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2021 McLaren 620R Review

BODY TYPE: Exotic
Now that it is working under a new business plan that calls for the launch of 18 new cars and variants by the year 2025, we are seeing about one new McLaren car being launched every six months or so. 
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For the past two years, the British car builder has stuck to the £1.2 billion-worth plan, and are ending 2019 on a high note, with the launch of the most powerful car in the Sports Series: the 620R.

This particular machine is nothing more than the road-legal version of the 570S GT4, a car that has made history on the track over the past couple of years. In this guise, the 620R is however even more powerful, and while taking advantage of the source car’s tech, manages to achieve the fastest lap time on any track of all Sport Series cars.

1Exterior design & features

The 620R is heavily based on the 570S, down to the single-piece carbon chassis, engine, and interior. There are a few elements that set it aside from its race-only sibling, but not enough to spoil the surprise of those less informed.

The main differences are the changes in design made to the front bumper, splitter, bonnet, and low-exit stainless steel exhausts, and that’s about it. The rest of the body, including the aerodynamic hardware and even colors, are borrowed from the track car. 

The car sits very low to the ground thanks to the lowered suspension and wider track, and with the help of the adjustable aerodynamic elements, it generates 185kg of downforce at 250 kph (155 mph). And that on a body that weighs only 1,282 kg.

The 620R is shod in road-legal Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires, but optionally they can be swapped for Pirelli slicks. McLaren says this is the first time “a road-legal car with 19-inch front wheels and 20-inch rear wheels has been engineered to be able to run on slick tires without the need for additional mechanical adjustment.”

The limited edition of the car will be available in three colors - McLaren Orange, Silica White and Onyx Black – with GT4 race livery as standard. McLaren Special Operations (MSO) will offer though even more personalization options, including a McLaren Senna GTR-inspired livery.

2Interior design, features
and passenger space

The interior of the 620R – of which McLaren released no photos – is as spartan as they get. After all, this is a race-derived road car, so don’t expect it to be fitted with an abundance of unnecessary adornments. 

The elements that stand out the most in the car are the carbon fiber racing seats with 6-point racing harnesses, just as one would get in a track car. A red 12 o’clock mark on the steering wheel, and door pull straps to aid door closure are also there to enhance the feeling you are seated in a racer. 

Despite being mainly a road car, the 620R is meant to be used on the track as well every once in a while, and that’s when the extended shift paddles and the special steering wheel will come in particularly handy. 

As a touch of bling, each car will be numbered on a special plaque on the center console so that everyone knows how unique it is.

3Gadgets

As with all other McLarens, the thing that sets the 620R apart from other machines is not the high level of connectivity technology built into it, but rather the lack of it. 

Chasing the ever-elusive best weight, engineers have rid the car of any unnecessary hardware. That means there are no ex-factory air conditioning, navigation, and audio system. Sure, all can be had at no extra cost, but for performance’s sake, the car is better off without. 

What comes as standard on the car is a center-mounted 7-inch touchscreen that runs the McLaren Track Telemetry (MTT) system. Since the carmaker offers the MSO Roof Scoop Upgrade Pack as an option, it means the screen can also show images from the three-cameras that come with it. 

And speaking of which, the list of optional extras for the 620R is extremely extensive, going from the color choices available and all the way to a new Bowers & Wilkins audio system.

4Performance

The core of the 620R is the same engine used on the GT4 car. That translates into a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that at 620 ps and 620 NM of torque is the most powerful car in the McLaren Sports Series.

The engine is controlled via a 7-speed Seamless Shift Gearbox (SSG) and allows the car to reach 62 mph in 2.9 seconds, double that in 8.1 seconds, and achieve a top speed of 322 kph (200 mph).

5Safety

Given the fact the car is inspired by a racing machine, and considering it too is meant for track use from time to time, there’s no shortage of racing-oriented safety systems.

Just like you would find in a race car, the 620R is fitted with 6-point racing harnesses, but also with road seat belts when this is the use chosen for it. 

The road handling of the machine has been improved with the deployment of a suspension system with lightweight aluminum wishbones and uprights, that uses stiffer anti-roll bars and springs than fitted on a regular Sports Series model.

Stopping power is ensured by track-bred carbon-ceramic brakes.

6Conclusion

The 570S GT4 is McLaren’s most successful racing car. Since its introduction in 2017, it has raced in events on four continents, and managed to score more race wins and podiums than anything before it. With the 620R, the carmaker hopes to do the same, only this time on the road. 

As all other McLaren’s out there, the 620R will be built in limited numbers. This time, we’re talking about 350 units that are to be hand-assembled in Woking, UK. Each will sell for at least £250,000 including taxes.

The first car is to be delivered sometime in February 2020.