McLaren has been a racing powerhouse for 50 years, but they’re a relative newcomer to the consumer supercar scene (their first was the extremely limited-release F1 in 1992). It was just three years ago that their MP4-12C ripped onto the stage, a rocket that hit the apex on its head with its first try. Now it’s dead. Before you get upset, know this: its replacement, the 650S, is better by a fair clip. We take a closer look.
From Pocket Rockets to Black Vented Tanks, We're in Love
The Geneva Motor show is where carmakers like to come out and play. The absence of a major Swiss automaker provides both a level playing field for all manufacturers and a platform for car designers to go a bit crazy, often with radical concept cars. But there is a different class of vehicles, the ones that will see production, fulfilling our petrol-filled dreams by bringing speed, power and ingenuity to the road. These are our ten favorite production cars from the show.
The gifts that keep on giving
Just about every morning, before our cup of joe, we slap ourselves as a reminder of how lucky we are to drive some of the best cars in the world and get paid for it. 2013 was another year of stupendous privileges, with wheel time in Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Land Rovers, Bentleys, Rolls-Royces, Porsches, Jaguars, Mercedes-Benzes, Audis, BMWs, Aston Martins and more. We’ve been the beneficiaries of a huge upswing in the automotive marketplace in terms of style, quality and driving excitement through virtually all segments. And you know what that means: 2014 should prove to be even better.
Here are the cars we most covet for the new year, each one a standout in its segment by virtue of its quality, technology, design, driving experience or all of the above. In a stellar field, these are the ones that stir the petrol in our veins the most. As we embark on a new year, here’s a toast to what should be an incredible 2014 on the digital pages of Octane.
Super is an understatement
Supercars are easily the Kate Uptons of the automotive world: stunning to behold, unobtainable by the average human and wicked in all the right ways. Even in an age of high fuel costs and environmentalism, they still get our attention. Exotic materials, radical designs, pavement rippling performance lead to stratospheric prices, which ensure that for most men, these cars will remain a fantasy. We got to drive a handful of supercars that made us happy to be alive and gave us good reason to change our underwear.
Tops be droppin'
Summer isn’t nearly as enjoyable without top-down driving. As much as we’re fans of hardtop automotive design and the way a sweeping roofline catches the eye, we have to admit that the clear growl of an engine and the wind in your hair makes the warmer months that much better. Even a drive up Pacific Coast Highway in a cream-hued 1995 Chrysler Sebring Convertible can be a pleasure (as long as no one actually sees you). Bully for you, convertibles are better than ever — gone are the fussy tops, the anemic engines, and silhouettes that would make Quasimodo cringe. The crop of current convertibles range from modern nostalgia to supercar power players, but one thing they all do is make your motoring pleasure good for all the world to see.
The second coming
How does a pre-eminent manufacturer of supercars follow up not just its most famous automobile but also one of the most iconic supercars ever made? Very carefully. The McLaren P1 will not only up the ante in the supercar performance game, it will make its F1 predecessor proud. The bar has been set incredibly high,…
Our kind of Spec Ops
The Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach is always full of surprises and the McLaren X-1 Concept certainly qualifies as one. Built for an obviously wealthy and anonymous buyer, the X-1 Concept is a singular creation that utilizes the carbon monocell from the eminently capable McLaren MP4-12C and showcases what money and imagination unfettered can accomplish….
No question the McLaren MP4-12C is a remarkable automobile, often pitted agains the likes of the venerable Ferrari 458 Italia and holding its own. Now it’s gone topless as the McLaren MP4-12C Spider, and it’s quite the looker, especially in Volcano Red. Not common knowledge, the MP4-12C (say that ten times after a few dirty…
The Art of One Upmanship
Beefing up the already incredible McLaren MP4-12C is like putting a rocket launcher on the Hulk’s back. Having been mentioned in the same breath as the Ferrari 458 Italia, the MP4-12C has already established itself as a bonafide supercar. Well McLaren went all high-end with their MP4-12C High Sport recently. They’ve taken key technology from…