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Posts filed under ‘McLaren’

Movie Stars: The McLaren P1

October 22, 2016 by Matt

Editor’s note: Content advisory (language) in the clip above.

McLaren’s P1 hypercar is featured in the music video for The Weeknd’s new single, but it’s not the only piece of high-dollar machinery name-dropped by the Canadian R&B artist.

Overlaying the insistent beat, the singer seems to simultaneously flaunt and lament his fortune and what it’s turned him into. The video mirrors this concept, showing The Weeknd at first reveling in the tokens of his fame before systematically trashing them after the first chorus. The cars escape the carnage, and it’s a good thing, too, since the singer shows excellent automotive taste. He mentions his Lamborghini Aventador SV Roadster, Bentley Mulsanne and of course, the aforementioned P1 in the song, and gives us a glimpse of the first two before a lovely nighttime montage of the McLaren driving down Mulholland Drive with The Weeknd at the wheel. The nighttime setting gives the P1 an opportunity to display its quasi-alien lines and driving light arrangement to good effect, and nicely compliments the surreal tone of the video. Billboard reports the British carmaker was unaware the singer would include the car in his video, but was pleasantly surprised at the free publicity. All-in-all, it’s a worthwhile fusion of visuals and music, with some very heavy-hitting automotive iron thrown in.

Editor’s note: This post is part of an ongoing series discussing cars which featured prominently on film or television. Read the other installments here:

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Design Showdown:
McLaren P1 vs. LaFerrari

March 6, 2013 by Matt

McLaren Ferrari Logos

In anticipation of their reveal at the upcoming 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the automotive world is abuzz with talk of the latest offerings from perennial Formula 1 and road-going supercar rivals McLaren and Ferrari.

You can read more about their staggering technical specs here; for now, let’s examine them from a design standpoint and weigh in on which one is more aesthetically successful, or, to tip my hand a bit, which one is less ugly.

Our first contender is McLaren’s so-called F1 successor, the P1. Sinewy and organic, the eyebrow-like McLaren logo is echoed in many places throughout the bodywork. Like its little brother the MP4-12C, though, the P1 manages to look dramatic and somewhat anonymous at the same time. Its lines don’t strike me as being particularly resolved, and as such the whole car has a nervous, fragile, unsettled look about it.

McLaren P1 Yellow

McLaren P1 Yellow

McLaren P1 Interior Inside Cockpit Console Dash Dashboard

Next up is the brand new follow-on to the Enzo, the ridiculously-named Ferrari LaFerrari. Unveiled in the past couple of days, the LaFerrari certainly looks more conventional than its British competitor. Still, the black roof and stock supercar proportions combine to make it look like a cutting-edge supercar for, say, 1994.

Ferrari LaFerrari Red

Ferrari LaFerrari Red

Ferrari LaFerrari Interior Inside Cockpit Console Dash Dashboard

On the merits of its styling, which do you prefer? I honestly can’t pick a favorite. I appreciate the creativity of the P1, but the LaFerrari’s lines are more resolved overall. Until an automaker can pen a supercar design at once fresh-looking, well-proportioned, with exquisite detailing and above all, beautiful—yes, I do believe it can be done—I don’t know that I will have a dog the burgeoning supercar fight, a conflict that includes not only the cars featured in this post, but offerings from Porsche, Pagani and Lamborghini as well.

Image credits:

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McLaren P1 vs. LaFerrari

The McLaren MP4-12C: Brilliant or Brand-Buster?

January 3, 2012 by Matt

McLaren MP4-12C MP412C Supercar Silver

Let’s consider the average enthusiast impression of the McLaren brand before the arrival of their MP4-12C exotic sports car, a perception inevitably built on their one and only offering until that point: The F1 super-exotic. Even though it was eclipsed as the top road car speed record holder by the Bugatti Veyron, the McLaren F1 still held a unique place in the car buff’s estimation, mainly by virtue of the fact that it reached its mid-200 mph top speed in a very different way than the later Veyron. Where the Bugatti is a brute force, quad-turbocharged, AWD, 4000 lb monster, the F1 was a light, pure, naturally-aspirated bantamweight, ostensibly more focused on delivering the ultimate driving experience rather than serving as a kind of mechanical placeholder for automotive superlatives. The F1 was the result of the first absolutely zero-compromise mission to deliver the ultimate road car, and while the Veyron may pay lip service to that pursuit, it’ll never be the first, and as such gets a bit swallowed up by history, so to speak. That isn’t to diminish the achievement of the Bugatti in the slightest, just to point out that the F1’s star wasn’t completely (or even mostly) eclipsed by its replacement atop the the leaderboard.

McLaren F1 F-1 Orange Red

And for a long time, the gestalt of the F1 personified the McLaren road car brand. It was the one great film that defined a one-time director, and lost little of its capital even after the Veyron’s arrival, owing to the cars’ differences as noted above. That said, car buffs were understandably a little skeptical when the development of a sort-of sequel was announced in the MP4-12C. What kind of car would it be? Would it attempt to leapfrog the Veyron and reclaim the “world’s fastest road car” mantle for McLaren? Or would it set its sights lower and aim for more “pedestrian” supercars? The automaker chose the latter course, placing the MP4-12C in competition with rivals like the Ferrari 458 Italia and Porsche 911 Turbo GT2. In its day, the F1 reigned supreme over those companies’ offerings, and elevated the McLaren brand with it; we stood in awe of what the automaker had accomplished. In light of that, what does the MP4-12C do for the image of McLaren as a purveyor of world-beating iron? Does it lower the prestige of the name to have a car that can be beaten quite credibly in certain categories by less patrician road-eaters? Or is a smart move on McLaren’s part, expanding their customer base to provide more development resources for another assault on the Veyron? What do you think?

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