It’s been a long time coming but it’s finally here. This is the stunning new McLaren 720S unveiled in full at the Geneva Motor Show!
It replaces the 650S and is the first of 15 new-generation McLarens, of which half will be hybrids, promised by 2022 as part of CEO Mike Flewitt’s Track 22 development plan. First of all, it looks sublime. You come to expect that from the Woking-based firm but they really have outdone themselves here.
At its core, the 720S obeys all of McLaren’s design rules – a two seat supercar based on a carbon fibre tub powered by a twin-turbocharged V8 with aluminium space frames carrying the front and rear suspension. Everything else has been completely re-designed, though – everything.
Built around a new Monocage II carbon fibre tub, the McLaren 720S as a dry-weight of 1283kg which undercuts all competitors and beats its predecessor by 18kg. The shell has been developed with the know-how gathered from building the P! and, for the first time, incorporates the entire passenger cell including the upper structure and the glass roof. The door sills have been lowered to allow for easier access and the thickness of the pillars has been reduced to increase visibility (the C-Pillars are made of glass). The windscreen is broader and deeper and it uses dihedral doors that incorporate a section of roof when they open.
Power comes from a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 taken from the 650S. However, McLaren has replaced 41 per cent of the motor’s internal components and those that have been carried over have been refined, lightened and, ultimately, improved. The turbochargers are completely new, the number of injectors has been increased to 16 and it uses lighter pistons, con-rods and crankshaft. This has put the power of the 720S up to 710bhp from 641bhp and torque has increased from 500lb ft to 568lb ft.
The power is put down through a seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox which has been improved with the speeds of up and downshifts increased. This allows the sharpest shifts during high speed driving without compromising refinement when using the gearbox’s auto mode.
As I mentioned before, weight is down by 18kg compared to the 650S and with the extra power, it is a considerable amount faster, too. The is 720S is capable of reaching 60mph in a claimed 2.8-seconds and 124mph in 7.8-seconds. It’ll cover a quarter of a mile in 10.3 seconds and carry on to a top speed of 212mph. To accompany the performance, the 720S has a carefully engineered engine note which can be further enhanced with an optional, louder, sports exhaust system.
A lot of work has gone into handling all of that speed and power in the corners. McLaren’s Proactive Chassis Control II (PCCII) software debuts on the 720S. All of the aluminium components in the uprights and double wishbones have been reengineered and lightened, saving 16kg of unsprung mass. The front suspension’s geometry has been revised to improve the feel of the electro-hydraulic steering system while the rear setup improves braking stability. The widths of the Pirelli P Zero tyres used on the McLaren 720S have increased from 235 to 245 on the 19-inch wheels at the front. Width is also up to 305 on the 20-inch rear wheels. Stopping power comes from carbon-ceramic brakes with 390mm front, 380mm rear discs and six-piston calipers.
The interior has been reworked with a new electronic driver interface which gives the driver the option of either a full display or a slimline option that shows only crucial information required on the move. The 8-inch centrally positioned touchscreen controlling audio, media, navigation and climate controls carries over from the 650S. There are three trim levels – Standard, Luxury and Performance. Options include leather from Bridge of Weir or Alcantara for trim coverings and carbon fibre or aluminium controls for the switches. If you really want go all out, you can have McLaren’s MSO department finish the car for you.
McLaren has already begun taking orders, with the first cars due to be delivered in May. The entry price in the UK will be £207,900. All 400 units of the Launch Edition version have already been sold. McLaren expects to sell 1200 720S models this year including the 400 Launch Edition version and 1500 units from next year.
What do you think of the McLaren 720S? Is it as good as you expected? Let us know in the comments section below or via our Facebook and Twitter pages.