I have a problem (my husband would say I have many), I have succeeded in my quest to drive many of the cars that are on my list, but now I want to own them all! I have made this comparison before, but for me fast cars are like a drug and now that I have had the best, what I used to consider exciting is now just a bit ho hum.
I was lucky enough to drive the McLaren 650S Spider recently and even though I'm a Ferrari girl at heart, I have to say I really liked the McLaren a lot. Just opening the scissor lift doors is an event and you know something very special is about to ensue.
My first question was how do I get in? Do you go bottom first or legs first? I was advised whatever felt most comfortable for me, bottom first then. Ladies, this is definitely not the car to wear a skimpy skirt in, as the bulkhead of the carbon fibre MonoCell is wide. It's manufactured in Austria and then shipped to Woking, where the car comes to life with the help of a team of artisans.
Once you get yourself comfortable in the supportive Alcantara clad seats, you put your foot on the brake, hit the Engine Start/Stop button and the 3.8 litre V8 twin-turbo dry sump engine explodes into life. Engage first gear, gently depress the accelerator and you're away. The V8 engine produces 478kW and 678Nm of torque, similar to its arch nemesis the Ferrari 488 GTB.
The McLaren is as easy to drive as the Ferrari 458 Italia; the gear changes are lightening fast and the engine response and noise are super impressive. Where the McLaren differs from the Ferrari is ride comfort. Even in the soft suspension setting, the ride over the bumpy city streets was hard and noisy. But this is what you would expect for such a track focused supercar. I can only imagine how planted it must feel on a smooth race track.
The stiffness of the MonoCell is an advantage for those who enjoy the wind in their hair, while travelling from 0-200km/hr in just 8.6 seconds. Unlike traditional convertible versions of sporting coupes, that require substantial reinforcement to retain the stiffness in the chasis, which adds weight, the MonoCell is so stiff that Mclaren were able to remove the roof without the need for additional reinforcement.
If you own a McLaren 650S, it's probably not going to be your daily and you will most likely want to take it to a track as often as possible. So does track work void the warranty? No, it doesn’t as long as you have the vehicle inspected by the McLaren technicians before and after your session, which is the same condition as placed on the Nissan GT-R.
McLaren will also store your track day tyres at their facility and fit them to your car as part of the pre-inspection and will refit your road tyres as part of the post inspection. A very handy service indeed if you ask me.
The cost of this carbon fibre fun factory is $AUD464,000 for the Coupe and $AUD511,000 for the Spider. The Options List is only an A4 page long, but it's hilariously expensive if you wanted to go completely over the top customising your new supercar.
For example, if you really loved carbon fibre and ticked every box for external carbon fibre bits and bobs, you could spend another $AUD60,000 dollars. Thankfully, McLaren have packaged the most popular bits (front splitter, rear bumper centre and door blades) for just $AUD12,300.
On the inside you can opt for a full leather interior in place of the Alcantara as a no cost option. But again you could go nuts on the carbon fibre options and spend another $AUD30,000 in here as well. The most popular interior upgrades (electric and heated memory seats, electric steering column, soft close doors and car cover) are packaged together for only $AUD7,960. Most people would want to option the Protection Pack as well that includes vehicle lifter, front and rear parking sensors, camera and volumetric alarm, it costs $AUD9,880.
The McLaren has a three year unlimited kilometre warranty from date of registration. The service intervals are every 10,000kms or 12 months and are free of charge during the warranty period.
I can see why those who can afford to chop and change their supercars, do so as often as they do. I imagine they must get bored and want to try whatever is the next big thing.
However, if it were me with more money than sense, I would not be selling the old car, just adding a new one to the collection. Soon I would not need a garage, but a small multilevel car park in its place house my fast car addiction. The McLaren is good, but Ferrari will always be number one for me.