Bryan Logan/Business Insider
McLaren builds supercars for people who love technology. Ferrari builds them for people who are into a sexy, screaming engine and breathtaking styling, and Lamborghini builds them for people who had Lamborghini posters on their bedroom walls as teenagers. Pagani builds them for artists. Porsche builds them people who ... I guess like Porsches a whole lot and need Porsche to have a supercar. Ford builds them when it wants to remind everyone that it has beaten Ferrari at what Ferrari does best. And Corvette builds them because Corvette wants us to be happy and not have to spend $300,000 for the privilege.
But McLaren has the tech angle down. This provokes some criticism: McLarens aren't visceral, they lack soul. They look as if they were spit out of 3D printers or sculpted from blocks of plastic. Maybe they take a little too seriously the notion that racing is a laboratory for the street, and they channel their namesake, New Zealander Bruce McLaren, to bond on-track performance with perhaps the finest engineering in the car world. McLaren - the supercar for technocrats. Elon Musk owned a F1 hypercar, don't you know. Kind of says it all.
Of course it's all just the obsessively fine, blathering distinction-making of folks who want to debate the thises and thats of supercars. The real test of what a McLaren is all about takes place when you swing up the doors and slip into the driver's seat, as we did for a day in Los Angeles.
Here's what we thought of the 675LT - "LT" for "Longtail," an extended version of McLaren 650S - a supercar that the mad scientists in Woking, England, created specifically for track days and sell (in the case of our vehicle) for $400,000. We didn't have the pleasure of tracking this ride, but we did hit the canyon roads above Malibu.