Skip to content
Home » Blog » The McLaren 750S Makes Me Wish for an Endless Road

The McLaren 750S Makes Me Wish for an Endless Road

  • by

Photo by Will Sabel Courtney

Every product is carefully selected by our editors. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission. Learn more

Tracks can be fun, but open roads are better.

Hot take of mine: if a car isn’t good on the street, it isn’t good.

Yes, of course, there are many good cars that are designed for track conquest. Dodge Demons devour drag strips, Taycan Turbo GTs rip up road courses; hell, the list of lust-worthy Ferraris designed specifically for turning a track lap into an endorphin hit likable to heroin is long enough to fill a book. And if you want to be pedantic, just about every car these days is capable of top speeds and lateral grip that’s hard to (legally, at least) approach on a public road.

But at the end of the day, cars are meant for driving from A to B, not from A around in a short loop back to A again. Even track-ready specials are, by and large, will spend the majority of their time on the public roads. If a car is street-legal, it’s ultimately defined by how it performs on the street. A great driver’s car should be able to express its true self and leave the driver fulfilled just as well on a road as elsewhere.

Suffice it to say, the 2024 McLaren 750S is just that kind of great car.

Yes, I can also vouch for how well it performs on a closed course; the thoughtful folks at McLaren made sure to offer us a crack at the private track tucked inside Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s oval to give a sense of the car’s limits. But it was during a few hours driving the 750S up and down one of my favorite stretches of pavement on the planet — Nevada State Route 167 — that I learned just how delightful and engrossing this latest member of the Macca family is.

167, for the record, is a serpentine 53-mile stretch of billiard-table-smooth highway that runs through the Lake Mead Recreation Area from the outskirts of Vegas to the Valley of Fire State Park. Along it, you’ll find no gas stations, no towns and — on account of the national park fee needed for entry — almost no through traffic. What you will find: a delicious smorgasbord of tight turns, long sweepers and straightaways long enough to land an SR-71, all blessed with excellent sightlines and backdrops straight out of a Calvin and Hobbes Spaceman Spiff adventure.

Southern Nevada has some pretty spectacular sights … and the mountains ain’t bad, either.Photo by Will Sabel Courtney

It’s also a surprisingly good car for a long drive. While you’re not likely to confuse it with a proper gran turismo (and besides, McLaren already has a car for that), it’s roomy enough for two adults of the taller persuasion, has a surprisingly capacious frunk — and thanks to some of the changes made for the 2024 model year, it’s much easier to use from a driver’s standpoint.

The 750S is largely a usability-focused update to the 720S

Yes, McLaren squeezed a little more power out of the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 packed between driver’s cell and rear axle and gave the car a slightly shorter drive ratio, but let’s face it: an extra 30 ponies doesn’t make much of an appreciable difference when you’re already starting with more than 700 horsepower at tap.

Photo by Will Sabel Courtney

Like the 720S, the 750S’s acceleration is nothing short of stupendous. Stupendous off the line, obviously, but increasingly stupendous as the speed builds. There’s a subtle but distinct extra shove as the turbos reach full boost in the engine’s midrange, but it’s easy to miss if you’re like me and spending most of your mental energy keeping tabs on the road ahead flies towards you with increasing aggression. Launch control — now much easier to implement — forces the wheels to constantly walk the line between grip and slip as the traction control meters out just enough power to keep from slipping. If the 750S isn’t quick enough for you, it might be time to dial back on uppers and start adding some downers to your life.

The way it handles turns remains a highlight as well, of course. McLaren says it focused on enhancing both agility and feedback versus the 720S; without driving them back-to-back (and not having had many complaints about the pre-facelift car’s agility and feedback), I’ll take their word for that, but I can certainly vouch for the fact that the 750S handles with the precision and deftness you’d expect from a world-class supercar.

As with its predecessor, it boasts adaptive dampers and hydraulically linked pistons in lieu of a traditional sway bar, and the combination provides an excellent balance between remarkable handling and a pleasant ride (at least, for a mid-engined speed machine). Or at least, it can if you choose. The ride grows increasingly stiff as you cycle from Comfort up to Sport and then Track; indeed, I found the latter almost unnecessarily stiff even on the actual track, making the car feel too tightly wired and causing it to bounce around.

McLaren, to its credit, still refuses to implement electric power steering, preferring the greater engagement and connection of a hydraulically-assisted rack even at the noticeable cost to efficiency. The 750S’s unit is stunningly precise, with a deftness and immediacy that’s rare in the automotive world these days. It’s also surprisingly weighty, to the point where it can almost feel unassisted. My hands were aching a little after a couple hours of driving. (Then again, some of that might have been from me squeezing the wheel extra-tight on account of the stress of a near-empty gas tank.)