Bassam has spent the last few weeks finding out how to live everyday with a supercar. Tough life, ain’t it?[Not a valid template]
|Date acquired:||May 2015|
|Kilometres this month:||1120|
|Costs this month:||$0|
|L/100km this month:||9.2|
One of the perks of my job is that supercars are a pretty common sight in my underground parking. While time spent in exotic machinery is never taken for granted, they are generally lent to us for just a few days and we are normally restricted on how much mileage we can accrue. While restrictions are understandable considering the exorbitant depreciation and running costs associated with most supercars, it results in a usage pattern that is atypical to the average owner’s experience. Rather than waste precious time performing mundane tasks, the first thing I usually do is the mandatory drive out of town to my favourite stretch of deserted tarmac where I attempt to explore the outer limits of said supercar’s dynamic limits so that I can tell you – our dear readers – what the car is capable of.
Unfortunately everyday life for most people doesn’t consist of attacking a scintillating mountain road, but it is the norm to fight through bumper-to-bumper traffic, negotiate speed bumps and shopping mall parking lots. For that reason I’ve decided to use our McLaren 650S as my only mode of transportation for the duration of our test, in the hope that this gives some insight into what it’s like living with a 651bhp bright orange gullwing-doored supercar.
Remarkably the 650S has proven to be a truly useable and practical car. It’s easy to place in traffic and the double-clutch transmission is as good at creeping in congestion as it is hammering home millisecond-quick seamless shifts when you’re flat out. Parking is a doddle, thanks to the rear-view camera that has been speced on our test car. Meanwhile, highway schleps highlight the McLaren’s GT credentials: with suspension set to Normal mode the ride is truly remarkable, gliding over any imperfections in the road. For such a compact car the cabin never feels anything but spacious, aided by the excellent visibility, which adds to the airy feel of the cabin. So far my only complaint is that the seat is a bit hard for my liking, but it’s not exactly torture as the seating position is absolutely spot-on.
Visiting my mother is usually a challenge in most supercars as I have to swipe a card against a badly positioned access panel, one more suited to SUVs than low-slung supercars. The first couple of times in our new Management Fleet addition, it’s a bit of a challenge, as I have to hang out the window while stretching out and up, but I soon perfect a technique where I skim the apex of the entry curb allowing me to get really close to the panel and avoid the acrobatics. Exiting is also problematic, as the ramp on the way out is very steeply inclined and scraping the carbon front-splitter is a real worry. That is until I notice that there is a hydraulic lift-kit that raises the front of the car at the push of a button. Disaster averted, I can now be a good son and visit my mum without damaging the McLaren. That should earn me some brownie points.
|Engine:||V8 / 3799cc / twin-turbo|
|Power:||641bhp @ 7250rpm|
|Torque:||500lb ft @ 6000rpm|
|Transmission:||Seven-speed SSG, rear-wheel drive|
|Front suspension:||Double wishbone, ProActive Chassis Control, active dampers, springs|
|Rear suspension:||Double wishbone, ProActive Chassis Control, active dampers, springs|
|Brakes:||Carbon ceramic discs, 394mm front, 380mm rear|
|Wheels:||19 x 8.5in front, 20 x 11in rear|
|Tyres:||235/35 R19 front, 305/30 R20 rear, Pirelli P-Zero Corsa|
|Top speed:||333kph (Coupe), 329kph (Spider)|