by Tony West and Jamar Lee
Lake Forest Sportscars is a high-end dealership that’s a treasure for Midwest sports car fans. This indoor showroom, located in windy Lake Bluff suburb houses dealerships for Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lotus, Maserati, and most exclusively, McLaren.
McLaren is one of the most exclusive race –inspired super whips in the world. So it’s not surprising that the dealership in Lake Forest Sportscars is one of Illinois’ best kept secrets. Real car buffs salivate at the McLaren specs and photos. Actually test-driving the new MP4-12C is reserved for those who can handle the extreme horsepower and the 300k sticker price.
UnRated Flair visited Lake Forest Sportscars, peeped all 5 dealerships, and talked with Owner Rick Mancuso and his son, race car driver Nick Mancuso, who took us on a thrilling ride in the McLaren MP4-12C.
The McLaren dealership makes Lake Forest Sportscars one of the most coveted dealerships in the Midwest. It’s 1 of 8 in the United States. Mancuso’s McLaren dealership attracts an elite group of race enthusiasts and sports car fans that includes athletes, celebrities, and CEO’s.
The McLaren showroom has the sexy MP4 on display along with its Formula 1 Racecar and its carbon fiber monocell. The completely enclosed showroom protects whips from bad weather, and the doorways have cool sliding doors so we could pull the MP4 right out to the street, and to the service area.
2014 McLaren MP4-12C
The MP4-12C is a Formula 1 inspired 2-seater. The 2014 Spider is sold for $306,680. It’s available with paint jobs like Volcano Yellow, McLaren Orange, and Pearl White. The 2013 Spider sells for $311, 460 available in the same colors as the 2014 along with Azure Blue. Lake Forest Sportscars can also customize the McLaren paint job. The 2014 MP4-12C has a compact exterior with a spacious interior. It sits very low with dihedral “Lambo” doors. The sexy interior gives it a striking street dominance. But the design is derived from the Formula 1 winning racecar.
The slick design of the MP4-12C is a masterpiece in stylish aerodynamics. Cooling is maximized by a rearward radiator, cool side inlets, and a bank of slats in the rear. And the exhaust pipes higher and centered come straight from the engine.
The McLaren chassis is a 1-piece carbon fiber monocell that only weighs 165lbs- 10 lbs less than I do sadly. The monocell is 25% stiffer than a metal chassis. Brackets for suspension make attaching very easy. And while aluminum and steel chassis’ crumple on impact the rigid McLaren monocell absorbs impact. So the McLaren can be crashed several times and monocell used over and over.
Devilish Powertrain & Handling
The MP4-12C has a 3.8 liter twin turbo V8 engine with 592 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. It has a max speed of 207mph and a 0-62 mph time of 3.1 seconds.
The MP4-12C is mounted to a dual-clutch 7-speed SSG transmission. SSG= Seamless Shift Gearbox allows for instant effortless shifts. The SSG is controlled with the Active Dynamics Panel. Sitting in the driver’s seat of the MP4 I got a kinda turned-on at the highly intelligent simplistic design. The Active Dynamics Panel has 2 settings, H=Handling and P= Powertrain. “H” controls the adaptive damping, suspension, firmness, and roll stiffness. “P” controls shift times, and throttle response. Three drive modes – Normal, Sport, and Track are selected with the “P” and “H” knobs.
Also impressive is the double wishbone suspension with adaptive interconnected damping. And the Vehicle Lift System allows for the McLaren to be raised 40mm in the front and in the rear at speeds under 37 mph.
Some of the MP4-12C Formula 1 technology is perfectly tailored for road racing. In tight cornering, Proactive Chassis Control maintains precision and Brake Steer applies braking to the rear wheel. The Air Brake decelerates the MP4-12C. While Launch Control applies max acceleration from a standing start to 3,000 rpm.
McLaren adds style to the driver focused cockpit with contrast stitching, semi Anline leather, a 7” touch screen, and a 7-speaker surround sound system. Fans will enjoy the 20-inch alloy wheels and Pirelli tires. And the Lambo doors are undeniably stuntastic.
Lake Forest Sportscars sells and services the McLaren and performs light modifications. Interested buyers can take the McLaren for a spin on some of the long winding Lake Forest streets or visit a nearby track for a test drive.
Check out more photos from the McLaren Showroom at Lake Forest Sportscars!