The name ain’t catchy

Calling a car “MP4-12C” isn’t a marketing friendly move, but then that’s all the ill that can be said about the new McLaren.

I wanted to hate it, since it was a supercar, and ostentatious, overpowered two-seaters seem insane in the current economic environment. But on seeing the photos and the small piece the BBC did on it, I couldn’t help but marvel at its looks and the amazingly cool interior. McLaren try to pull wool over people’s eyes by saying this is the car which emits the lowest ratio of CO2’s per horsepower, but it’s still a 600hp rocket on wheels. And it’s beautiful.

I’m not a sucker for offensively expensive cars. My aspirational car is a Citroën C6, and I think anything like the S-Class or above is flamboyant mockery of any and all restraint for showing off wealth.

Take Rolls Royce. A car that has the façade of a 2,500 year-old Greek temple as a grill. All of them brick-like, all them huge and useless and insultingly ugly. Or Ferrari. An unreliable, impractical, overpriced piece of metal that makes the wet dream of idiots worldwide when painted red and has a horsey in a yellow badge on it.

The McLaren just seems like a sensible supercar, as paradoxical as it may seem. It looks comfortable and welcoming. I also liked the 80kg, carbon-fibre, one-piece chassis, a clever technological innovation at the heart of the car, which is a rarity nowadays. Most breakthroughs are nothing more than add-ons, but this sounds clever.

I hate to say it, but I get the feeling that my aspirational car will be a bit harder to come by than I had imagined.


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