Battle of the spiders: Ferrari vs McLaren
Which V8 drop-top supercar is best? 458 or 12C? Time for a road trip...
Posted: 24 Jun 2013
Obviously, the universe still operates under the same set of rules, so try to take a hairpin at silly speeds, and you'll still get splashed across the scenery. But line either car up properly, and you can drive hard into the corner on the brakes without activating the ABS, stamp on the power earlier than you think possible and collect a half-turn of gentle oversteer on the way through - all without actively being Séb Loeb. The systems merely mitigate and finesse the traction in, around and through the corner. It makes both cars quite devastating on any road. And it makes them even harder to tell apart.
The problems start with what you buy one of these cars for. What you expect and believe should be the point. If you want the faster car, then the answer is simple: the McLaren 12C Spider is quicker than the Ferrari 458 Spider. Both are at the upper edge of what you can reasonably deploy on a public road - and even then you have to be judicious and wary of where and when - both more than capable of having fun on a track. The McLaren always has the edge, though, and I suspect that if you were to find a decent circuit and be relieved of responsibility for people coming the other way, then the 12C would happily bully the 458 into the weeds. It really is that good.