Since we first tested the original 592bhp version of the 12C in 2011, McLaren has cured several of the flaws we said still allowed the Ferrari 458 Italia to sit at the very top of this class.

The car now has a more engaging engine note (though perhaps still not quite in the Ferrari’s class) plus sharper throttle response and more engine flexibility, especially lower down in the engine range.

Steve Sutcliffe

Editor-at-large
The McLaren 12C is a magnificent machine

For some of our testers, more dramatic styling would have been a requirement, too, although the fact that it still falls a millimetre short of class leadership is not down to such subjective matters.

There is more to do with control layout and door closures, and maybe the on-limit handling could be a little more intuitive. But the McLaren 12C is a magnificent machine. That many of us expected it to redefine boundaries and expectations says a lot about the engineering talent we expected McLaren to unleash.

Maybe the Ferrari still holds a small lead, but we would back the engineers in Woking to make further big steps as time goes on.

Behind the scenes, they are certainly sparing no effort.

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the McLaren range

Driven this week

  • DS 3 Crossback 2019 road test review - hero front
    19 July 2019
    Car review
    French premium brand gets PSA’s new supermini platform first. Does it deliver...
  • BMW 318d front three quarters on the road
    18 July 2019
    First Drive
    Entry-level diesel is likeable addition to range but doesn't live up to...
  • MG ZS EV 2019 UK first drive review - hero front
    17 July 2019
    First Drive
    Cheap, spacious and all-round endearing electric version of MG's ZS soft...

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the McLaren range

Driven this week

  • DS 3 Crossback 2019 road test review - hero front
    19 July 2019
    Car review
    French premium brand gets PSA’s new supermini platform first. Does it deliver...
  • BMW 318d front three quarters on the road
    18 July 2019
    First Drive
    Entry-level diesel is likeable addition to range but doesn't live up to...
  • MG ZS EV 2019 UK first drive review - hero front
    17 July 2019
    First Drive
    Cheap, spacious and all-round endearing electric version of MG's ZS soft...