As far as supercar manufacturers go, English brand McLaren is relatively new to the industry, having released the 12C in 2011 as their first fully built car. Despite its fledgling life as a supercar company, McLaren has become a worthy option, even when compared to Ferrari and Lamborghini, with an enticing lineup of high-performance vehicles with immensely beautiful styling.
In 2017, McLaren unveiled and began production of the 720S, a $300,000 thoroughbred supercar with extreme speed and premium driving dynamics. At the time, it was pretty much the fastest supercar in its price range, and that alone made the 720S an instant success as the brand’s popularity skyrocketed. Now, five years after its original release, the model has remained virtually unchanged, but it is still considered one of the best vehicles in its class, even after the release of several competitors by other brands.
Numbers aside, each supercar is different from the others, especially if they come from different manufacturers. You won’t find a Ferrari that drives like a Lambo, or a Lambo that drives like a Porsche. The same applies to McLaren and their 720s; it boasts an entirely unique, agile and firm ride, even at high speeds in tight corners, thanks to advanced mechanical technology developed by McLaren’s in-house engineers. These are our favorite features of the 720S
The chassis and suspension of the McLaren 720S: mechanical wizardry
As is the norm on most McLarens, the 720S has a monocoque chassis based on a carbon fiber fairing that is extremely light, the ‘MonoCage II’, and it is an upgraded version of the ‘MonoCage I’ found in the McLaren P1 hypercar† The exact chassis is mated to the Senna, Speedtail and Elva models, which should be enough to show how good it is. Furthermore, the advanced chassis is on McLaren’s Proactive Chassis Control II Active Suspension† This highly advanced suspension features top accelerometers and bottom pressure sensors, which work together to provide real-time feedback to the 720S ECU for the most appropriate suspension settings.
All of this makes for some of the best chassis tuning in the industry, and it’s arguably the most enticing aspect of McLaren in overall driveability terms. The 720S is built to work seamlessly, even at high speeds, and that’s exactly what it does.
Mid-engine Madness: We love the engine and exhaust sound of the McLaren 720S
Directly behind the 720S’s two-seat cab is a 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 capable of 710 horsepower and 568 Nm of torque, mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. In ideal conditions, it can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.6 seconds before reaching 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 212 km/h.
Not only is the V8 of the 720S extremely powerful, but it also has a hugely satisfying sound that is music to any car enthusiast. With a dual exhaust system mounted above the rear fender, its divine tune can easily reach the driver as if he were sitting next to it, especially in the convertible version of the 720S.
The McLaren 720S is beautiful
Not only do McLarens stand out for their unparalleled driving dynamics, they also have an ultra-aggressive exterior design that is unique to the brand and extremely desirable. The smooth front of the 720S has a sleek bumper design with no grille or noticeable intake; However, if you look closely, you will find air intakes in the blacked-out headlight arrangement and another set directly above the vehicle’s carbon fiber splitter. Along the flank, the 720S has a huge air outlet behind the front wheel arch, as well as several tasteful body lines and yet another inlet that flows to the rear. Finally, there is the most complex and aggressive angle of the entire vehicle, the rear. The curved fenders are bound together by a motorized wing that sits above a pair of thin, angled taillights, and both exhaust tips flare out comfortably between them.
Inside, the McLaren 720S opts for a minimalist design and executes it quite effectively. There is a vertically mounted infotainment screen above a slim center console with the gear selector and a few other buttons. The most unique aspect of the interior of the 720S is the driver display, which takes the form of a large configurable screen displaying real-time driving information and statistics. In addition, when you turn off the 720S, the huge screen folds down and into the dashboard itself, then unfolds again when it’s turned on. However, when you put the car in track mode, the digital gauge cluster also flips down to reveal a smaller screen that only shows important track information, such as the gear you’re in, rpm and speed.
The 720S was a reference vehicle when it was introduced and set a supercar standard that was unattainable for many manufacturers at the time. Even today, having remained virtually unchanged, it remains one of the most engaging and high-performing track cars at $300,000 and is definitely a worthy purchase for thrill-seeking drivers.