|1996 McLaren F1 in the Ralph Lauren Collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts|
Photo by Sfoskett
How does McLaren's encore stack up? Autocar gets its hands on an original McLaren F1 and road tests it along side the new McLaren MP4-12C (we think the new car's name needs a few more letters, numbers and a decimal point or three.) The F1 wasn't designed as a race car. It had room for passengers and several luggage compartments. It was a very good sports car. So good that it beat purpose-built race cars in 1995 to win the 24 Hours of LeMans. 20 years after its debut, it still gives the best of Ferrari, Bugatti, Pagani, SSC, Saleen, Koenigsegg, Lamborghini and Porsche a run for their money, beating most of them.
The new car looks similar but a bit more generic. It's heavier and has similar horsepower to the old car. It's lost a passenger seat (it still has 2. . . the old car was a 3 seater!) Like the old car, the new car is easy to drive and comfortable--unusual characteristics in the supercar class.