It delivers a power-to-weight ratio of more than 500 horsepower per ton.

Say hello to the 720S, McLaren’s all-new biturbo V8 supercar packing 710 horsepower in an aluminum/carbon fibre package that weighs just over 2,800 pounds (1,270 kilograms). If that sounds exciting, you should know it’s also an aerodynamic dynamo, and yes, it has cool dihedral doors.

McLaren says the new 720S is lighter and faster than the outgoing 650S, while also being aerodynamically superior. The lack of massive side intake scoops for engine cooling is the obvious difference, but there’s more going on behind the scenes. Air is managed around the A-pillars and channeled into the door ducts, where it flows into gills on each side of the engine. The clever design improves engine cooling by 15 percent while also providing extra downforce.

The 720S is further aided by an active rear wing that spans the full width of the car and activates automatically as needed. Its three-position operation includes optimum settings for handling, straight-line speed, and it flips up to become a gigantic air brake that aids in stability as well as stopping distance.

This all pairs with the company’s Monocage II carbon fibre tub that promises light weight with exceptional rigidity. The new design incorporates the roof – something the first-generation Super Series didn’t do. Inside, the 720S has an almost minimalist feel with most interaction taking place on an eight-inch touch display. A new Folding Driver Display is decidedly trick, however, expanding up to provide a traditional look then slimming down to display just basic info while providing better forward visibility.

McLaren 720S: Geneva 2017
McLaren 720S: Geneva 2017
McLaren 720S: Geneva 2017
McLaren 720S: Geneva 2017

Underneath the 720S is McLaren’s new Proactive Chassis Control II which, among other things, uses hydraulically interlinked dampers at each wheel to completely ditch anti-roll bars. Engineers took a pass through the mechanical bits to free up 35 pounds (16 kg) of unsprung weight, while also revising suspension geometry for better grip and driver feedback.

A bevy of sensors send data to a new control system developed at the University of Cambridge, which uses “advanced algorithms” to make the car dance or leisurely cruise at the request of the driver. Three suspension modes are available: Comfort, Sport, and Track, and because drifting is all the rage these days, McLaren offers a new Variable Drift Control system. Once engaged, drivers can choose the level of traction assist and desired drift angle. Presumably, the 720S takes it from there.

Also new is the 4.0-litre biturbo V8, delivering all of its 710 horses to the rear wheels via seven-speed paddle-shift gearbox. Based on McLaren’s 3.8-litre engine, the new mill gets lighter pistons and connecting rods, a lighter crankshaft with a longer stroke, new turbos, and a host of other upgrades. Peak power hits at 7,500 revs en route to an 8,200 rpm redline, with 537 pound-feet of torque peaking at a more modest 5,500 revs. In addition to the gigantic wing/air brake, carbon ceramic disc brakes pull the 720S from 125 miles per hour (201 km/h) to a stop in 4.6 seconds.

Also check out:

As you might expect, this all translates to a terrifically quick machine. McLaren says the 720S will hit 60 miles per hour (96 kilometres per hour) from a standstill in 2.8 seconds, turn a quarter-mile in 10.3 seconds, and top out at 212 mph (341 km/h). U.S. and Canadian figures for fuel economy haven’t been released, but based on European stats the 720S should see combined ratings north of 20 miles per gallon (11.8 litres per 100 kilometres).

Pricing hasn’t been announced, but the manufacturer says it should be roughly five percent more on average than the 650S. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in May.


Source: McLaren
Live photos: Richard Aucock /



Be part of something big