Ferrari. And for me, with a supercar, experience is everything.

It sounds like a cop-out, but the fact that McLaren has ?got so close to deposing the supercar government in such? a short time, from what amounts to an industrial standing start, is nothing short of extraordinary. The 12C Spider is? an exceptional piece of engineering. But the Ferrari 458 Spider really is something special, so utterly immersive on the road, a car that knows what it wants to achieve, and nails it almost perfectly. The truth is that I've never tried quite so hard to decide between two cars. Ever. And when things are this? close, it comes down to you, not the empirical measurement. These cars are within a hair's breadth of each other, and, for once, you might as well just pick the one you prefer the look of. Or indeed, the one with the best warranty package. Right here, right now, it's as good a reason as any.

(Words: Tom Ford, Pictures: Justin Leighton)