Top Gear USA Pits NASCAR Against McLaren MP4-12C Tonight

February 26, 2013

Top Gear USA has shaped up to be much more interesting than it was in its early episodes--to the point of being rather entertaining in its third season. Tonight's show, airing at 9 p.m. Eastern, looks to be another step forward.

Pitting NASCAR driver Carl Edwards in his No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion Sprint Cup Series car against the McLaren MP4-12C (presumably driven by resident hot shoe Tanner Foust) at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the episode takes two extremes and aims to see which is best.

Of course, the MP4-12C is giving up the home field advantage, as a purpose-built stock car is a bit of a different beast from a luxurious, high-tech road-going supercar. At about 750 horsepower (without the restrictor plate--about 450 hp with it) and 3,400 pounds, the typical Cup car is nothing to be trifled with.

On paper, however, the MP4-12C might have enough in its bag of tricks to make up the disadvantage: at 616 horsepower and about 3,200 pounds curb weight, it's right in the middle of the Cup car's available power-to-weight ratios, and it offers mid-engine balance, high-tech driver aids, and a dual-clutch transmission to maximize its raw materials.

Which do you think will win?

(c) 2013, High Gear Media.

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