As I approach the hotel entrance, the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 shakes the ground beneath my McLaren 620R. Trembling, with palpable excitement, is the parking janitor, who seems barely old enough to drive. “Are these the racing seats in the Seine?” He blurted out, moving, ignoring the other vehicles. For a model consisting of only 225 examples, of which only 70 will hit North America, the 620R has a reputation that precedes it.
The grand finale of McLaren’s sports series, the 620R is a street version of the FIA-approved FIA 570S GT4, with the same engine and carbon fiber chassis, but unrestricted by motorsport regulations. On an open stretch of highway, the 611-hp coupe, with 457 feet of pounding, grunts at 3,500 rpm, is felt by every racer in field-position, although the dual-clutch transmission drives the seven speeds with such stealth precision that it barely registers. The increased traction is due in part to the new front splitter, air intakes and carbon fiber hood openings, plus the huge, three-way adjustable rear wing. In total, it amounts to 408 pounds of compressive force at 1
The ruptured engine and high-tech aero combine to help the 2,826-pound (dry weight) body reach 60 mph in 2.8 seconds before reaching 200 mph. The speed is reversed by unquenchable carbon-ceramic brakes fitted with forged aluminum calipers. The optional motorized shock absorber allows the aluminum suspension of the carrier to be optimally customized for a closed course, while the adapted road-focused shock absorber found in my test model allows three drive modes – Normal, Sport and Track – during different power transmission control and settings.
Any sensible buyer will choose track-oriented suspension, because choosing something else means completely missing the point of the car – not that the machine will stop reminding you. In order to achieve maximum weight savings, the glove box and carpets have been removed from the already spartan interior, and other noise reduction is minimal. At idle, the mirrors vibrate so strongly that they are unusable. The induction sound from the additional roof intake mounted on the roof contributes to the cacophony. Given all the noise, only those with a distorted sense of humor will choose the Bowers & Wilkins 12-speaker audio system, although the special racing types will be happy to upgrade to a Pirelli and a six-point cockpit.
As a swan song from the McLaren Sport Series, the 620R may also be among the last to rely solely on combustion if the new Artura hybrid offers any sense of direction. One thing is for sure: with a starting price of $ 275,250, it is on the shortlist for anyone who wants to arouse fear and envy in the motor club – not to mention the vision board of a certain young valet.