Manufacturer Spotlight: McLaren, the elegant supercar

James Raia

McLaren is the elegant supercar.

Lightweight, fast and British is the most succinct way to define McLaren. But the supercar is much more. Conceived with the passion of Formula 1 driver Bruce McLaren from New Zealand, the exclusive and powerful coupe represents innovation at its stealth best.

McLaren is the elegant supercar.
McLaren is the elegant supercar.

While enduring financial catastrophe and design issues since its arrival in 1963, McLaren’s racing division consistently challenges Ferrari for supremacy with its impressive array of prestigious honors.

McLaren’s sensational racetrack pedigree also reflects the lightweight automotive rocket’s success of the road. The supercar may be exclusive, but when it’s on the scene as a racetrack celebrity or as an elite public star, it’s unlike any other vehicle. It’s the elegant, performance-oriented superstar of supercars.

Consider the 2017 McLaren 750S, the beacon of the brand. Its innovation leads the industry, with an eight-cylinder, mid-mounted engine that boasts of 570 horsepower, a 204-mph top speed and a lightning bolt of acceleration. The 3.8 liter, V8 coupe completes the 0-60 acceleration standard in 2.9 seconds — among the fastest splits in the automotive industry.

Of course, what’s a McLaren without its signature features: the skid skirts, aero blades and the further streamlined “scissor” doors that can open in tighter spaces and extend higher? And debuting for 2017 is a new signature: three driving modes. And further, how about the suspension lift system that raises or lowers the front and rear ends? Combined, the innovation lifts the McLaren to a cut above.

While the newest McLaren is the standard bearer, every year of the supercar is special. With 2013 edition, the supercar debuted with a revised chassis and a driver’s choice — a suspension lift feature. Enabled at lower speeds, it anticipates the need to lift the chassis to avoid potential road hazards.

The 2013 McLaren is also a technology marvel with its feature Active Dynamics Panel. With personal preference and controlled by two dials on the console, the stability and handling can be adjusted. Likewise, shift times, throttle pressure and rpm are adjustable depending upon preference.

You can also relish in the technology wonder: the Active Dynamics Panel. It’s controlled with a smartphone-type screen and two control dials that feature settings for Normal, Sport and Track. Depending on your preferences, you can adjust the H (Handling) control for suspension and stability. And you adjust the P (Powertrain) for the throttle pressure, shift times and rev increase before shifting.

But with a driver’s quest for performance also comes a braking system so strong, sure and straight, it would impress a host of NASA engineers responsible for a space shuttle’s return.

Beyond its superior and versatile performance, the McLaren driving experience also defines simplicity in comfort. The interior is highlighted by an uncluttered dash, carbon-fiber trim, strong visibility and body-hugging seats.

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