McLaren MP4-12C on Top Gear – Click above to watch the video after the jump

Ford versus Chevrolet. Porsche 911 vs Nissan GT-R. Audi versus Peugeot. The car business is full of rivalries, but few are as competitive as Ferrari versus McLaren.

The two outfits have been at each other's throats for decades around the grand prix circuit. But as tight as the competition is between the two in Formula One, and as many comparisons as we've seen McLaren celebrates Power Lap time between the Ferrari F40 and the McLaren F1 of yore and lore, where it's really come to a head is with their latest production supercars: the 458 Italia and the MP4-12C.

With their 17th series now in full swing, the blokes over at the BBC's Top Gear put the two on their famous test track, and guess which came out ahead? Sorry to ruin the surprise, ladies and gents, but it's the McLaren, setting the second-fastest time in the program's history – beating out the likes of the Bugatti Veyron and Koenigsegg CCX and coming in just behind the superlight Ariel Atom V8 500. And with a 1:16.2 lap time, it thoroughly trounced the 458's 1:19.1 in the process.

It's surely a cause for celebration – in Woking, at least... less so in Maranello. Follow the jump to watch Jeremy Clarkson introduce the epic showdown in the grandest of style.



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 90 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        action3500
        • 3 Years Ago
        I am completely lost here. Are these PERFORMANCE cars they are talking about or "10-miles-a-year slow roll to Monte-Carlo casino" cars? In that case 2 different tests should be used. Lap time is pretty damn good performance car indicator. If you want to test car for soul, hire Dexter (cartoon one), maybe he can devise a soul test for Top Gear, along with a new board.
        Hashiryu
        • 3 Years Ago
        Cars. Don't. Have. Soul. Stop the bullshit. That being said, I completely understand the subjective "character" a car exudes, it's emotional appeal, It's ability to evoke passion in the driver and ability to forge a connection with the road, the car itself and the driving experience. Please stop masking these intricately different abilities as so called "soul". When you do that, it sounds like a cop out that rubbish, biased reviewers used in the past to reason why one car is better than another just because of it's badge.
          Pdexter
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Hashiryu
          Who cares. I get what he talks about when he mentions "soul", so do you. It is the x factor that in the end makes us buy that gadget, car, home etc.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Hashiryu
          [blocked]
          Narom
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Hashiryu
          Why are you on this site?
      jono
      • 3 Years Ago
      this is the thing I don't get. In the preliminary reviews, almost all of the journalists loved the MP4-12C. They all said the car drives beautifully. But when it comes to the proper road tests, I heard so many reviewers said the MP4-12C handles poorly, while the others said it's amazing. Then comes Fifth Gear, who said the McLaren handles badly compared to the 458. But Top Gear, using the exact same track, said the McLaren is better every single way (except the lack of soul) and did a lap 3 seconds faster than the Ferrari, while Fifth Gear's lap in the McLaren was slower than the Ferrari. I don't get why is there such an inconsistency in all the reviews?!
        Autoblog
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jono
        Jason Plato has some kind of personal vendetta with McLaren, if you read any of his tweet yesterday you can clearly see signs of deeply disturbed gentleman.
        PK
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jono
        They actually all say the same thing. Like the GT-R the electronic assists make it very stable and grippy, but you can't hang the tail out or break the car off a stable line. It's sterile and very composed, very different from a standard supercar.
        Djuro Radakovic
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jono
        And then there is things like this.. http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/upload/26136/attachments/RaceResultsAnalysis(1).pdf Where a few cars outdo the McLaren on a real track and a McLaren driver has to take the car out after they "fix" some problems, and they gain only .8 ... It just feels like the car they sent top gear was tuned for this track, call me a hater but after it runs normal times on every test it has been put through, here it comes after bad press and just decimates all opponents, I don't think so...
          Narom
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Djuro Radakovic
          Thats no surprise. Every car company knows what's happening when they give them a car. Koinesegg (sod the spelling) even listened to what top gear said and sent a car back. They all want to be top of that leader board.
        Synthono
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jono
        In the TG review, they mentioned that the car had been modified since filming, so development hasn't stopped. Since much of it is computer controlled, it could be just that the software has been constantly tweaked, and the quality of the car might be dependent on where in development the car was at test.
      2.7boxer6
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thanks for spoiler alert...
      sstowes
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Kanye West sample caught me off guard completely. Strange, then, how appropriate it seemed. lol The McLaren is interesting. Technically, it does everything the Ferrari can do around the track (albeit, slightly better objectively), but without the sort of drama we expect from the Italians. Even the design of the car just lacks the flare of the 458. So while it may be "technically" the better vehicle, McLaren seems to have missed a the opportunities to take on some pretty massive liberties in design and "soul". It's very proper; the 458 is more like Dames Judi Dench, Helen Mirren and Julie Andrews. All terrific-looking European women, but once you hear them swear like sailors, you understand life's too short to always be so proper. Let your hair down and have fun, McLaren. That being said, I can practically guarantee the next McLaren should rectify these shortcomings. It seems those are about the only things that actually need to be improved upon. -R
        sstowes
        • 3 Years Ago
        @sstowes
        For the record, I made this comment about half-way through the video (just after Jeremy's comment about the airbrake). Interesting then, when I watched the second half and Clarkson winds up at the same conclusion. I think all reviews have pretty much said the same thing.
      Dwight Bynum Jr.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Tron: Legacy soundtrack
        David
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dwight Bynum Jr.
        They've done the Tron:legacy sountrack for the last 3 episodes.
      JoeC
      • 3 Years Ago
      Someone please explain to me how the Mclaren is nearly 3 SECONDS faster around a 1.76Mile track when the Ferrari has beaten it in all of the other car magazines comparos? I call BS and anyone who knows cars, knows there is some jingoism going on here and Top Gear is trying to promote Mclaren. For example, see link. Also see Fifth Gear and EVOMag.http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/upload/26136/attachments/RaceResultsAnalysis(1).pdf
        sparrk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JoeC
        it depends how much the companies modify their press cars. also on Fifth Gear they said they couldn't disable the traction control.
          JoeC
          • 3 Years Ago
          @sparrk
          Fair enough, but if Ferrari modifies their press cars, don't you think they would absolutely modify it to compete against Mclaren on the biggest car show in the world???
        Lada F1 team
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JoeC
        I didn't really think that promoted Mclaren, i'd say its a W in the win column for Ferrari. Thats just me...
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JoeC
        Because this car was developed on the Top Gear track... And seriously, comparos and track times are 2 different things. Sounds like someone is a pissed off Ferrari fanboy...
      Andy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well the McLaren was developed at the Top Gear test track so I suppose it immediately has an advantage, also the McLaren is much quicker in a straight line and also through the corners, so I don't see how the other 3 magazines said the Ferrari was faster?! ..although I am a devoted Top Gear fan so I will always agree with what they say or do :P
      Umar Shaikh
      • 3 Years Ago
      Was it just me, or was the entire Mclaren review pretty rushed? They just had it shown all real quick and wrapped it up too! There definitely was something wrong. Anyways, at the end of the day, the Ferrari is much much much more pleasurable to drive around the track. The Fifth Gear video is proof of that!
      Rick
      • 3 Years Ago
      Evomagazine (uk): Ferrari 458 1.3 sec faster Carmagazine (uk): Ferrari 458 1.7 sec faster Fifth gear, probably on the same track: Ferrari 458 0.1 sec faster And then... Top gear: Mclaren Mp4 3 sec faster than the Ferrari..3 seconds Something wrong.
        Autoblog
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rick
        Top Gear's 458 was made before it needed to face 12C directly. oh, and CAR magazine's 12C had mechanical problems.
          Rick
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Autoblog
          About carmagazine: search the second run on the 12c... Ferrari still 1 sec ahead...
        Iker Gernika
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rick
        The driver perhaps? I´m thinking about Jenson or Lewis
        mig95
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rick
        They have the stig...and this car was developed in this track so it sorta makes sense but it still baffled me a bit.
      Shiftright
      • 3 Years Ago
      Pffttt!...$300k and you only get one wiper? Lame...
      The Angry Intern
      • 3 Years Ago
      I do have to say the McLaren is my favorite car to drive in GT5...
      MacDaddy
      • 3 Years Ago
      I was so excited about the car that i was going through youtube reviews and most of them claimed the ferrari was faster. I also find it weird that there is a 3s gap. Only conclusion is that it was custom tuned for the track or driven by a mclaren test driver.
    • Load More Comments