We reach our Tony Stark house to see that it, along with the neighbors’ houses, are completely abandoned and devoid of life, almost as if they were waiting for our arrival. Call it supercar luck, but these are the benefits of going rogue in the Hills. Houses like this could easily fetch $5,000 a day for location fees. The excitement and the tad bit of fear of getting caught are free, so we choose to keep our broccoli wad full.
After shooting some amazing photography for what seems like an eternity, patiently waiting to drive the 650S, we punch in one of L.A.’s most famous (and overused) spots for automotive photography — Lower Grand in Downtown L.A.
Being the photo assistant had gotten me antsy. The hour drive back down the mountain, along the Pacific Coast Highway, and on some of L.A.’s (hopefully not more congested) highways would offer the chance to open up the 641-horsepower M838T engine. Revised for the 650S, new pistons and cylinder heads allow for even greater response than its brother, the 12C. You have to love the fact that an engineering company such as McLaren still has some fun with the products. Once Sport mode is engaged, “cylinder-cut technology” interrupts spark and adds more fuel on reignition, producing a visual exhaust flare on upshifts and increased sound.
It’s pure theater.
Because of the seating position — you’re essentially sitting on top of the front wheels for better weight distribution — everything seems to happen faster. This adds to the sensation of speed. Think about riding a boogie board down a 40-foot wave; it’s a low, gravity-fed rush that increases the further you dive into the throttle.