In case you haven’t looked at a calendar in a few years, it’s 2015. This means that exotic supercars that were $250k in 2012 have now depreciated down to about $155k. They are great buys if you have the cash and, with the 12C, enjoy looking like a moron while trying to open a car door that doesn’t have handles.
So I went with a good friend of mine, Al, last week to go McLaren shopping. He is tired of having a fast car that makes him look like a boy racer and wants to upgrade to an exotic with comparable speed. Seriously, at each of the two dealerships we went to, the salesman who greeted us said, “Do you race this around a lot? Because that’s why people own GT-Rs. To race around.” No, he doesn’t, and stop insulting the guy here to give you $155k.
Anywho, we walked up to this gorgeous grey MP4 parked right next to two Ferrari 458s in the warehouse. The key fob was sitting at the bottom of the windshield, so I unlocked the car and placed my hand where any decent and logical human being who designed cars for a living would put a door handle: on the door. It became quite apparent that I had no idea how to get into this fine example of automotive batshitness. I felt like an idiot.
Al couldn’t open the door either. We were both idiots, apparently. Then the salesman couldn’t open it. Vindication? No. IDIOTS.
The dealership’s valet came and opened it with one try, hopped in, and pulled it into an open area. We were now all confirmed idiots.
By this time, I’m literally googling “McLaren MP4-12C door opening”. This video pops up:
However, this is how I still look (not me, not my video):
Al, who entered the vehicle after the valet kept the door open for him, finally grants me mercy and opens the passenger door from the inside. I am now a Certified Idiot.
The car itself is otherwise masterful in design and performance. Unleashing a plethora of light-hearted obscenities while making a pull at full acceleration is not uncommon. It’s fast, rides on rails, and is masterfully simplistic in it’s interior design while screaming “I AM AN EXOTIC” to all we pass by on the street. BUT THOSE FUCKING DOORS...
This problem is well documented on the interweb. In fact, early reports called the car a Lemon due to the doors and a few other quirks. And yes, there is a software update that has cured some of the related problems. But not all. Not all of them at all.
If Al buys it (he’s still considering the purchase), the main worry rattling around his head is that he will look like an idiot trying to open his door in front of other people. Basically, like he’s giving his McLaren a good scratch behind the ears as if it were a lap dog. And it’s a valid concern, really. Who the hell wants to look like an idiot while trying to make a smooth exit from a Coffee & Cars event? Certainly not a non-peasant.
With all things considered, the car is an absolutely glorious piece of technology. It would be even better if the doors weren’t assholes, though.