McLaren 765LT vs 660 HP Chevrolet Malibu: Who Wins?

Vehicles like the McLaren 765LT supercar are meant to do everything well. A proper supercar should be fast in a straight line but also exceptional at cornering. This is why most manufacturers test their sports cars at places like the Nurburging.

On the other hand, classic muscle cars like the Chevrolet Malibu are completely different animals. They’re all about throwing down as much power as possible to the rear tires and plowing through a quarter-mile faster than it takes to salute the American flag. So what happens when a 2021 McLaren 765LT lines up against a purpose-built 1980 Chevrolet Malibu drag car? The Hoonigans wanted to find out in the latest episode of “This or That.”

2021 McLaren 765LT

2021 McLaren 765LT supercar in orange driving on the road towards the camera.
2021 McLaren 765LT | McLaren Automotive

The McLaren 765LT is a limited edition supercar meant to pay homage to the legendary McLaren F1 “longtail” race car from the 90s. The 765LT comes standard with a twin-turbo V8 engine that makes 755 horsepower. It also has a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, launch control and only weighs 2,592 pounds.

By no means is this car a slouch. Beyond the capable powerplant, the McLaren 765LT was designed by expert aerodynamicists who ensured that the 765LT took full advantage of airflow for optimal downforce and thermal management. The particular 765LT participating in this race is completely stock except for bucket racing seats from the McLaren Senna.

Considering the numbers and features, it would seem that the McLaren 765LT will have this race in the bag. Though before making a prediction, let’s meet its competitor.

1980 Chevrolet Mailbu station wagon drag car

A 1980 Chevrolet Malibu station wagon drag race car shown from the rear.
1980 Chevrolet Malibu drag race car | Hoonigan YouTube

When it was first released, the 1980 Chevrolet Malibu station wagon was not much to write about. Despite having a 5.0-liter V8 engine, the Malibu only made about 155 horsepower. The draw to the Chevrolet Malibu is the potential. The Malibu’s engine was easy to tweak for more power, and the large engine bay makes motor swaps convenient for those looking to go that route. This is why an early model Chevrolet Malibu makes a great drag race car platform.

A Chevrolet Malibu drag race car is exactly what is lining up against the McLaren 765LT in Hoonigan’s “This or That” battle. The 1980 Chevrolet Malibu seen in the video is a purpose-built bracket drag race car. Under the hood, the Malibu is equipped with a GM LS3 engine which has been stroked out to 6.8 liters. The motor has no forced induction but pumps out 660 horsepower. Those horses are sent to massive drag slick tires in the back. 

The large body and large engine add up to a  total weight of 3,500 pounds, but with that much power and those massive slicks, it should have more than a fair chance against the McLaren.

Who wins?

Hoonigan YouTube channel

We won’t spoil the ending, but we will say that two cars ran against each other three times. There was also a bit of negotiation between races. However, there is a clear winner of the best two-out-of-three battle by the end of the video.

In the end, the real winners are those of us who get to watch crazy match-ups like this happen on the Hoonigan YouTube channel. Maybe one day, we’ll get the chance to line our favorite modern supercar up against our favorite classic muscle car. 

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