We might end up on the moon. I think anything is conceivable at that flying moment. With such a powerful engine, let's shoot for Mars instead of the moon.

The four-point touchdown is so silky when it occurs that the suspen­sion seems to have been intended for landings.

The $815,000 McLaren is driven down the road with a piercing bark from the engine breaking the sounds of rushing air.

We keep accelerating. A red up-shift light flashes in 5.4 seconds, exactly at the 7500 rpm redline on the tachometer in the center of the gauges.

The car moves onward, a squat, stable emerald limpet on the road. Perhaps there is room to capture fifth at 180 mph before the bend. Maybe.

No. As my courage wanes, my instinct for survival takes control. put the brakes on. I apply a lot of pressure through the pedals' inert feeling until they bite to impede forward motion.

I had been waiting for an all-clear indication further up the road for less than 30 seconds. I could feel the BMW V-12's invincibility even as it idled steadily at 900 rpm.

I can't help myself. No person could. This engine reacts so quickly that it seems to lack a flywheel, much like a race engine.

Finally by myself, I can consider the size of an automobile that is moving so quickly that it requires a completely different way of thinking.

The McLaren requires restraint because it is illegal to drive it anywhere other than a racetrack or an autobahn, making it impossible to even begin to explore the full scope of its speed and power.

In 6.3 seconds, 100 mph was seen. The Ferrari F40 required two more seconds. It takes the McLaren 12.8 seconds to reach 150 mph.

The time from 0 to 200 mph is 28.0 seconds. The fact that the F1 supercar accelerates quicker than the McLaren MP4/8 Motor Racing race car above 125 mph is astounding.

The fastest supercar we've tested by almost a second and 15 mph completes the standing quarter-mile in a stunning 11.1 seconds at 138 mph.