McLaren Automotive's Ferrari and Lamborghini hunter, the 2012 MP4-12C, now has a starting price here in the U.S.: $229,000. That's a hefty tag, to be sure, but it's right on par with the Italian competition.

Considering the MP4-12C's incredible stats, it would probably be a fair price even if it were all alone in the segment. At 592 horsepower from its 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine and a dry weight under 2,900 pounds (meaning a wet weight of something under 3,100 most likely) the MP4-12C is more powerful and lighter than the Ferrari 458 Italia.

We loved the Italia in our brief test around the Monterey Peninsula, so we can only hope that the McLaren delivers as much intuitive tactile and auditory feedback--not to mention as much fun--as the Italia. If it does, the world will be a better place no matter which brand holds your allegiance.

The MP4-12C will arrive in the U.S. late this year.

[McLaren Automotive]