We try out the new limited-edition McLaren 620R to see if it really is a racing car for the road
5.0 out of 5
There’s no getting away from the fact that the McLaren 620R is an indulgence, but it’s a perfectly executed one. There’s a precision to its chassis that only motorsport experience can deliver, the 3.8-litre V8 engine is tuned to its peak, and the experience of driving it on road or track is unlike what you’ll find in any other Sports Series McLaren, 600LT included.
The “race car for the road” mantra can be considered a bit of a cliché these days. McLaren, however, gets a free pass, because the new 620R is as close as it is possible to get to a bona-fide 570S GT4 race car with licence plates.
As with all McLarens, the 620R is built around a carbon tub and has aluminium subframes front and rear. That’s where the connection to the 570S road car ends and the GT4 relationship begins.
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Out go the adaptive dampers and on goes a set of two-way adjustable coilovers from the race car. Lighter aluminium wishbones are also fitted, stainless steel bushes replace the rubber items used in the top mounts, and the spring rates and the anti-roll bar are stiffer, too.
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Carbon-ceramic brakes are standard, and the centre-lock wheels measure 19 inches at the front, 20 at the rear.
Being a racer, it has aerodynamic enhancements to the bodywork, from the not-inconsiderable rear wing to the carbon-fibre bonnet improving airflow to increase downforce, along with a pair of front dive planes and a more aggressive front splitter. Overall the 620R can generate 185kg of downforce. For the full motorsport look, MSO will also sell you a roof scoop.
Inside it’s equally tasty. Alcantara covers the touchpoints, with carbon fibre prominent throughout including in the racing seats, which come with a set of harness belts.
Is it all too much for the road? Not really. There is a hard edge to the chassis that picks out more lumps and bumps in the surface, but the payoff is a car that fizzes with energy and is awash with ability that doesn’t make you risk everything to enjoy it.
On a track, with a set of slicks fitted, the 620R is as close to a GT4 car with number plates as you can get: forgiving when you need it to be, involving, rewarding and devastatingly capable when you want it to be. It entices you to push and explore its and your limits, making for a brilliant package that leaves you wanting more.
|Engine:||3.8-litre V8 turbo petrol|
|Transmission:||Seven-speed dual-clutch auto, rear-wheel-drive|
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