XL Blog
Latest News

Dear Hell, I think you may be missing a bat.

People, I have looked into the abyss, I have seen the coming judgement and its name is McLaren.

You may have noticed a compositional theme with the blogs on this site. We normally begin with some observations on the state of the world or some peculiarly human foible before working circuitously towards an explanation of how this relates to the automobile being profiled. It’s an easy way of bringing a little colour to what is essentially always the same story, namely, here is a car, it has a big engine and it goes fast in quite a smooth way.

But then something happens that breaks the system. We encounter one of those paradigm-changing moments wherein we know that nothing will ever be the same again. Think Picasso painting Guernica, think Copernican astronomy, think the leap from Newtonian to Einsteinian physics. Quite frankly, with the McLaren 720S we have arrived at one of those moments. Whether we choose to consider it diabolical witchcraft or the pinnacle of human achievement is largely a matter of which way the wind is blowing.

Pure wickedness

0-60 MPH
Figures shown are for the McLaren 720S

Because, make no mistake, by almost every measure, this is Armageddon, cows walking backwards on hind legs, plague of frogs stuff.

All that is good and right

Humans shouldn’t be given access to this kind of power, tapping into it through the arcane ritual of foot on metal feels like plugging your cerebral cortex into some swirling miasma of occult electricity. Immediate, bonkers, bacchanalian power – it’s difficult to think at the speed you can get from 0 to 140mph. What makes the whole thing even more befuddling is that actual human engineers have managed to extract this much from a 4 litre twin turbo V8. If you were to tell me that it ran on some sort of as-yet-undiscovered dark matter propulsion system, I’d be more inclined to believe you.

I could go on about aerodynamics, ride stability, driving position and handling settings but it is pointless, utterly pointless. Look at the figures, obviously this beast can put it down and you can drive it like stink. And to be concerned is to miss the point… this is one of those cars that people will talk about for decades.

The verdict

The big question you find yourself asking with the McLaren is “Where does it end? How much is too much? When will somebody decide that, outside trained professionals, nobody should have this kind of clout and be allowed on the road.”

On the basis of this car, hopefully never. Now, if you’ll excuse me,  I’ve got Four Horsemen to chase down.