Cars

The McLaren and the Sea

It’s time. With the 750S, the last combustion-only model to come out of Woking takes to the stage – and delivers a perfect (final) performance. But first we stop to take in the sea.

  • Text
    Bernd Haase
  • Photos
    McLaren

The sea has been a source of fascination since time immemorial. It sparks a longing. Inspires thought. The depths of an ocean are often romanticized as a reflection of the unconscious, imbued with unfathomable creative power. The beach, as a place onto which we project our desires, becomes both a destination of our longing as well as the perfect starting point for setting off to new shores. Because everything is always in motion here – beckoning us to set ourselves in motion not just in thought, but also for real.

Grand emotions, as vast as the sea itself. Which presumably only become so grand here because the ocean is, of course, inherently implacable. A force that cannot be tamed, the feeling of being at the mercy of the elements, the indomitable. And yes, all the Hemingways and Conrads and Melvilles are probably right when they turn the sea and its creatures into a medium for personal self-discovery. “So onwards, I say, let’s set off into the unknown,” you want to shout out loud into the harsh west wind.

McLaren 750S Spider

  • Engine
    V8-Twin-Turbo
  • Displacement
    3.994 cc
  • Power
    750 PS (552 kW) at 7.500 U/min
  • Torque
    800 Nm at 5.500 U/min
  • 0–100 km / h
    2,8 s
  • Vmax
    322 km/h

But first, one last look back. And there it is, the McLaren 750S. Looking out over the roaring Atlantic at the Algarve. Dramatic sky included. Caspar David Friedrich would have been delighted with this picture. Finally, the ends of the earth. On our way to new spheres, testing our limits once again. Ready to jump into the sea. Why not?

The impression changes a bit when you know that this is the last of its kind looking off into the distance. The last combustion-only car from McLaren. That immediately evokes a sense of melancholy, mixed with nostalgia, but of course also the infinite joy of being able to be part of this special occasion. After all, happiness is only made complete by the prospect of parting, by the possibility of no longer being able to be happy. Where else would the impulse to actively pursue happiness come from?

The vast expanse of the sea automatically inspires the mind. And if that inspiration includes a lengthened carbon fiber active rear wing, then all the better.
We’ll just let the waves be waves for now, savor the sight of the sun setting on the horizon for a moment, and keep both feet on solid ground – or rather, all four wheels on the asphalt.

The specifications back it all up: 740 hp with a torque of 800 newton-meters. The sprint to 100 km/h is achieved in 2.8 seconds, 200 km/h are reached in 7.2 seconds, and the quarter mile is completed in 10.1. There aren’t a lot of cars that can keep up with that. Even the legendary McLaren P1 is left standing after just the first few meters, despite having an electric motor to assist and despite the significantly greater power and torque.

The power delivery in the 750S is generated by a McLaren M840T engine, a four-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that was developed especially for the new model. The extremely low moment of inertia raises the air pressure in the cylinders, while the high-flow fuel pump delivers liquid happiness into the combustion chamber at greater flow pressure. Additional performance optimization is guaranteed by the flat-plane crankshaft, race-inspired dry sump lubrication system and lightweight connecting rods to reduce overall powertrain mass.


A destination of longing and a starting point towards new shores, all rolled into one. Where, if not on the Atlantic coast, should we start our road trip with the last car of its kind?

The engine – how could it be any different? – is mid-mounted for ideal weight distribution, which certainly makes itself noticed when cornering. The six-millimeter wider front track, new coil spring and tailor-made two-valve damper design with passive and active elements, not to mention the faster steering ratio and a fifteen percent shorter axle ratio, contribute their share, of course. Now you just have to be able to resist the temptation to try and suspend the laws of physics when driving this car. But we’ll leave that story for another time . . .

Back to the vehicle itself. The engineers have put a lot of effort into ( … )

→ Read the full story in ramp #63 "Happy on the Road."

Bernd Haase

Bernd Haase

Head of Text & Editor
He had a very clear career plan from a very early age: He wanted to be a rock star. Then he was allowed to join the school band. Because he wrote the lyrics (and because nobody, but really nobody, wanted to play bass). But it didn't last long. He switched basses with his father's Triumph Adler, realised that it also sounded nice, and decided to write about the dark side of the music business. But it turned out to be an internship at the local newspaper. Stayed quite a long time. It was much more exciting than I thought. After that, I worked as an editor for various newspapers, covering the finer things from cinema to music to travel. I also came across ramp. And stayed. It really is as exciting as I thought.
ramp #63 Happy on the Road

ramp #63 Happy on the Road

Glücklich auf der Straße? Sowieso. Für ein anständiges Autokulturmagazin ist so ein glückliches Unterwegssein gewissermaßen nur eine bereits konzeptionell hinterlegte Pflichtveranstaltung. Nach und nach – und mit etwas Glück (was sich hier ja fein ins Thema fügt) – entwickeln sich diese Emotionen in der Summe dann vergnüglich zu einer Affektbasis, ...

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