Another new supercar. These things are getting as common as Marvel movies and just as hard to make sense of. It had to be bright green? Green Hornet, Green Lantern, The Hulk, The Grinch, who can keep track anymore? You’ve seen one you’ve seen ’em all.
That’s mostly true. But sometimes a superhero comes along and he’s more than just a buff dude in a skintight onesie. Sometimes there’s some substance behind the sex appeal, brains to match the brawn — a hero who brings something new to the table. This new limited-edition McLaren is such a superhero, one that rises above the clichés of its genre.
The spec list on the 675LT is like a fanboy’s dream come true: a lighter, faster, sharper, better looking, and more wicked-sounding version of McLaren’s 650S. McLaren isn’t known for messing around. Visit their factory — a flying saucer of a building in a quaint bit of British countryside — and you’ll see nothing but spotless white floors and perfectly organized tool cabinets. There are no robots; these cars are built by hand.
But at least someone there has a sense of humour: 666 is the official power figure for the LT. Maybe it’s a warning.
We drove the LT — one of only 500 ever built — in the desert outside California. Towards the Salton Sea, the scenery gets downright apocalyptic. And it’s here the McLaren dons the mantel of hero, for which it was created.
From the driver’s seat you forget about the specs and the price and the pop-up wing and the California Highway Patrol and give yourself over to the sensory experience. You notice the way the engine responds to every twitch of your toes, how the revs rise instantly with a short, sharp shriek. Gears change faster than you can blink. The sound must be experienced to be believed. It reverberates through the whole car, the seat, your body. The soft Alcantara steering wheel demands respect, too. The fat tires allow the car to pull serious G-force in corners.
Yes, the 675LT is fast, but so is every supercar in this price bracket. (Although, even among its peers, 0-200 km/h in 7.9 seconds is mind-blowing.) But what makes the LT rise above the rest of the class it’s how connected and raw it feels. Is this what it’s like to be Tony Stark, hardwired into his Iron Man suit? Feeling so invincible is addictive.
One final note: all 500 units of the 675LT are sold. In fact, they were nearly all sold before it officially went on sale, despite the roughly $500,000 asking price. Good thing McLaren just announced it will build another 500 units, this time as a convertible, dubbed 675LT Spider.