McLaren Automotive (formerly known as McLaren Cars) is one of the most beloved manufacturers of supercars in the world. Based in Surrey, England, they have earned a rabid fanbase with their designs. They also produce every one of their cars in-house at its very own production facilities.
The care and attention to detail that goes into each and every McLaren is what sets the car builder apart from other manufacturers of high-end sports cars. All of which is reflected in the hefty price that a McLaren commands on the market. Here is a list of the 12 best McLaren cars of all time.
12. McLaren M12
The M12 was one of McLaren’s earliest road cars. It is basically a street legal Can-Am car. Its centerpiece is an 800-horsepower Chevy big block engine that helped the performance version of this car win numerous races in the late 1960s. Over the years, several McLaren M12s were modified by customers.
Many people added larger rear wings for better downforce pressure, to keep up with competitors that had done the same. Some M12s were even imported to Japan and modified by Toyota with revised bodywork to allow better results at Japanese races. Regardless, the M12 remains a McLaren classic in both the racing and street versions and is good enough to kick off this list.
11. McLaren 675LT
For pure racing performance, look no further than the McLaren 675LT, It was the first modern McLaren to come with a Longtail (LT) badge. To qualify as a Longtail,” the car had to meet rigorous driver engagement, weight reduction, and performance standards. To hit these self-imposed marks, McLaren increased the downforce, optimized the aerodynamics, and reduced the weight – all in an effort to enhance the car’s track performance.
The addition of a M838TL 3.8-litre twin- turbocharged V8 engine helped the 675LT achieve a maximum speed of 205 miles per hour and go 0-to-62 in just 2.9 seconds. Sadly, only 500 of these cars were manufactured. With a starting price of $339,166, they were obviously sold to a very exclusive clientele.
10. McLaren M6GT
The M6GT car traces its origins back to the late 1960s when company founder Bruce McLaren joined the Le Mans endurance racing team. The idea at the time was to convert an M6 Can-Am car into a coupe that could withstand the demands of long-distance racing. Existing regulations dictated that at least 50 M6GT cars be produced.
Unfortunately, various complications and infighting with the Le Mans team led to the M6GT distance racing project being abandoned. Fortunately, Bruce still wanted to create his own road car. He ended up transforming the original M6GT into a road car instead. The rest, as they say, is history. And we are all the better for it.
9. McLaren Senna
Named after late Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna, the McLaren Senna is a track-focused hyper car that has smashed track records around the world. While the Senna is not the prettiest McLaren ever built, it is certainly one of the fastest to ever skirt around a track. Appearance was sacrificed for better aerodynamics.
The car can exert 1,500 pounds of downforce, which helps the Senna travel at up to 155 miles per hour. Stunningly, the Senna is also a road legal car. It cranks out 789 horsepower and 590-pound feet of torque, all deployed through the rear wheels via a seven-speed twin clutch gearbox. The Senna gets to 62 mph in a brisk 2.8 seconds, while 124 mph is achieved in 6.8 seconds. If all this weren’t enough, the McLaren Senna is also ultra lightweight. It tips the scales at just 2,800 pounds (with fluids and fuel included). Impressive!
8. McLaren 625C
The McLaren 625C was developed specifically for the Asian market. It aimed to satisfy demand from drivers who wanted to feel like professional racers. While some have dismissed the 625C as a watered-down version of the previous 650S model, we feel that you have to appreciate this car’s design elements and street cred.
Overhauled mechanical balance and new dampers help make the 625C a top performer on the streets of any city. If you can afford the lofty $270,000 price tag, then the McLaren 625C might be the car to get. Lamborghini, eat your heart out!
7. McLaren 570S
The 570S holds a special place among McLaren aficionados. Some fans claim that the 560S is the automaker’s greatest achievement. They point to the 3.8-liter twin turbo V8 engine that generates a torque of 443-pound feet of torque and generate a whopping 562 horsepower. Its acceleration is the same as the legendary F1 sports car: 0-to-60 miles per hour in only 3.2 seconds.
The McLaren 570S also uses a seven-speed twin clutch gearbox and a carbon fiber chassis but does not include any adjustable aerodynamic devices or cross-linked adaptive suspension. This was done to save on production costs. However, we’re not sure those cost savings have been passed onto consumers given the starting price is $235,260.
6. McLaren F1
The McLaren F1 is widely considered to be one of the very best road cars of all time. Conceived in 1988 when the company decided to branch out beyond Formula One racing, the F1 was the first road car ever to use carbon fiber and feature a one-based monocoque at a meager 100 kilograms.
The car also went on to both create and define the signature McLaren road car. Those feature innovative design, exceptional quality, clever packaging, and low weight. It all adds up to an unequaled driving experience. However, you’ll have to have very deep pockets to get your hands on one of these. An F1 recently sold at auction for $12 million.
5. McLaren P1 GTR
To mark the 20th anniversary of the company’s 1995 victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, McLaren decided to bring back the much respected GTR in 2015. The new P1 GTR serves as a luxury sports car that is incredible on any racetrack. The concept car turned heads when it debuted in Pebble Beach, California in 2014.
The production model also earned rave critical reviews when it took a bow at the Geneva Motor Show a year later. What impressed reviewers most was the twin-turbo V8 petrol engine that produced 986 horsepower when combined with a lighter, upgraded electric motor. Now available for “only” $2.6 million.
4. McLaren P1
The McLaren P1 was designed to replicate the high standards set by the company’s aforementioned F1 and confidently stand by it as one of the most prized luxury vehicles in the world. Available in models for both the track and street, the P1 utilizes Instant Power Assist System (IPAS), a petrol electric powertrain that is paired with a 3.8-liter twin turbo V8 engine, and a single electric motor.
This brings the total power output to an impressive 903 horsepower. Maximum speed is restricted to 217 mph, with the ability to sprint to 62 in just 2.8 seconds. While not the most expensive McLaren on the market, the P1 will still set you back $1.15 million.
3. McLaren 570GT
Entering the top three is the newest addition to the McLaren Sports Series, the versatile 570GT. This car that has been called the most refined and luxurious McLaren to date. To be sure, the 570GT retains the high-performance standards set by its cousin, the 570S, even though it is meant to be used as an everyday car, concentrating on long distance comfort and day-to-day commuting.
A two-seater that features a Panoramic roof, the 570GT provides 220-liters of cargo space on a leathered Touring Deck behind the two front seats. If you want a McLaren for everyday use (and to impress your neighbors), then you should give some thought to the 570GT. It only costs $201,278.
2. McLaren 650S
Runner up on this list is the McLaren 650S. Introduced as a successor to the short-lived 12C, the McLaren 650S has proven to be a critical darling. Automotive experts love the performance of this car, especially the new acceleration that allows this road certified car to reach 60 mph in only 2.9 seconds.
The 650S also boasts a maximum speed of 207 mph. That acceleration and speed is achieved thanks to a reworked engine that includes revised cam timing, exhaust valves, cylinder heads, and brand-new pistons. Few McLarens can match the 650S for its style and performance. It’s also relatively affordable at a starting priced of $255,191.
1. The McLaren 540C Coupé
Atop the mountain is the McLaren 540 Coupe, which has been labeled “the ultimate sports car.” Both performance oriented and driver friendly, with the ability to handle suburban streets as efficiently as oval racetracks, the 540C Coupe is very lightweight with a high weight to power ratio.
This is a streetcar that can reach 124 miles per hour in only 10.5 seconds. The Sports Series model features a strong chassis designed to generate unmatched balance. That makes it extremely comfortable to drive in the city or within the limits of just about any racetrack in the world. Like many of its supercar cousins, the 540C Coupe is made of carbon fiber. When you combine that with the powerful V8 engine, it provides the most effective power to weight ratio in its class. By most measures, this is the best McLaren ever designed. With a price tag of $1.6 million though, it’s obviously not for everyone.