About as hardcore as a road car can get, superb at the right place and time says Shahzad Sheikh
If you’ve only just managed to get your head around McLaren’s unique model range structure, go full face-palm now, because the arrival of recent new offerings from the supercar maker signal that’s all about to change. So here then is the McLaren 620R which the company says concludes its Sports Series lineup which featured the 570, 600 and from which was also spun a pure race car in the form of the 570S GT4.
That information is significant, because the 620R is essentially that car, but adapted for road use and yet tuned up to produce even more power. The 620 is for 620PS or 611bhp to you and me from that 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8. There’s also 620Nm of torque and all of that means a stunning 0-62mph time of just 2.9 seconds. In just 8.1 seconds you will reach over 124mph and it’ll dispatch the quarter-mile in 10.4 seconds.
But that info doesn’t tell you the real story of this car. With fully adjustable race suspension (although adaptive dampers are optional), a 30cm high wing providing 185kg of downforce at 150mph, reprofiled aerodynamics, an optional roof-scoop that force-feeds gulps of air into the engine with Darth Vader sound effects and most of the bodywork in lightweight carbon fibre, this is more than just your average poseur’s supercar.
Step inside and there’s a six-point race-harness in addition to the regular seatbelt, things like air-con and sat-nav are options, suede-like Alantara is everywhere, the centre console has been raised so you can reach it when tightly strapped in, and sound deadening is an alien concept to the cabin.
This is about as hard-core and raw as it gets when it comes to exotica cars – how exotic? £250,000 and that’s before you add a load of must-have options like the white racing stripes, more carbon fibre bits, titanium sports exhaust and track telemetry with three cameras, taking it up to nearly £300k.
Spend all of that and yet you can’t take your mum to the shops in it – she’ll hate getting in and out of it, and the super-hard ride will be agonising, plus there’s nowhere for the shopping, as you’re helmet and race overalls occupy the front boot. Because as soon as you drop her off, you’re heading to the track, as that’s where this car lives and breathes – and I mean really breathes.
Find somewhere to unleash the beast and it’ll build relentless acceleration that’s shocking, demonstrate direction changes that’ll live a crick in your neck, and rearrange any previously held notions of what handling and grip are meant to be about. When you get to the track you can turn things up to 11 as McLaren asked Pirelli to create slicks that could fit on 20-inch rims for this car – but of course, you’ll have had to send those ahead as you can’t carry them in the 620R.
But then if you have one of these, you’re a person of substantial resources and have people to take care of that sort of thing. You also have additional supercars that you can ferry your mum around in, perhaps even from McLaren’s own range. The outrageous, show-stopping, sensational-sounding, brutal and blunt, take-no-prisoners 620R is best reserved only for race circuit excursions.