It may be hard to conceive of a 3300-lb car with 616 hp as lacking a “soul,” but that charge has been leveled by some against the McLaren MP4-12C, saying it lacks the passion or engagement of some of its rivals like the Ferrari 458 Italia. But “The World’s Fastest Car Show” host Justin Bell takes issue with the McLaren MP4-12C’s critics, praising the car’s capabilities and sharp reflexes on the track.
Due to the unique construction method of the MP4-12C, almost no structural rigidity was sacrificed in its transformation to a convertible, with the Spider’s power top mechanism adding just 88 lb to the weight of the car. The carbon fiber tub and front and rear subframes are the source of the car’s torsional rigidity, with the body panels essentially being external cladding, serving no structural purpose.
Also reflecting the MP4-12C’s purity of purpose is its suspension system, which is ingeniously simple, yet effective. Rather than a conventional anti-sway bar, or the increasingly more common electronically-managed active suspension, the car employs a hydraulic line running between the left and right-side dampers, effectively accomplishing the same effect as an anti-sway bar in a lighter, more elegant package. The driver can select higher or lower-pressure settings on the dampers for use on the street or on the track.
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