“My” McLaren 675LT arrived liveried in Napier Green. Let me describe that color. It’s bright green, I mean REALLY bright green. Ten minutes after it arrived, I got a call from the International Space Station, asking me to cover it during the day. I must say that it’s a really interesting color, much like a George Barris creation of the 1960s, in that the green turns slightly yellow in bright sun, especially along the body creases. For the first time in my career as a journalist, I got a ticket while field-testing a car – it was for disturbing the peace – because the color was too loud. Paint point made.
The color gives the car the appearance that it’s as fast as it is. I mean, with 675 horsepower pumping out of a twin-turbo mid-engine V8 in a 2,712-pound car (that my friend is LIGHT), no one is surprised that 0-60 MPH is a tick over three seconds (it can go 0-60 and back to zero in the time that it takes to read this sentence) and what a thrilling three seconds it is, what with the old-school noise and drama and visceral feedback that this consummate driver’s car delivers. The transmission (McLaren calls it the SSG, a Seamless Shift Gearbox) is so smooth that in automatic mode (as if anyone ever would do that), it shifts before 2,000 RPM and the only feedback the driver receives is a change in the sound of the engine – no jerky shifts here. Yet on your way to the top speed of over 200 MPH, you’re likely to use the paddle shifters and be entertained by one of the best sounds ever to emanate from a man-made machine.
The sound of the engine – faithful readers know my penchant for loud exhaust, no doubt a throwback to my years in the Gasoline Alley of my youth – is just awesome. In fact, that’s another example of how McLaren follows the credo of WYSIWYG (pronounced “WizzyWig” by the computer folks), as What You See definitely is What You Get – a road rocket that looks, sounds and behaves like the supercar which it appears to be.