Hubert Burda Media

McLaren 720S: Gunning for Greatness

McLaren may be getting spanked on the racetrack, but the company’s new road car is in a class of its own.

Less than four months after its debut at this year’s Geneva motor show, the McLaren 720S supercar has arrived in the British motor manufacturer’s Asian showrooms. And unlike its predecessor, the 650S, which was a development of the 12C, the mid-engine 720 is startlingly radical in conception, rather than evolutionary.

All new from the wheels up, it features aerodynamics hitherto unheard of on road cars, an advanced monocage carbon-fibre chassis of exceptional strength and lightness, a 4-litre, twin turbo V8 engine and the latest generation active-chassis system, Proactive Chassis Control II. Each dihedral door, a McLaren trademark, features a second skin that channels air to the engine and eliminates the need for side radiators, while the cabin is essentially a glasshouse that offers virtually 360-degree visibility.

Weighing less than 1.3 tonnes and with 710bhp and 770Nm available at the right foot, the 720S offers the most extreme performance in its class, reaching 200km/h from a standstill in just 7.8 seconds, and with a maximum speed of 341. Equally astounding is the combination of track-car handling and steering, and luxury-limousine ride comfort, though that’s something we’ve fast come to expect from a company that’s been around for just six short years but can already claim to be among the greats.

And this stunning tour de force is shaping up to be its best effort yet.