That stiff, light chassis (the entire car
weighs a tick over 3100lbs. wet), trick
suspension and powerful engine all come
together in a package that impresses
Servia with its superior build quality, as
well as its road manners.
“Everything you dreamed of and more
about this car, it delivers,” he says. “Before
you even start it, the build quality is like
no other car. You don’t hear one little noise.
It’s the embodiment of everything that
[McLaren boss] Ron Dennis strives for…
everything’s perfect! There’s not one
button that doesn’t feel absolute quality.”
That was one of Servia’s surprises – not
so much that a racecar company has built
an amazing performance car, but that it
has such astonishingly high build standards
and is so easy and comfortable to live with
as an everyday driver. The transmission can
be fully automatic, shifting smoothly as one
accelerates onto an on-ramp. But it’s when
it’s in manual mode, shifting through
paddles behind the carbon steering
wheel, that the MP4-12C encourages
options list for the
one is struck by how
much is aesthetic –
from colored brake
to the very cool-looking carbon fiber
engine bay panels
– and how little
592hp was quite
616hp 2013 model!
“It’s very, very fast and it’s a big car,”
says the guy whose company car laps Indy
at 220mph-plus, “and I think it finds its
perfect environment in long, fast corners.
But I spent a fair amount of time in the
canyons [around L.A.], which are narrow
and a little bumpy. You’d think the car
would be a little too big there, but it just
eats those canyon roads! The handling is
so good that you can carry a lot of speed
through the corner. The front end just stays
there and the rear end doesn’t step out.
It’s really a perfect car and the handling is
unbelievable. You’re faster, more secure.”
The other bit of tech Servia experienced
in the canyons is the McLaren’s air-brake
rear wing. Under heavy braking, it raises
up to a 32-degree angle – and once in the
airflow, the pressure actually raises it more –
to provide drag and additional downforce
at the rear. “Corner after corner, the
rear wing is going crazy,. up and down.
But it’s always on time,” he smiles.