McLaren 720S: The New Super Series

McLaren automotive segments their customer cars into three distinct rankings: the Sports Series, Super Series, and Ultimate Series. The MP4-12C kick started the super series range back at the start of the decade, which has since been extended to the 650S, 675LT, and all their respective variants. Now, however, is the start of the second generation of super series. This is no facelift. It’s a completely new car. After months of speculation, spy shots, and rumors, the car has finally been revealed to the public. This is the McLaren 720S.

Powered by a new 4-liter, twin-turbocharged V8, the 720S is capable of a massive 710 horsepower and 568 lb ft of torque. This power roars through the rear wheels via McLaren’s own 7-speed, dual clutch transmission. 0-60 is taken care of in 2.9 seconds as it soars towards its 212 mph top speed. The car is lighter than the 650S it replaces as well, giving it an extra sense of agility off the line. In simple terms, this car is fast. Very fast.

With the more recent entries in McLaren’s sports series lineup straying away from the familiar design language, it’s no surprise that the 720S followed suit. It still looks undoubtedly like a McLaren, yet it differentiates itself enough from the rest of their offerings. The car features a sleek, aerodynamic design with the intent to bend the air around it in incomprehensible ways. The front end features a rounded nose with large, carbon-trimmed headlight openings. A completely new front splitter works with the vents in the hood and ahead of the front wheels to aid cooling and stability. The car’s side profile is much smoother than any McLaren before it, and completely eschews the use of a side intake. The doors feature channeling similar to the P1 that guide air towards the rear. Once the air reaches the rear, it will either be sucked into one of the 720S’ intakes or guided under its active rear wing. This changes its angle to aid downforce and sits above a set of exhaust pipes reminiscent of the 675LT. New, simple tail lights and a full carbon diffuser complete the package. While it’s certainly an interesting looking car, I can’t say that I like it quite yet. The rear view is nice, and the LT did grow on me a lot over time, so maybe there’s a chance I’ll like it. But for now, there’s just something off about the front end that I can’t quite agree with.

The 720S features a plethora of other new features as well. It utilizes a brand new carbon fiber tub that was reportedly developed from the P1’s. Reworked suspension and roll bars allow for surprising comfort or ferocious handling at the flick of a switch. The car has also received a completely revised interior which features a new dashboard and center console among other things.

This car, while the styling may be controversial, is undoubtedly a great addition to the McLaren lineup. It’s incredibly fast, aerodynamic, and looks to be more capable than its predecessors in pretty much every aspect. Expect to see many of these, and eventually roadsters, special editions, etc. on the roads for years to come. For the latest on this year’s biggest Geneva Motor Show reveals, make sure to stay tuned to Oh So Lofty.