With the 720s, McLaren has created a super sports car, aggressively-styled, and highly-focused on improved drivability. It’s sleek, balanced, powerful. Needless to say, you don’t want to confine that gem to congested freeways and boring straight streets. Of course, if you want to show off a little – who would blame you for being the proud owner of a light yet powerful vehicle – you can slowly go up and down Rodeo Drive.
But our guess is you’d much prefer experience all this exotic car has to offer on an exhilarating drive.
Best Roads to Drive the McLaren 720s
1. South Grade Road up to Palomar Mountain
Dubbed the “most technical road in Southern California,” Palomar Mountain Rd offers everything a sports car enthusiast seeks: no less than 20 back-to-back hairpin turns over 7 miles, decreasing radius turns, a fair amount of snake turns, and enough long sweepers to catch your breath. Driving down is not for the faint of heart. If you feel less adventurous, or if the drive up was enough of a challenge, take East Grade Rd to come back to Earth.
Take your McLaren 720s up there early, on a weekday. Weekdays are quiet(er), Saturdays and Sundays see the road assaulted by bikers. Make sure and check what the weather has been like. Winter storms or heavy rain make for tricky driving conditions.
2. Couser Canyon Road
This is not the drive where you’ll accelerate 0 to 100 km/h in less than 3 seconds, but Couser Canyon is a beautiful setting for a McLaren. The drive will test your concentration and ability to control your car with precision. The road is narrow in some places, and you will face lots of blind turns.
Watch for oncoming vehicles, use caution, and take in the gorgeous views.
3. Highland Valley Road
Best enjoyed from the West, this drive will give you plenty to have a great time: some tight corners and twists, changes in elevation and straight sections to speed up.
The area is home to avocado and citrus orchards and many picturesque villas. You will also appreciate the splendid views of the mountains, the charm of rolling hills, and the fresh greenery of lush forest. A luxurious ride for a luxury car.
Highland Valley Road gets relatively busy on the weekends. To avoid the frustration of being stuck behind slower cars or motorcycles, take a day off during the week.
4. Route 79
Route 79 is not a secret, but it is hard to find. It begins somewhere on I-8 near Descanso, about 1 hour due east from San Diego. While it offers its fair share of elevation changes and bends, the drive is not as nerve-wracking as on Palomar Mountain Road.
The scenic road takes you north through Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Warner Springs and its historical landmarks (Oak Grove Butterfield Stage Station and Warner’s Ranch), all the way to Beaumont.
San Diego has many exceptional places where you can take your car for a ride or a cruise-like, relaxing drive. From coastal highways to narrow serpentine roads in the mountain and in the desert, whether you have the soul of a race car driver or want to enjoy views and snap Instagram worthy shots, there is no shortage of destinations.
Take out your 710 horses worth of power, and drive safe!
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