This week at the Geneva International Motor Show, the show of shows in the supercar world, McLaren unveiled its newest Super Series creation, the McLaren 720S. Not only is this the new superstar of supercars, the enthusaim for this new car will go far beyond Geneva.
Update July 2017 – Yes, I’ve now driven it and OMG is is smooth and exciting.
Last month in New York City, as one of the invitation only group of McLaren VIPs, I got to see and sit in this beautiful great white shark. Standing next to the car, I had a impressive conversation with Robert Melville, Chief Designer, McLaren Automotive, also responsible for the interior in my 570S. Now I’m allowed to speak, the 720S is a raw yet refined supercar wrapped in a technologically superior hand-crafted package, every inch is designed with purpose.
Engine: As you may have guessed 720, stands for 720 metric horsepower, 710 to us in the USA. McLaren created a new 4.0 lire V8 twin turbo engine which McLaren reports the car will be able to hit 124 mph in 7.8 seconds and has a whopping top speed of 212 mph. In our more common lingo, 0-62 mph in the McLaren 720S takes just 2.8 seconds. The above photo showing the new rear glass with fiery red glow, is not the heat of the engine, this is lighting, purely for owner and viewer delight.
Interior: As I let the interior comfort drivers have come to expect from McLaren envelope my senses, I felt at home, wrapped in comfort and ease. Driver ergonomics are never sacrificed at McLaren. Every button, dial, touchscreen and stalk handle are accessible almost without thought. Go sit in one, a McLaren has a fantastically comfortable seat. There is a reason owners say they can drive for hours in their McLaren.
Instruments: McLaren has revolutionized visual driver clutter beyond space age fodder. The folding driver display is, for track enthusiasts (maybe a few others), the OMG moment they’ve waited for. By folding away the larger instrument display, you only see what you need, the road and a sleek linear strip shows the gear, tachometer, and revs.
Doors: The new configuration of the door, cutting into and out of the roof, allows for simpler access and egress of the second generation of the Super Series, a response to customer feedback.
Exterior: There has been much banter about the headlights, a new design but sill a nod to the distinctive McLaren speedmark. The LEDs are visually accented by what are really massive air intakes which channel air through the doors toward the engine.
From the rear, the signature McLaren silhouette is alive. Those hips, those curves, a stealthy wing and massive diffuser say “eat my dust” with a refined British accent.
Enjoy the above video where Robert Melville takes you through the design of the car.
While I couldn’t record, take any notes of my conversations or snap photos, there was a relevant takeaway, every inch of a McLaren is designed with a purpose. There is not an ounce of indulgent “because that’s how we wanted it” design involved. One walks away with an overwhelming feeling of comfort knowing these are hands you are putting your life into, should you choose to drive a McLaren.
McLaren’s tagline is Raise Your Limits, clearly this is an open invitation to other car companies, to raise theirs. For more on the new second generation of the McLaren Super Series 720S check out the website and play around with the configurator.