A SoCal Springtime Drive in the Track-Ready McLaren 765LT Spider
Cars & motorsport

Here Comes the Sun: A SoCal Springtime Drive in the Track-Ready McLaren 765LT Spider

Is there anything lovelier than a clement ramble up the coast with the top down and sunnies on?

By Alexandra Cheney
Contributor

On one fine-weathered Tuesday, with a mere breath of offshore oceanic wind, I decide the emails can wait. Outside, the “Ambit Blue” of a McLaren 765LT Spider beckoned.
 

Setting the Scene

A prescient pause occurs just after turning on the supercar. Let’s call it a preparatory moment as if the vehicle is checking in with its driver saying, “you sure you’re ready?” Then comes the wake-the-neighbors, dog bark-inducing timbre that falls somewhere between a gurgle and a roar. And make no mistake, unlike the bloc of hybrids and electric vehicles, there’s no confusion about when this quad-exit titanium exhaust vehicle is ready.

Countless owners will tell you there’s no quick egress in a supercar. Divots spell disaster. A pothole, forget about it. A loose pebble. Heavens no. Turning radius is not why you buy the car. As the quotidian terrors of suburbia fade into the rearview, the feeling of the mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, 755HP ultra-lightweight supercar envelops me. As I retract the single piece electric hard top, I can’t help but engage its launch mode, verifying that the 0-60 mph is, in fact, 2.7 seconds.
 

Although I’m well-acquainted with this particular stretch of coastal road, on this day, as the 101N parroted the Ventura County coastline into Santa Barbara, California, the hills were positively bursting with the electric yellow of mustard plants in bloom. It is one of those textbook-albeit-rare moments where music, weather, scenery, superb vibes, and a mysterious lack of traffic converged into an almost laughably perfect drive for the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8.

The McLaren 765LT Spider’s top speed is 205 mph, and on the track, I’m certain it handles with the utmost precision. However, more than once, I looked down while cruising down the highway and realized 100 mph was far too easy to achieve.
 

Unlike other unwieldy track-ready supercars, there’s nothing bestial about the LT. Theatrical in its design – merely look to the dihedral doors and backlit engine bay that glows a nefarious red for proof – there is little doubt that the full power of the 765LT Spider can be (easily) unleashed at low and high speeds alike. But it also has a sense of civility.

Okay, now that you have a sense of the scene, it’s time to talk about the car.
 

The Details

The McLaren 765LT Spider continues to rule the brands’ “Supercar” group (in the same category as the 720S Spider and 720S).

Interestingly, although the “LT” portion of its name stands for “long tail,” it doesn’t feel prohibitively so, even measuring 181 inches in length. McLaren has built LT road cars for the last seven years, and they nearly always immediately sell out. Longer, lighter, and quicker than their counterparts, it’s no wonder McLaren capped production. That is where “765" comes in: It represents the number of editions made.
 

Bespoke LT springs and damper hardware join the lowered front suspension and widened stance between the front wheels to enhance grip. Meanwhile, the carbon fiber body is purposefully sculpted to increase downforce, not to mention the aerodynamic elements like splitters, edges, fins, and diffusers, to name a few.

It’s a bit of a contraction, the notion of a track-ready convertible, but that’s exactly the lifestyle-driven machine the good folks in Woking, England, built the LT to be.
 

Home on the Road

While any McLaren is guaranteed to attract attention, there’s a palpable difference between the 765LT Spider and McLaren’s other supercars. Namely that – among the different levels of vehicles that reach supercar status – the 765LT Spider sits above the clouds.

With that in mind, to showcase the 765LT Spider for this piece, we knew we needed an analogous locale, one that echoed the car in design sentiment but also ambiance. Breezy and serene with some sass that shines but does not seek the limelight. Luckily, the chivalrous Alexander Ali, along with his team at The SOCIETY Group, recommended this 20-acre compound with 270-degree views in the hills above Montecito.
 

Designed and built by local architect Bob Easton, the 6-bed, 9-bath, 8,500 sq ft estate oozes Provençal elegance. The sense of arrival is unquestionable, through a pair of gates up a hairpin turn, grass sprouting between the driveway stones. The four car garage and carriage house complement the LT, making it easily at home here.

As tested, the McLaren 765LT Spider is priced at $532,680, and the Montecito home located at 985 Park Lane is listed for $16,500,000. For more information, visit the McLaren website.
 

(Photography by Chris Meugniot)

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