I managed to survive three weeks without a McLaren MP4-12C in the garage — but it actually wasn’t too hard. Thanks to the unusually harsh winter in Kansas — and since supercar sledding isn’t a very popular sport — it would have been parked anyway. So shipping it to Florida for a supercar vacation was actually a rare brilliant move on my part — and unlike nearly all supercars, my 12C has the qualities to make it the perfect road trip car. Still, there’s one agonizing little requirement of owning this McLaren that is slowly driving me insane.
Speaking of supercar sledding, I actually shipped my McLaren to Tavarish, a YouTuber who recently purchased the famous Lamborghini Murcielago from "The Fate of the Furious" — along with a bunch of my old cars. He’s joining me for the festivities at Amelia Island, and he’s driving one of his cars up with me. Which car, you ask? Well it’s not any of his exotics, partially because most of them are broken- – but also because a Lamborghini with a heavy clutch and a loud exhaust isn’t very comfortable for a road trip. He’s actually chosen my old Mercedes S600 to drive to the show — and of all the cars in his fleet, this giant sedan shares the most in common with my McLaren.
Obviously, the weight of the S600 is slightly detrimental to performance — but both cars put out around 600 horsepower, and they have the same torque to the wheels that feels like it could change the earth’s rotation. The power delivery is also very deceptive, as both accelerate so smoothly. If you’re not looking at the speedometer, you could honestly tell the arresting officer that you were clueless, and had no idea you were going 150 mph.
The suspension is also very similar between the two cars, both with hydraulic setups that don’t need any kind of control arms, as the computer controlled struts do all the work. With the S-Class, it provides the heavenly ride quality that harkens all the way back to the original famous Mercedes 600 Pullman, which had hydraulically controlled everything — including the suspension and window motors. With my McLaren, the suspension is tuned more for performance, obviously, but it still retains a similar smoothness and comfort. Never before has a supercar ever had this smooth of a ride, which makes it great for people who actually want to drive their exotic.
The luxuries don’t end there, as my McLaren has seats that are actually comfortable, an interior that fits my tall frame — and all of the modern technologies we’ve grown used to having in normal luxury cars. So I’ll be just as relaxed as Tavarish in his S-Class for the drive up from Orlando, Florida — and unlike his S-Class, I’ll arrive in something with a little more clout. Additionally, I could turn a few knobs and have a potent track performer, should the occasion present itself. The problem is, I would never ever take this car on the track — since I’m technically not allowed to.
The main reason I can sleep at night owning a car that’s known to eat a $30,000 transmission, or a $20,000 steering rack, along with many other very expensive and very British sounding failures, is because McLaren provides an excellent extended warranty with their cars. I can renew this warranty every year until the car is 10 years old, or has 75,000 miles on it. So when the check engine light comes on, I can giggle with delight — but this great, powerful warranty comes with great responsibility.
In the warranty terms, it specifically states the warranty will be voided immediately if I ever take my McLaren on the track. So I’m totally banned from taking this car to the only place that I can legally see what this McLaren is actually capable of — and I wouldn’t dare track this car without a warranty. I wouldn’t take it in the drive-thru at McDonalds without a warranty.
I think there is one exemption to this rule, and that’s if the track day was actually a McLaren sponsored event. Since my "McLaren reliability" videos probably aren’t favorites among McLaren executives, I doubt I’ll ever be invited to one of their events — but it didn’t stop me from getting down on my knees and begging for one track day in my video. I would do almost anything to get one hour on the track with the car — except, of course, void the warranty.