There’s nothing subtle about a McLaren, and that’s precisely the point. McLaren’s are built to be seen, to be heard and to be respected. McLarens are some of the fastest, brightest and most impressive vehicles in the world and I got to experience what it’s like to drive not one, but four McLarens and boast about it on social media.
Recently I was lucky enough to attend a McLaren drive day held at The Farm, a top-secret privately owned circuit built for testing the best vehicles in the world. That day, I was able to experience four cars from the Sports Series, on both the open road and the track. Truthfully, it was only two different models but four variations – one 570S registered for road driving, while another was fitted with carbon-ceramic brakes and the other steel brakes. The final vehicle was the slightly more impressive 570GT.
The driving day kicked off with each attendee testing a series of Silica White 570S’ on the M1 Motorway and Old Pacific Highway. The 570S is fitted with a 3.8Litre twin-turbo V8 that can accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 3.3 seconds and reaches top speed at 328km/h. The 570S is the lightest in its class with the highest power to weight ratio. Thanks to its high performance and enthralling styling, the 570S is a sports car with the soul of a supercar.
Press a single button on the Active Dynamics Panel and the 7-speed gearbox paired with Seamless Gear Shift alternates between manual and automatic. Switch back to manual and change gears via thin paddles at the rear of the steering column. I tested both. Your preference or current mood is the only criteria that dictate which style is in use.
Sadly I was bound by the rules of the road and didn’t get to push the car to the limits. Not here anyway. I did feel the impressive acceleration on the long straights of the Old Pacific Highway and revelled in the attention I received from motorists on the M1.
Next was The Farm circuit. McLarens are not like ordinary cars. They outperform every other road vehicle I have ever driven in top speed, acceleration, handling and braking. Not so much with comfort but we’ll get to that later.
First up was a bright Ventura Orange 570S fitted with carbon ceramic brakes. Here on the track, I was welcome to push the vehicle as hard as possible. That’s precisely what I did. The professional driver in the passenger seat only offered advice and words of encouragement. Multiple times I heard him instruct me to “floor it.” The carbon ceramic brakes were ridiculously responsive, perfect for hard braking in short distances. With this 570S I reached top speeds around 190km/h.
Next up was the Mantis Green McLaren GT, the most luxurious of the bunch. The 570GT also possesses a 3.8Litre twin-turbo V8 engine, seven-speed dual-clutch and rear wheel drive. 0-100 is reached in 3.4 seconds while the top speed is also 328km/h. What sets the GT apart is its extra comfort and practicality. A side opening rear glass hatch provides added storage, and the cabin is enhanced by a panoramic glass roof and extended leather interior.
I’m uncertain if it was the GT or my growing confidence, but this time I reached top speeds just over 210km/h. The only thing stopping me from reaching higher was the impending tight corner. Finally was another Silica White 570S, this one fitted with steel brakes. These brakes were far less responsive forcing me to rethink each corner. I much preferred the carbon brakes.
If I had to find something to complain about it would be the slightly cramped cabin. It had rained that particular day, and the track is named ‘The Farm,’ so I wore largish boots assuming mud. Even without a clutch, I struggled to find space for my left foot and repeatedly bumping the brake. But maybe that’s the point? I found little practical about the cabin. McLarens are for those special occasions, not every day driving.
Before leaving, I shared images on Instagram. By the time I made it home, my phone was swarming with likes, comments and text messages. I’m not typically one to gloat, so it was a more subtle way for me to impress my mates. Not only did I get to experience some of the best cars in the world, but I also have an incredible story that to this day, is still being used to win people over.