A McLaren of Psychedelic Proportions

The McLaren in normal dress

Today I treat you to a blog post for the eyes.

The 2013 McLaren MP4-12C uses a 3.8-liter twin-turb0 V8 to produce 616-hp, good for 0-60 sprints of 3 seconds and a top speed somewhere north of 200-mph. It’s an engineering marvel to be sure, but some say it’s also a supercar without emotion. At least compared with its nemesis, the Ferrari 458 Italia.

How can some real feeling be injected into a car that might be compared with the nerdy-type competing in a bikini contest? Well, you have to make her look the part, obviously.

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McLaren P1: Pictures of the New Supercar

McLaren P1, front

Prepare for all kinds of superlatives.

McLaren, maker of the epic MP4-12C, has started to unveil pictures of its newest supercar, the P1. Specs will come next.

Words like fastest, best, quickest and most rewarding already fill descriptions of the car, and no official specifications have been released. What we do have, though, are pictures of what the P1 will look like. While there are certain hints of the MP4-12C, I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything quite like this much-anticipated follow-up to the legendary F1.

While not necessarily gunning for the title of fastest production car ever, McLaren seems to want this car to be the overall best supercar… ever.

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The Best Driver’s Cars of 2012

2012 Motor Trend Best Driver's Car test

Anytime a list like this gets published, lots of opinions are built into the equation.

One person might call the Subaru WRX the year’s best driver’s car, while another would bestow the honor on the BMW M3. How a car drives and reacts to input is an incredibly subjective experience and open to interpretation by many different styles of drivers.

That said, there are some mainstays in the perennial quest to find the best car for drivers. Not just go-to-the-store drivers, but the drivers who understand the value of properly warmed tires, a perfect apex and heel-toe shifting.

Keep reading for Motor Trend‘s surprising list of the year’s best driver’s cars, ranked 9 to 1.

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McLaren MP4-12C Spider Hotter Than Ferrari 458 Italia Spider

McLaren MP4-12C Spider

On the list of things the world can’t get enough of, I would place: beer, Pirelli calendars and convertible supercars capable of topping the 200-mph mark.

The topless supercar club currently marks its membership with the likes of the Hennessey Venom GT Spyder, the Bentley Continental Supersports, the Bugatti Veyron, the Ferrari 458 Italia Spider and a number of topless Lamborghini models.

There’s a new member, though, which strolls into the club with confidence and looks that could send the owners of other cars running directly for the nearest McLaren dealer.

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World’s Sexiest Car: the McLaren MP4-12C

McLaren MP4-12C, front

There’s something about the word “sexy” as applied to cars that in my book just doesn’t cut it. But what else is there to describe the McLaren, now finally coming to the U.S.? “Sensuous”? “Gorgeous”? Get outta here.

We’ve ogled this car before and discussed some of its innovations and performance. Built to compete with the Ferrari 458 Italia, the MP4-12C outclasses it in everything but its name—if only slightly. In exclusivity and style, however, the McLaren clobbers anything on the road.

And yet some idiot tuners, like John Hennessey of Texas, insist on gilding the lily and making a sow’s purse out of a silk ear. Not content with 592 stock horsepower, Hennessey boosts it to 800, adds carbon-fiber aero doodads and so on, to extort more money from you. Stock, the MP4-12C will start at $231,400; no price yet on the Hennessey.

Other tuners with better taste have left the basic design alone, simply adding bigger rims and performance items, while making a sharp car look even better. Wheelsandmore, a German tuning shop, did boost hp to 666 and torque to 472 lb-ft. It sells separate performance parts for McLaren and other rare breeds. Photos above and after the break.

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