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Hot Take: McLaren Should Build A Slower Car

Opinion / 59 Comments

The 720S is just too scary.

Since driving a McLaren 720S Spider, we haven't been able to get it out of our heads. The 720S Spider is such an intoxicating blend of stunning looks, telepathic handling, surprising livability, and engineering perfection. It's hard to drive one and hop into any other "normal" car without feeling slightly depressed.

But despite how close McLaren has reached to perfection with the 720S Spider, we couldn't help but think there's one simple way the company could make it even better. This opinion is bound to tussle a few feathers but we think the 720S would be better if it were slower.

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Before you break your keyboard screaming about how McLaren builds slower models below the 720S, let us take a moment to explain ourselves. Even the lesser models like the 570S are still too fast. Don't believe us? Why not take the word of Top Gear host, Chris Harris, who told us in an interview the 570S is his favorite McLaren because he can terrify his passengers in it, then tell them "this is the slow one."

The 720S packs a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 710 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque. In just 2.8 seconds, the car can get up to 60 mph and if you hold the accelerator much longer, you'll probably be going to jail in all 50 US states. The acceleration you feel in the 720S is enough to make your eyeballs hurt and in our opinion, there should be a lesser option for the less advanced driver. Just imagine being able to hold down the accelerator and breathing in the bewitching howl of the V8 for longer than three seconds without having to worry about losing your license.

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Even the 570S - the baby of the range - still produces 562 hp and a three-second speeding ticket. But what if McLaren built a car with the same amazing looks, sound, and handling, but only produced 300 to 400 hp? A 0-60 time of around four seconds (which is still incredibly quick), a top speed of 150 mph (because no one will ever go that fast), and a slightly more affordable price tag starting with a one as the first digit.

Modern supercars are becoming so fast, you have to be a Formula 1 driver to take full advantage of their speed. But if the engine only produced around 300 or 400 hp and still handled like a modern McLaren, it could be one heck of a beginner's track car.

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via McLaren
via McLaren

As much as we'd love to see a slower, more affordable McLaren, the cars are likely to keep getting faster and more expensive. McLaren is in the business of innovating and pushing the envelope, meaning its customers would not take lightly to the company releasing a new product that wasn't better in every measurable way. Still, we would love to see a mid-engined McLaren with about 400 to 450 hp, a price tag of less than $150,000, and a usable amount of performance that won't lead to being incarcerated.

2018-2019 McLaren 570S Spider Front View Driving via McLaren
2018-2019 McLaren 570S Spider Rear Angle View via McLaren
2018-2019 McLaren 570S Spider Dashboard via McLaren

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