June was a particularly good month to be a road tester at Autocar. Not only were the Bentley Continental GT, BMW 1-series M Coupé and Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG all held under our test microscope, but McLaren also delivered its first self-penned road car since the F1.
The McLaren MP4-12C may not have received a name as nakedly purposeful as its predecessor’s – or proved as revelatory in its range of abilities – but it still revealed itself to be one of the most magnificent machines ever produced by a British firm. Unfortunately, as our earlier group test showed, the Italians still had the beating of the car thanks to the remarkable concoction of technology and soul that is the Ferrari 458 Italia.
While the supermodels fought each other for a place on the ultimate must-have podium, Porsche quietly launched what we succinctly described as the “greatest version of the greatest sports car ever built”. The raw-boned, track-motivated 911 GT3 RS 4.0 was the last gasp of the 997 generation of the 911, and its brilliance left us wondering how Stuttgart’s finest could possibly assemble a satisfying follow-up (something we’re only just beginning to discover now).