Never having driven a McLaren, I was tossed the keys to the MP4-12c spider on Wednesday: A beautiful blue machine sat on sexy Lambo-esque 5-spokes with orange brake calipers, and orange stitching on the grey leather inside its carbon-lined cockpit.
I took the two-hour trip to Tag Heuer’s headquarters in snowy La Chaux-de-Fonds for lunch with CEO Jean-Christophe Babin (almost walnut midway through the ski season). There, I was shown the very timepiece worn by Steve McQueen in Le Mans (valued at around €1 million) and a special watch, limited to 1000, for the MP4-12c that’s based on the gorgeous (and now 50-year-old) Carrera chronograph. Using carbon fibre – the DNA of McLaren – and the same font for the face numerals as the 12c’s speedo, it was co-designed by the 12c and P1’s own stylist, Frank Stephenson. It’s sold only in McLaren showrooms and retails at 14,000CHF.
I’m also liking the fitted luggage for the 12c, designed for the 144 litres of space under its bonnet. Designed by McLaren themselves and emulating the 12c’s engine cover, you’ve got extensive carbon usage for the outer material and handle, and silver or orange detail stitching. Inside, you’ll find fabric familiar from the supercar’s seats.