Ranking here because, just like the Ferrari 458 Speciale, it has yet to be directly replaced, the McLaren 675 ‘Longtail’ was a coming of age for its British originator in more ways than one. It was the first of McLaren’s supercars to begin to show us evidence of a key realisation from Woking: that keen drivers ultimately care at least as much about how they’re going fast as how fast they can ultimately go.
Having ticked the second box pretty emphatically with the P1 hypercar, McLaren catered more to the first with the 675 LT — and quite successfully so. The firm found an extra 25bhp for the car’s 3.8-litre turbo V8 engine in addition to 650S trim, but added bodywork that created 40% more downforce, saved 100kg of kerb weight, stiffened the car’s suspension and quickened its steering rack.
But, above all else, it retuned the 650S’s torque vectoring system and electronic aids to allow its handling to come alive more readily on circuit, and rebalanced its grip levels to give it the handling agility, poise and adjustability of a really immersive mid-engined driver’s car. It’s a monster of track machine, too: thoroughly challenging and rampantly fast. But, perhaps most importantly of all, this was the first of McLaren’s road car crop that could also be really good fun.
Having until quite recently been the fastest production car in history to lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit, the Lamborghini Huracán Performante is also the fastest car we’ve ever timed around our benchmark dry handling circuit around which every performance car that’s subject to a full Autocar road test is driven.
That makes the 630bhp, extra-lightweight, four-wheel drive Lambo quicker, corner by corner, than a McLaren P1, a Porsche 918 Spyder and a Bugatti Veyron Supersport; that’s proof of how much grip, incisiveness, poise and precision Sant’Agata has engineering into a Huracán chassis, which wasn’t class-leading in any of those respects in standard form. Very little will prepare you for the baleful, red-blooded howl of this car’s naturally aspirated V10 engine as it rips past 8000rpm, or the savagery of every upshift of its twin-clutch gearbox.
In an era of turbocharged opponents, the Huracán’s rapier-sharp engine really is to be embraced and savoured. But, in this Huracán, the handling balance and confidence you’ll unearth once the car’s incredible Pirelli Trofeo R tyres are warmed up is of almost equal brilliance as the powertrain.
The Huracán has almost unrivalled supercar presence and sense of occasion, not to mention all that bleeding soul. As an object of desire, its appeal is multifaceted; you won’t find better-looking carbonfibre anywhere else in the world. As a driver’s car, it only lacks that last degree of throttle-on poise and interactivity of the best of its rivals.