Let me be clear about this up front: I think Evo magazine’s Chris Harris is a tool, who represents the worst of the jaded, egotistical print journalists. His recent, misguided attack on the Mazda MX-5 aside, it seems like Mr. Harris only “gets” cars that are stratospherically expensive, handle on a razor’s edge or are chock full of more plushness than a French whorehouse. He’s like a bitter Jeremy Clarkson, minus the wit, intelligence and sense of timing. Imagine the entertainment value for me, then, to see him squirm in the passenger seat as Jenson Button laps the new McLaren MP4-12C at speed.
The McLaren MP4-12C uses a McLaren developed 3.8 liter V8, good for 592 horsepower and 443 ft lb of torque. That’s good enough to get the car from zero to sixty in under 3.3 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 205 miles per hour. Opt for the “Corsa” tire package, which I assume isn’t street legal, and you can shave .2 seconds off your zero to sixty time; despite these capabilities, the MP4-12C should get around 20 MPG combined when driven in a more sedate manner than you see here.
Harris tries to project an air of calm and actually fires off questions for Button to answer, like “do you actually like driving street cars fast?” Look close enough, however, and you can see the whole deer-in-the-headlights look in his eyes, like he’s staring at the business end of a Glock 21 thinking, “my God that’s a big barrel”. Button, on the other hand, appears to be having the time of his life throwing the McLaren sideways in corners. It would have been even better if it was Harris in the passenger seat of an MX-5 with Button at the wheel. Now THAT I’d pay money to see.