Cabrio of the Year: 12C Spider
James takes the 12C Spider for a sprint through four seasons from Europe’s highest road to the beach…
Posted: 14 Jan 2013
This engine - and this is as it should be - defines the essential character of the McLaren and perfectly distinguishes it from Ferrari's 458. They are very different, and no one should dismiss the Woking operation as Britain's attempt to have its own Maranello. Apart from anything else, have you ever been to Woking?
The Ferrari's engine is fizzy, raspy and brittle. It encourages a foray into its upper reaches. The McLaren motor is gruff and woofly, and likes a short shift so it can growl at you. The Ferrari is like a slightly yappy terrier, the McLaren like a faintly bad-tempered bloodhound. The Ferrari is histrionic, while there's a bit of floppy-eared harrumphing about the McLaren. It's slightly friendlier, despite seeming like a more clinical and academic proposition in the first place.