Voted as the best supercar at the Geneva Motor Show 2017, the McLaren 720S Super Series is the 2nd generation of McLarens core offering; the predecessor was the 650S and this latest generation is just … more of everything – faster, lighter, better handling, more aerodynamic, more comfortable… reading the list of improvements, you’d think that the 650S was some badly designed, nailed together in a backyard affair, but it wasn’t.
2017 McLaren 720S Numbers Game
|Contents||Before going too much further, it’s worth pointing out that the McLaren 720S Super Series isn’t what you’d call cheap – $285,000 for the base model, and that McLaren Special Operations (MSO) also offer a more bespoke option – they had one at the show just to let people know what they can offer; called the 720S Velocity, it featured new paint schemes, lightweight alloy wheels finished in Bronze, exterior carbon fiber parts and a Carbon Black Alcantara trim – all for a measly extra $100,000.|
The V8 Push
McLaren have updated and upgraded the M480T engine significantly for the 2017 McLaren 720S Super Series; lighter pistons and con-rods, lighter (and yet still stiffer) crank, an increase to 4.0 liter capacity and faster spooling turbos – they say that 41% of the engine components are all new in fact.
The result is that the twin turbo V8 now makes 710 BHP and 568 lb/ft of torque – more than enough to find trouble when you want to, especially in something that has a dry weight of 2,828 lbs. The motor is coupled to a 7-speed dual clutch auto transmission.
It’ll do 0 – 60 in 2.9 seconds (quick, but not world beating), reach a top speed of 212 MPH but where the 720S really stands out is in the mid-range – 0 – 124 MPH is a class leading 7.8 seconds, a figure perhaps only matched by going the other way … 124 – 0 takes just 4.6 seconds – and just over 380 feet.
McLaren haven’t just beefed up the engine either; they’ve spent a lot of time modelling the 720S for aero improvements.
Aero efficiency (the ratio of downforce to drag) has been doubled, and the redesigned rear wing has a further 30% downforce over the 650S. The body panels are all either carbon fiber or superformed aluminum, and the redesign means a 15% improvement on cooling airflow, thanks to neat tricks like the double skinned dihedral doors – the double skin means there is no need for massive side air scoops. Couple that with a 6% increase in mechanical grip, and you just know that the McLaren 720S could stick to the moon when ‘making progress’.
2017 McLaren 720S Driving Modes
The McLaren 720S Super Series has a whole load of other tricks up its sleeve – how about the digital instrument cluster that hides back in the dash when in full-on Track mode so as not to interfere? Or the beautiful glass roof that spans the car? Or even just the super lightweight ‘Monocage II’ carbon tub that everything else hangs on?
Along with the aforementioned, we also have our different driving modes – Comfort, Sport, Track and even Drift for when you really want to showboat.
As you’d expect, the 720S also has a flat underfloor for aero efficiency, which then channels back to a large rear diffuser, giving that extra bit of aerodynamic aid when you’re really pushing on. For most of us, you’re not going to notice the flat floor and rear diffuser working on a normal road, it will only really come into play when on a track, the same could be said for the re-engineered suspension & geometry and the updated Proactive Chassis Control electronics that have been fitted, but it’s certainly nice to know they are there.
New World Order
This model is the first of 15 new generation of McLarens, which should arrive by 2022 at the latest, at least half of which will be powered with hybrid technology.
McLarens aims are to “redefine supercar expectations” with the 720S, and they are working hard at it. They have stated that they want to sell 1,200 models (across the board) this year and raise that to 1,500 next year as they bid to compete with Ferrari for the King of the road car trophy.
We are expecting the McLaren 720S Super Series to arrive on these shores in about May this year, although it may just get delayed a little, or perhaps to say that it should be publicly available at least. In the meantime, the McLaren ‘Digital Configurator’ is up and running online, and you can head over there now to spec your new 720S.
2017 McLaren 720S Release date: May 2017
Just as a final thing… McLaren are doing a very limited run of a ‘Launch Edition’ just 400 cars, but don’t expect to get your hands on one of them – they sold them when the car was first shown in Geneva!