- Feb 3, 2012
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There are some days when I love my job. This was without doubt the most enjoyable shoot I’ve ever done. This was the first time that a customer Ferrari 458 and McLaren MP4-12C have been professionally photographed and videoed. While we didn’t do performance tests or anything like that, I did manage to get a few thoughts from the owner of the car who has just come back from a Europe trip in both cars…
The first thing that was very apparent was that although the cars are compared a lot in the media, the cars are very very different. Yes, they have a similar price tag, are mid engined and very similar performance figures, but the way they go about their business is very different. The Ferrari is very loud and shouty, while the McLaren is efficient, bonkers quick and precise. Having said that though, the McLaren doors are a little showy when you give them a stroke (normally a few times as it doesn’t work the first time) and they rise to the sky. I found it interesting to hear the owner comment saying that he was disappointed with the McLaren exhaust, which I believe is a £4k option, as it doesn’t sound that great, especially when compared to the 458. The Ferrari in contrast sounds amazing. Makes the McLaren go unnoticed on the road when they’re together. If you watch the video at the bottom of the blog you’ll hear the difference. The McLaren has quite a low pitch V8 rumble, nothing like an AMG unit, but something special still I think. Put it next to the Ferrari though and you’ll just forget how the McLaren sounds, the Ferrari is a high pitched, high revving engine and sounds amazing.
There has been word of there being lots of issues with the McLaren as reported on Jalopnik recently. On the two customer cars I’ve seen so far there are certainly problems, the dashboard seems to come up with a new error message every time you turn it on, the date on the central screen is stuck on the wrong date and there are more recalls due soon to address these issues and others. Quite an inconvenience when you just want to be able to drive your new supercar.
Robbie, the owner of these cars, has just got back from a trip to Italy in the McLaren to collect his Ferrari and has been telling me today that although the McLaren has had the issues, none of them are serious and the car happily got them from England to Italy and back while keeping a smile on his and his son’s face the whole time. And I can fully understand why, the car is just something else. It may not have the drama of the Ferrari, but one thing is for sure and that’s that every time you put your foot down, both you and your passenger will laugh out loud like a child again.
One thing that really surprised me today is how much the Ferrari 458 has grown on me today. I will admit that before today I have never been a great fan of them. I didn’t dislike them, but they never ticked the right boxes for me. Today however, the car just delivered like a true supercar should. It made an amazing noise, went like shit off a shovel and the more I see it the better it seemed to look. My personal opinion, with which a different McLaren owner admitted to agreeing with, is that these cars are now so quick that the differences in performance between all these supercars is irrelevant and that the driver is the weakest point of the car. Put a good driver in one car and a less experienced one in the other and the good driver will be quicker in either car. It’s still pretty awesome to be able to say that your car can do 0-150mph in less than 14 seconds though.
Part 2 of this blog entry will come soon….
In the mean time, check out this great behind the scenes video by Shmee150: