What can I say, McLaren knows how to build a car, put on a show and a party. In the past it’s been the 650S and P1 car launches, special events etc; but few things are as fantastic as test driving a McLaren!
Having spent a few days in the amazing MP4-12c (I even rented one for my 50th birthday), then test driving the then brand new 650S around Pebble Beach in 2014, I of course leapt at the chance to get behind the wheel of their latest car, the Sport Series (aka 570).
With an amazing test route loop on the infamous Laurels Grade before me, with great excitement I slipped behind the wheel of the above beauty!
After a quick overview of the vehicle operation, I was off! The first thing I noticed was the steering felt a little more connected to the ground than the MP4-12c, the car was really feeding back information on what was going on. Lucky for me traffic was mostly non-existent as the car rapidly announced that I’d exceeded the road’s speed limit (interesting feature… could really come in handy for those times you sort of get lost in the throttle and didn’t notice a change in the speed limit… for those that care about such things).
It was a spirited ride for certain. On the return leg of the test, I popped the car into auto-mode, and mashed the throttle. I was surprised to watch the tac blast past 8000 RPM as the twin-turbo V8 snarled behind me.. tires complaining… traffic rapidly disappearing behind… I LOVE IT!!
Although the entry-level McLaren.. the 570 is a satisfying drive. And dare I say it.. I think it looks better than it’s “bigger” MP4-12c and 650S family members. I wish I’d had a GoPro with me to capture the experience… but it’s one I won’t soon forget!
If you’re in the market for quarter-million dollar sports cars, give the McLaren Sport Series a drive. With two models (GT and S), you should be able to find what you’re looking for.
Here are 2 more Sport Series, waiting for the next test drivers to take the wheel. I think you can see a little more of an Italian flare in the front design, and I like it!
Quite a lineup here… almost the full family was represented here (I did find an F1 the next day at Laguna Seca).
I’m not much for white cars (which you might get looking at my fleet).. but I think the Sport Series looks pretty good in white. Now.. if one could only graft the GT front end onto the now (relatively) inexpensive MP4-12cs.. it would be a match made in heaven!!
Now.. no experience is complete without the fully off-hook full-tilt boogey P1. Here is one showing off it’s full carbon fiber construction. Just an amazing looking and sounding car. For the limited and fortunate few that were able to purchase one… I can only guess how getting behind the wheel must be akin to driving at ’11’.
The test-drive mule I got to flog.. even in that color I LOVE IT.
Another really interesting color on a 570. Here the nose clip looks vaguely La Ferrarish; which is what make me feel like this model has a little bit of an Italian flare.
Again, the P1. All carbon, all the time.
“The Crew” (most missing Beth, she was busying being part of a documentary McLaren was making that day). Carsten, Shawn, me, Moh. Yeap, we were all having fun driving cars and enjoying the hospitality.
One of Emerson Fittipaldi’s M23A/9 F1 car from the 1980s. Despite being 30 years old.. it still looks the business, and more car than my basic skills could manage.
This M80/4 CanAm car looked like a beast! The velocity stacks on that V8 look like they could swallow a small dog. What a rush it must be to drive something like that… open cockpit, raging V8 right behind you.. mega down force and all the balls you can manage to jam in your driving suit.
Here is “The Gang” again (Beth decided to take a break from being a film star to say hello) in front of Niki Lauda’s MP4-2/2 F1 machine. His teammate that year was Alain Prost, whom lost the championship to Lauda by mere points that year; which of secured McLaren a solid manufactures title as well.
For me, there is just something about a 60’s era open-wheeled car like this M28. It’s like a work of art. 🙂
Unobstructed view of Lauda’s MP4-2/2 F1 machine.
And one more look at the 570. I would be thrilled to put one of these in my garage.
HUGE Thanks to McLaren and Bernardus Lodge and Spa for hosting us for this event during Car Week 2016!!!