Gallery: Europe in a 207mph McLaren 12C
Paul Horrell continues our world tour with the only continent that can lay claim to the supercar title…
Posted: 18 Apr 2013
His view, which is quite widespread, means even if Ferrari or Aston Martin or Lamborghini churn out a clunker – and, oh my, have they, in the shape of the Virage-era Vantage, the Testarossa and the early Diablo – those cars are nevertheless welcomed into the world like they’re the first in line to an earldom. On the other hand, manufacturers new to the supercar game find their perfectly excellent machinery sneered at as somehow arriviste. Ferrari especially, but Lamborghini and the other European grandees too, protect their territory these days not just by building their most wonderful cars to date, but by deploying some of the most calculatedly ferocious brand-building in any field of commerce in any part of the world.
I’m convinced this had something to do with the MP4-12C’s slightly muted reception. There were other reasons, too: the car’s engine wasn’t quite as viscerally edgy as expected, although, gosh – it is now, as today’s magical drive proves. And also the design isn’t as theatrical as the Latins’. But, beyond that, the world didn’t quite go wild for the McLaren because of the old snob-factor. McLaren didn’t have the unbroken supercar history of Ferrari, and even its race success was seen as somehow drab and calculating compared with the image of passion and drama that’s integral to the way the red squad carefully position themselves.