A livable daily driving experience in a high performance super-car is just about every enthusiasts dream. With the 2018 720S, McLaren is taking steps in the right direction to make that dream a reality, but have they veered too much in the wrong direction? No, we don’t think so at all!
For those of you who are not into the whole reading thing, here are my highlights:
-The car is adequately violent to drive, but still competent on rough roads.
-New headlight “holes” & other ventilation give a 15% increase in cooling over the 650S.
-It has a variable drift control. You tell the car how much you’d like to oversteer.
-The dash folds down to reveal a minimalistic speedometer & rev meter.
-It has great cockpit visibility for a supercar.
The 650S set a pretty high standard for a super-car. It goes to reason that its successor, the 720S, has really big shoes to fill, & fill them it has. The 4.0L Twin Turbo, V8 engine cranks out 710 hp and 568 ft-lbs of torque. All that, plus the help of Launch Control, will rocket the car from 0-60 in just 2.8 seconds & let you clear the 1/4 mile in just 10.3 seconds. Attached to the engine is a 7 speed, duel clutch, automatic transmission with the option to use manual mode via paddle shifters. Those numbers look great on paper, but does the car feel fast? People who have driven it indicate there is minimal turbo lag, & also boost across a wide rpm range thanks to the twin scroll style turbos. One reviewer even indicated that the car does not feel turbocharged. McLaren says the car can get up to a very respectable 212 Mph.
Great, now we know the car is quick in a straight line, but the grip and handling is fantastic also. That’s because the car is not only made well, it is smart too. The 2018 McLaren 720S uses an all carbon fiber cell which they are calling Monocage II, so the car is extremely rigid, yet lightweight. Dry weight is only 2829 lbs. Keeping with the old formula, the 720S is mid engine, rear wheel drive. It has double wishbone suspension all around, hydraulically linked dampers & active aerodynamics in the form of a large wing on the back. The wing provides up to 30% more down-force from the 650S . Also, it will stand all the way up to act as an air brake when slowing down. All that with large carbon ceramic brakes is enough to get you from 62 mph to 0 in only 97 feet.
Yes, the new 720S is still a sports car, but it can play nice on roads, even bumpy roads. Part of the reason is because of its active dampers & multiple driving modes. You’ve got Auto, Comfort, Sport & Track to pick from. The system driving the damper control is called Chassis Control II, &is making it’s debut in the 720S. The whole system uses a number of algorithms to determine the optimal firmness of the suspension. It’s so efficient the car does not even need anti roll bars. One of my favorite things about the car is that, with the right adjustments, the car can still be properly scary to drive. An interesting feature is the variable drift control setting, you tell the car how much you are willing to oversteer & you see a visual representation on the screen. Your selection will tell the 720S how much or how little you want the stability control to intervene.
The car looks like an angry shark, it’s not a bad design especially considering more of the cues have a performance centered purpose. It has dihedral doors which look awesome, but also make it easy to get in and out of. There are holes in the headlights to channel air. Also, the 720S dropped the side door scoops in favor for vents that channel air to radiators near the rear windows. All in all there is a 15% increase in cooling ability compared to the 650S. There are even static adaptive headlights which can shine brighter, and more focused the faster you drive among other things.
Other important notes:
– The price will start at around $280k
-Will include several options of Pirelli Tires
-You can record and review lap times, g-force and other data for when you are at the track.
-Carfection indicates the brakes are extremely responsive. Also, that the bucket seats are not comfortable on longer drives.
-The engine, code name M840T, has changed, but less than the rest of the car.