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Is the McLaren MP4-12C able to outperform the Lamborghini Gallardo and Ferrari 458 Italia?

Only a few selected motoring media worldwide had the chance so far to test-drive the new high-performance car from Woking, the McLaren MP4-12C.

So when McLaren contacted us a few days ago to invite us for a short test-drive with the McLaren MP4-12C, it only took me a few seconds on the phone to accept this invitation.

This made Auto Arabia the only motoring media from Egypt to test-drive the MP4-12C until today, along with a very few selected motoring media representatives from the Middle East region.

Within only a few hours flight-tickets and hotel-room were booked and I was on my to Manama in Bahrain to test-drive this unique high-performance sports car.

McLaren says that the MP4-12C offers segment-best figures for new high-performance sports car and that the debut model from McLaren Automotive have raised the bar to new sports car performance. McLaren Automotive started handover of the 12C to customers in the Middle East this year and we were indeed able to spot several MP4-12C models in Dubai as well as several MP4-12C models with UAE and KSA license plates in London and Paris.

The unique new M838T engine powering the MP4-12C is a 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 unit, mated to a seven speed transmission. This McLaren Automotive-developed engine delivers a massive 592 bhp, which is, according to Mclaren Automotive, 22 bhp more than the Ferrari 458 Italia and some 40 bhp more than the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4. Maximum torque of 600 Nm is returned at 7,000 rpm.

All of which means that the MP4-12C can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.1 seconds on hot-weather Corsa tyres, making it even quicker than the legendary McLaren F1 road car, acknowledged by many experts as the best car ever built. The 0-200 km/h figure is an equally breathtaking 8.9 seconds.

With the MP4-12C McLarens hopes to redefine high-performance sports car benchmarks with a maximum speed of 330 km/h. More importantly when it comes to occupant safety, the new McLaren is equally adept at coming to a halt - it can brake from 100 km/h to standstill in just 30.5 metres, equivalent to less than seven body lengths.

And although the test-drive was extremely short, I was able to get a first impression of the performance and handling as well as of the quality, practicality and �Middle East-friendliness’ of the car.

Stay tuned for a review and short driving impression here on soon.

Mohamed Sheta
Manama – Cairo – Dubai

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