Best of the Best 2012: Sports Cars: McLaren MP4-12C

After a few fits and starts, the McLaren MP4-12C (www.mclaren.com) finally has made it to America. We were sorry that McLaren chose not to participate in this year’s Robb Report Car of the Year contest, but this automaker does things differently from the rest. Who else could build a series-production supercar essentially from scratch, bringing all of the latest technical tricks to bear? The $229,000 MP4-12C features McLaren’s own carbon chassis and unique engine, styling from design superstar Frank Stephenson, and a Formula 1 racing heritage equaled only by Ferrari.

A twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8 develops 592 hp and 443 ft lbs of torque, enabling the MP4-12C to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in three seconds with the optional Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires and reach a top speed of 205 mph. Both the paddle-shift 7-speed transmission and the proprietary suspension system offer driver-adjustable settings—from comfort to track. The McLaren is easy to drive fast, and unlike high-spirited Italian sports cars, it is almost Stepford wife–like in its ability to please without imposing much personality of its own.

Photo by Oli Tennent
The aerodynamic sports car looks to impress both on the track and during everyday driving…
The one-off 550 Italia prototype mates a Fiat 500 body with a Ferrari 458 Italia engine…
Limited to 50 examples, the supercar features design details found on McLaren’s 1995 Le Mans–...
The global program will feature top models from Ferrari, McLaren, Porsche, and Lamborghini…
Cadillac hopes to take on its Germans competitors with its first modern full-size flagship…
Photo by Mercedes-Benz USA
The new cars expand the marque’s C-Class offerings…
The daylong event will include exhibitions, rides, and live entertainment…
A hand-embroidered silk interior, ruby-set dials, and mother-of-pearl paint set this Phantom apart...
Photo by David Dewhurst Photography
The all-new design is aimed at the hip crowd, but loyalists may balk…
Photo by 2014 Infiniti
The QX50’s size increase promises a roomy ride for passengers…