MCLAREN has used the Geneva motor show to finally reveal one of its worst-kept
secrets, the 720S high-performance coupe that will lead the introduction of its
second-generation Super Series.
After a protracted hype campaign of teaser images, leaked photos and the 720S
moniker unofficially circulating for weeks, the British sportscar-maker has
finally wheeled out the production model.
Australian McLaren fans will be offered the new model with 720S pricing kicking
off from $489,900 before on-road costs – $25,900 more expensive than the
current 650S that the new Super Series model will replace.
Customers in McLaren’s native UK will start taking delivery of the720S next
month, but Australians are being asked to wait a little longer with the new
McLaren arriving Down Under in the third quarter of this year.
Attendees to the Swiss show have been treated to a first full look at the model’
s new look which introduces radical new styling such a segmented headlights,
high-exit exhausts such as the 675LT and an illuminated engine bay.
Unlike previous McLarens, the 720S has no gaping vents aft of the door to feed
air to the mid-mounted engine and its radiators, instead using a double-skinned
door to channel air backstage.
In addition to the new engine cooling approach, the styling also hides a
significant evolution in aerodynamics and a new larger V8 engine which combine
to allow the new model to achieve some dizzying statistics.
As its name suggests, the new Super Series car has 720 horsepower (530kW) and
770Nm of torque at its disposal courtesy of a 4.0-litre turbocharged V8, which
takes the British brand away from its consistent recipe of 3.8 litres for the
first time since it was introduced in the 2011 12C.
With all-new carbon-fibre Monocage II construction, the 720S manages a dry
weight of just 1283kg (kerb weight is 1419kg), allowing the new engine to blast
the car from zero to 100km/h in 2.9 seconds, while 200km/h comes up in 7.8s.
The McLaren will blast to a top speed of 341km/h.
Braking performance is just as eye-opening, with 200km/h scrubbed to zero in
just 4.6 seconds, and in only 117 metres. Brake rotors are crafted from
light-but-highly heat resistant carbon-ceramic composite and measure 390mm at
the front and 380mm on the rear axle.
A seven-speed SSG dual-clutch transmission sends power to the rear wheels which
measure 19 inches in all corners.
While the 720S offers electrifying performance through the basic principles of
lightweight construction and abundant power, more complex technology adds to
the mix, says McLaren.
The new car introduces the next generation of the company’s Proactive Chassis
Control system that alters suspension and damper rates during enthusiastic
driving to keep all four corners in contact with the road and “an unmatched
breadth of dynamic capabilities”.
On the inside, McLaren keeps ground-breaking features coming with new Folding
Driver Display, which is unique to the automotive world.
For day-to-day driving, the display uses a large digital screen to present
vehicle information such as engine and road speed via orthodox instrumentation,
oil and water temperatures and trip information.
But when the driver needs full concentration on the road, the entire cluster
tilts and slides away into the dashboard revealing a minimalist bar display on
its top edge.
Despite its potent performance, the 720S’s maker says it represents “an
incredible degree of usability” with a number of features that make the new
Super Series car possible to use for the daily commute.
Fine leather upholstery and machined aluminium switch gear enhance the cabin in
addition to the newest version of McLaren’s slick information and entertainment
A front storage compartment can swallow 150 litres of luggage, while the boot
offers another 210 litres of space.