What Is It?
The 2016 McLaren 675LT Spider and a special final version of the P1 are supercars made by one of the most successful companies in Formula One racing history. Everyone has heard of Ferrari, McLaren’s arch-rival on the track. What helped to make the Italian company so successful was that it has always built road cars. Enzo Ferrari may not have coined the phrase “win on Sunday, sell on Monday,” but he was probably thinking along those lines.
Up until a few years ago, British-based McLaren had only made one street-legal car, the F1. Around 100 units were created between 1992 and 1999, and now it’s become the stuff of legend. The road-car division really got going in 2011 with the 12C. The 2016 McLaren 675LT Spider is really an evolution of that car with an open top, as denoted by the Spider suffix. LT stands for “long tail” — a racing thing. This is also McLaren’s fastest-ever street-legal convertible, enjoying a claimed top speed of 204 miles per hour.
The P1 has now ceased production. This model, with a visible carbon-fiber finish (under a blue-tinted lacquer), is the last run. Although it’s a plug-in hybrid, the P1 was conceived as the modern-day equivalent of the F1. Its combined output is in excess of 900 horsepower. In a car made of steel, that would be breathtaking. In something like this, using carbon fiber and other special lightweight materials developed for racing, it’s savage.
Both cars use a lot of carbon fiber because of its lightness and strength. And both have an engine-bay heat shield of 24-carat gold foil in homage to the F1.
Less extreme but more accessible is the 2017 McLaren 570GT. It looks similar to the rest of the company’s output and still has a twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 dishing out 562 hp. Before hitting a top speed of 204 mph, it can sprint to 60 mph from a standing start in just 3.4 seconds.
But it also comes with side-opening rear glass over a cargo space of 7.8 cu ft. (to complement the 5.3 cu ft. in the nose; this is a mid-engined machine). The 570GT is designed as a grand tourer with more comfort built into its sports-car chassis. It’s described as “the most refined and road-biased McLaren yet.” It also comes with a 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system and special noise-reducing Pirelli tires.
Both limited-run cars — 500 of the 675LT Spider and 375 P1 models in total — sold out before they even hit the Geneva show stand. But they should drum up demand for other McLaren cars that are available. The McLaren 650S, for example, costs $270,000 or so, and the 2017 McLaren 570GT starts at roughly $200,000 (Lego does a nice little P1 for $17.99).
When Can You Get It?
The 2017 McLaren 570GT is available toward the end of 2016.
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
Plenty of performance, amazing handling and a degree of comfort make the 570GT the most rounded-out McLaren.
Other Cars to Consider
2016 Ferrari 488 GTB — This Ferrari is full of expertise, derived from taking part in the absolute pinnacle of motorsport.
2016 Lamborghini Huracan — The Huracan comes with crazy power and outrageous design; thank goodness there’s still a company making cars like this.
2016 McLaren 650S — The McLaren is hardly the wooden spoon, with 641 hp, zero to 60 mph in under 3 seconds, a race-car suspension and exotic materials.
Used Porsche 918 Spyder — The Spyder is another ultra-high-performance sports car with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. With more torque than the P1 (940 lb-ft compared with 722), it’s completely sold out. It’s a question of attending high-class car auctions or having some good contacts in that world.