The last time I was going this fast, I was 13 years old in a 10-year-old’s snowsuit, foolishly sitting on the back of my skis, barreling down a slope that I’m still convinced was a perfect 90-degree angle.
This is what I’m thinking about while riding shotgun in a 2017 McLaren 570GT, a $200,000 supercar that just hit 89 miles per hour in less time than it takes to get to the “Skip Ad” option on a YouTube video.
“That was about half of what it can do, brother,” my driver, Steven Kennedy, tells me. He’s being modest; the top speed is actually 204 mph.
Kennedy is the director of sales and marketing at Chicago Motor Cars Las Vegas, and the McLaren is one of the newest, and rarest, pieces in his showroom. He doesn’t expect it to be there very long.
“If we have this car for 30 days, I’ll be surprised,” he says.
From the outside, Chicago Motor Cars is an unassuming place. There are no inflatable gorillas, spotlights or dancing genies. The building is nestled in an office complex south of Panorama Towers and a straight shot across I-15 to T-Mobile Arena.
The showroom boasts a James Bond-ian lineup of pre-owned high-end vehicles—Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche—as well as and mid-line brands—Audi, BMW, Mercedes—in the $30,000-70,000 range.
Kennedy pulls the McLaren over just before we achieve terminal velocity and asks me if I want to drive it back to the showroom.
I respond by asking if I fit the profile of a person who should be driving this car.
“It’s usually a guy that maybe has an SUV or sedan and this is kind of a toy,” he tells me.
I’ve driven both of those, so let’s give it a shot.
Settling into the cockpit/driver’s seat, I pull down the scissor door, adjust my mirrors and buckle in. There’s no gear stick, only buttons. I press “D” and then, with hands at 10 and two, I put the pedal a quarter inch closer to the metal.
The rear-mounted engine roars.
“Already it feels like we’re going much faster than we should be,” I say, before glancing at the dashboard.
We’re going 35 miles per hour. That’s good enough, I tell myself.
“Go ahead and jump on it,” Kennedy tells me.
I tap the gas and we’re going 44. Now I feel alive!
I’ve had seven Fast and Furious movies to prepare for this moment. I can’t believe I’m driving us back to the showroom like Vin Diesel’s near-sighted neighbor, in slow traffic.
Chicago Motor Cars Las Vegas
3055 Palms Center Dr.,Open Monday through Saturday, chicagomotorcarslv.com