So I had an opportunity to test drive the McLaren MP4-12C today, in all its McLaren Orange glory, and the most immediate sensation I got after the drive was that it felt like a really really fast R8. It's amazingly docile around town, and surprisingly civil on all types of surfaces you'd expect to encounter in most urban environments. I drove through some really bumpy sections that were under road construction, and the ride never ever felt coarse or unrefined. Of course, the car just gets up and goes, and the accompaniment of the lightweight race exhaust (a $5,905 option) never fails to remind you there are almost 600 horses at your disposal, but what really blows your mind is how tame it is.
The car is to the R8 what the R8 was to the NSX. It's the next evolution of the incredibly competent sports car, utilizing amazing technology, utmost refinement, and space age materials, to bring the driver useable levels of ultra high performance.
It's really difficult to describe the feeling you get from a car that you simply can't criticize. It looks dead sexy, goes incredibly fast, has a bigger trunk than the R8, is comfortable, sounds awesome, and the steering, oh the steering...it has to be experienced to be believed.
In my mind, this is what the R8 (and prior to the R8, the NSX) has done for the world of high performance cars - it's made the world sit up and take notice to the fact that supercars have to be more than just capable of going extremely fast.