Miles and smiles for
Servia, who’s in love
with the MP4-12C. one
minor complaint was
the location of the
door release from the
inside. Mind you, once
he was in the car, he
didn’t want to get out.
tire pressure, tire temperatures and more
– provide a serious toolkit for a driver to
adjust the car for a given situation. But
whatever mode it’s in, the McLaren
MP4-12C is always poised and fast.
The one niggle Servia had with the car –
aside from the door handle’s placement
and movement being far too similar to
the window operation buttons – was a
tendency for the power to remain in effect
for a split second after backing off the gas.
“When you lift, there’s a little delay
before it stops delivering power,” he says.
“You don’t feel it when you’re in fast turns
or on the freeway. But when you’re in the
“Wherever you keep the
throttle and whatever gear
you’re in, there’s power there”
canyons, with short gears and you’re on
and off the power a lot, you notice the turbo
still blowing a little too long. Especially
when you’re driving closer to the edge,
which is when you really want to brake…
you don’t want to wait half a second.”
It’s a small criticism of an otherwise
amazing car, and a foible that perhaps only
a professional racecar driver would pick up.
Most others with the means and desire to
access a McLaren MP4-12C will only
notice the amazing pull of the engine –
“Wherever you keep the throttle and
whatever gear you’re in, there’s power
there,” notes Servia – its drama-free
handling, and the fact that this amazing
car is doing all these impressive things
while cradling the driver in comfort, not
racecar-like harshness, noise and vibration.
THE MP4-12C GT3
For performance balancing in the
various series in which it competes,
the GT3 is detuned by roughly 100hp
compared with the road-going version,
but features a made-for-racing, six-speed
gearbox that checks in 176lb lighter than
the seven-speed ’box in the road car.
other differences include race-tuned
FroM roAd To TrACK
Built to GT3 specifications, the race version of
the McLaren MP4-12C made its debut in 2011
and is already competing on a global basis.
The MP4-12C GT3 shares the same
carbon “MonoCell” chassis and twin-turbo,
V8 engine as its road car sibling, and its
aerodynamic package was developed by
McLaren GT in partnership with engineers
and designers at McLaren Automotive.
power steering, spring rates and diff
settings. external differences include a
new front splitter, door blade, rear wing,
diffuser and louvers in the front fenders.
FIA GT1 World Championship, the series
now utilizing GT3 rules. Hexis, which won
the 2011 championship with a GT1-spec
Aston Martin dBr9, scored a double
victory this year at Navarra, Spain, with
drivers Stef dusseldorp and Frederic
Makowiecki behind the wheel. Through
four of nine rounds, they were second in
the points standings, with the sister car of
Gregoire demoustier/Alvaro Parente ninth.
McLarens also race in the Blancpain
endurance Series, International GT open
and the Nurburgring-Nordschleife-based
VLN endurance series, among others. As
yet, there’s not a McLaren in the FIA GT3
european Championship, which also runs
to the standard FIA GT3 regulations.
between the road
and track versions of
the MP4-12C GT3 are
most apparent from the
rear, in particular its
huge full-width wing.