From very similar ingredients come distinct models
No, this isn’t a back to back test to see which is ‘better’. It’s about really understanding the core McLaren range and what the point of it all is beyond the polar opposite worlds of magazine group tests and like-grab Instagram posts. Wizened old-guard helmsman journalists with calloused palms and an air miles tally longer than my phone number will tell you the GT is soft. Influencers will complain that its smooth inoffensive looks don’t pop in an “I bought a new car!!!” YouTube thumbnail. For me, it joins past lower-powered models as a McLaren that I truly get.
Of course, the 720S is and always has been an incredible world-beating car. Even now, a full five years on from its debut – yes really – it feels razor-sharp and relevant and it would knock seven bells out of the GT on track or even up a crisp dry Alp. But on a drizzly day at Milbrook, it came on just a little too strong.
So yes, while comments section cynics will decry a range of McLarens cut from similar cloth, each by our reckoning brings a distinct character and wild variations in accessibility to what these sorts of cars are all about. The GT, or something like it in the range, is entirely relevant to people who are actually considering buying these things. And the 720S? Now, as when fresh in 2017, it begs the question of what the point is of hypercars anymore.
A McLaren dealer is like a Nandos. You’re getting South African-style chicken, but how much you spend and how spicy it’ll be is entirely up to you. How, we wonder, will the all-new V6-engined Artura shake things up? We hope to be telling you soon…