McLaren 720S Review – Video
McLaren’s know-how with lightweight, aerodynamic, ferocious supercars is undeniable, and the 720S is proof. A 710-hp twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 drives the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic. A Drift mode is offered in addition to Comfort, Sport, and Track settings to allow for some drama. A touchscreen infotainment system is standard, as is a digital gauge cluster that hides away in the dashboard when in Track mode. The coupe goes on sale in 2017, with an open-top model coming in 2018.
This is the first car to use McLaren’s new Monocage II carbon-fiber tub, which brings several significant developments. Whereas the 650S used a metal windshield surround bonded to the front of the carbon-fiber structure, the 720S has integral carbon A-pillars and a carbon windshield header. The new tub also includes a central roof spar that has mounting points for the new, wider-opening doors (the 650S featured pillar hinges), a B-pillar hoop, and buttresses. McLaren claims that the full structure weighs 39 pounds less than the original MonoCell and its related metal parts, with the 720S’s overall weight falling to a claimed 2829 pounds in the car’s lightest configuration.
The other side of the power-to-weight ratio is equally compelling. While the headline horsepower figure isn’t quite as impressive as the 720S’s name suggests (referring to the fractionally weedier metric Pferdestärke measurement), that 720-ps total still translates to an entirely respectable 710 horsepower, accompanied by a peak 568 lb-ft of torque. A revamped version of the twin-turbocharged V-8 that has sat at the heart of every modern McLaren sees its displacement increased from 3.8 to 4.0 liters, and it boasts new turbos, cylinder heads, and pistons, plus a new crankshaft. The company claims, with very McLaren-like exactitude, that the M840T engine is 41 percent new. Transmission duties continue to be handled by a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with all torque directed to the rear wheels.