What is the difference between a good car review and a bad car review? Anybody can get into a car, mash the throttle and then report back saying that’s it fast and it looks good. That does nothing to convey the driving experience to people who don’t have the privilege of driving that same car. If I wanted to know that a car was fast and looked good, I’d just read the 0-60 specs and Google some pictures of it. I watch car reviews because I’m curious about a car’s essence. I want to know what the designers’ philosophy was for the car and if they succeeded in achieving it. How does the car speak to you as a driver? What does it take to master it? Being able to put those sensations into words and video separates the good car reviewers from the people who are wasting their time. If I can’t drive the car vicariously through you, then you’re not doing your job. I bring all this up because evo Magazine just posted the best review I’ve seen of the McLaren MP4-12C. Henry Catchpole picks up the car at the McLaren Factory and takes it for a leisurely road trip to Monaco. On the way, he takes the car through some of the world’s finest driving roads in the mountains of France. You’ll see that it’s a dream drive right from the opening scene of the video. Give him 12 minutes of your time and you will know exactly what it feels like to have an MP4-12C as a dancing partner.
You’re going to want to set aside a solid 45 minutes to watch these videos. We continue to reap the benefits of YouTube paying good money to car magazines for original content to rival traditional TV shows. Motor Trend’s latest installment is their 2012 Best Driver’s Car compilation. I like the way they do this annual comparison because a lot of people tend to misuse the term “driver’s car,” but Motor Trend has got it right and they stick to their guns. What makes a good driver’s car goes way beyond the numbers of the performance statistics. The 0-60 time doesn’t say anything about the car’s balance, feedback, fun or driver engagement. Those things are much harder to describe, but thankfully we have Johnny Lieberman, Carlos Lagos and Randy Pobst here working together to convey the driving experiences of this dream car lineup. This year they rounded up the Jaguar XKR-S, Subaru BRZ, Lamborghini Aventador, Porsche 911 Carrera S, Ford Shelby GT500, Nissan GT-R Black Edition, Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series and McLaren MP4-12C. The boys start out by doing winding road introductions of each car and then they turn them over to Randy for hot laps around Laguna Seca. They finish up by choosing a top 3 and then driving them some more to pick an overall winner.
This is ride along video is pretty amazing, but not because of some fancy editing or a good soundtrack. You will like this video simply for the insane performance and fury of the car that the camera is attached to. The car we’re talking about is a historic race car leftover from the legendary Can-Am series, the McLaren M6B. Jim Pace navigates this Chevy small block powered monster around Road America for our enjoyment.
This is an episode of a show on BBC called “How to Build a _____.” It’s similar to shows like “How It’s Made” or “Ultimate Factories,” but seems to have a significantly larger production value. This episode of the show focuses on the current pride of the British Automotive Industry: the McLaren MP4-12C. You’ll get an inside look at the current McLaren factory as well as the new production facility that was opened to quadruple production on the MP4-12C. The new facility was opened to meet the demand for the new car whose waiting list is already up to two and a half years. We also get a view of the cars being assembled including the bonding of the aluminum crash structures to the carbon tub, installing the engine and painting the body panels. The show gets access to a couple of top secret development areas where clay models of potential car designs are made and the echoless room where the exhaust note was designed. McLaren is known for their fanatical attention to detail and you can see that in every square inch of their sterile production facilities and all of their processes. I’m usually a little leery of hour long videos, but I really enjoyed this one.