The other day I had a glimpse of what it means to be truly wealthy. I’m fortunate enough to already experience a lifestyle very far removed from the one I can actually pay for – if I stuck to testing cars I could afford then I’d spend my life in city cars.
Petrolheads with a reasonable amount of disposable income often aspire to purchase a track car: a Caterham, a Lotus or maybe even an Ariel Atom. You might even aspire to do a bit of racing in Caterhams or hot hatches. But you’d need to have a spare £600k lying around to get your hands on this McMerc racer.
It’s actually slightly slower than the road car in a straight line, topping out at ‘just’ 195 mph thanks to some fairly major aerodynamic tweaks. But it can still get past 62 mph in just 3.3 seconds, and the same aero pack enables it to lap Goodwood some 12 seconds quicker than the standard SLR.
So what does it feel like? Well, it’s the grip that really gets to you. Although McLaren test driver is an experienced, smooth and safe pair of hands, the fact that we seemingly didn’t slow down for any of Goodwood’s corners amazed me. Even more amazing is that the car still uses the standard SLR’s automatic transmission, and the ride almost felt comfortable.
The 722 GT has been built in broad correspondence with the FIA’s GT3 regulations, but buyers will only be able to race them in a one-make series, designed as a stepping stone between club racing and full-on endurance challenges. The idea of racing around some of the best circuits in Europe alongside 20 other SLRs, then enjoying the champagne lifestyle with other owners, certainly has a strong appeal.
Sadly, even finding £600,000 down the back of the sofa wouldn’t be quite enough to realise the dream – the 722 GT has already sold out.