As we say goodbye to the outgoing McLaren 650S the much-heralded replacement codenamed the ‘P14’ has finally been unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.
Say a warm welcome to the staggeringly pretty and lunatic fast 720S. This all new car is the first time the Working based company has been tasked with replacing a large selling core model within its model range.
The 720S is something of a milestone for McLaren, this is the first car to feature the new generation of carbon-fibre chassis along with a number of revisions in the power department as well. McLaren has also filled the 720S to the brim with a large amount of new technology.
More on the technology items later, firstly we must cover the business of the numbers. The power output of the 720S is 710bhp and 568lb ft. This gives rise to CO2, rating of 249g/km which is reasonable given the power this car makes (most owners will not care about this of course). From here the numbers get a lot smaller, 0-62mph is achieved in 2.9 seconds. 0-124mph is completed in 7.8 seconds and a very fast 0-186mph (300km/h) is completed in 21.8 seconds, or about as long as it took to read this paragraph.
All of this power and fury will deliver you to a top speed of 212mph which is class matching and let’s be realistic, fast enough for most of us mere mortals. Don’t think for a second either that McLaren has not thought about stopping all of the fury that is contained within the 720S, 62mph-0mph takes a mere 2.8 seconds across a distance of 29.7metres. The faster you drive the 720S the better it gets, reach 124mph and you can bring yourself to a standstill in 4.6seconds in a distance of 117m which is very quick indeed.
McLaren has transformed itself from an F1 team who occasionally gave us staggering road-going cars such as the fabled F1 to the brief courtship with Mercedes resulting in the SLR. In very short period they have covered ground in the supercar world like no other carmaker with an ever expanding model range. The 720S continues this forward thinking trend by possibly being one of the prettiest looking cars the company has ever produced.
The 720S is for all intents and purposes an insane piece of design, if you’re a ten-year-old, it’s the poster car you put on your wall. From every single angle, it looks insane. Don’t be fooled though and think that this design is merely just for the sake of the visuals, every curve, every angle has a function to assist with downforce, cooling and therefore overall speed and handling.
This design generates 50 percent more downforce than the outgoing 650S, this gives the 720S twice the aerodynamic efficiency of its predecessor. At the front the 720S looks insane, from the more deeply angled headlights, it looks as if as though the nose of the car is more pointed in order to cut through the air more efficiently. The headlights themselves are also new, a twin LED setup, you can instantly tell it’s a McLaren but it all looks very new fresh and a bit insane.
At the sides of the car, the curvature of the design looks uninterrupted and flows effortlessly like a one piece design. The doors and rear quarter panels both incorporate airflow channels to aid both cooling and downforce, again it just adds to the design in making the 720S look menacing with intent and speed.
Finally at the back of the back of the back of the 720S where all of the magic literally comes together in a symphony of downforce and technology. The traditional McLaren airbrake can now be deployed to its most effective angle in a mere half a second, the twin tailpipes sit higher in the rear design just like an actual racecar. The LED taillights have also been redesigned and complete the design of the rear so you know it’s a McLaren pulling away from you. This is all finished off with more aero trickery in the form of a deep carbon-fibre rear splitter that assists the massive airflow under the car.
The best part is saved for the last and it is, of course, the all-new 4.0 liter twin-turbo V8 motor that powers this beast of a car. The all-new motor revs to a screaming 8,500-RPM redline, McLaren have confirmed that the motor and accompanying exhaust note have been tuned for audible pleasure only. You know because it’s a supercar and the immense sound is part of what they are all about after all.
The 720S is the first car in McLarens range to utilize the MonoCage II chassis, this is combined with the second generation of McLarens own hydraulic suspension system. Essentially it’s similar to the system found in the outgoing 650S that has been improved with an array of additional sensors which act as accelerometers which keep the car’s electronic systems updated with measures of the pressure in dampers, this allows the car’s systems to adjust the suspension to varying road conditions giving you maximum grip at all times.
There you have it, McLaren has produced an absolute stunner of a car in the 720S. Not only is it one of the most stunningly insane designs ever to roll out of Woking, it also appears to have moved the supercar benchmark up by at least two to three notches at least. Let’s see how the team at Maranello react to this one.
The 720S is available to order now with prices starting at £208,600, what are you waiting for……