The Weekly Driver

Website • Podcast • Newsletter

Established 2004

McLaren MP4-12C, 2012: world's best sports car?

Dan Neil, the long-time automotive columnist whose feature Rumble Seat appears in the Saturday edition of the Wall Street Journal, has something to say. He believes the 2012 McLaren MP4-12C is the best sports car in the world.

The reason:

“(It’s) an era-defining work of technical intelligence and jet-fighter performance that will — be warned — make you look look at the other cars in your garage like they were lawn mowers.”

Neil bases his opinion on a variety of factors, most notably: the new McLaren accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.0 seconds and can complete a quarter-mile in 10.9 seconds.McLaren MP4-12C, 2012: world's best sports car? 1

The C12 has a 32-valve, 3.8-liter twin turbo V8 with 592 horsepower and a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox.

Neil comments the gearbox is “lubricated with something blessed and wonderful, the Dalai Lama’s dandruff maybe.”

And after driving the McLaren, Neil, who in 2004 on the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism said: “An acceleration run in this car feels like being hammered between the shoulder blades by Thor’s mystic Mjollnir (golden hammer).”

Here are some other statistics about the new McLaren:McLaren MP4-12C, 2012: world's best sports car? 2

Base price: $231,400
Length/weight: 177.5 inches, 3,279 pounds
Top speed: 205 mph
Fuel economy (EPA estimates): 16 mpg (city), 22 mpg (highway)
Cargo capacity: 5 cubic feet
Wheelbase: 105.1 inches

To read more of Dan Neil’s reviews, visit: Dan Neil/Wall Street Journal

Subscribe!

To get our weekly newsletter with automotive news and commentary delivered to your email inbox.