The 720S represents more than just a new model for McLaren; it heralds a new generation of Super Series cars and marks the first of 15 new models to come from the Surrey-based brand between now and 2022.
McLaren themselves say that the 720S is “lighter, stronger [and] faster” than the 650S it replaces and the car embodies the brand’s “relentless quest to push the limits of possibility”.
You’ll find even more hokey sentiment on McLaren’s official website, but going up against the Ferrari 488 GTB and Lamborghini Huracan, the 720S really has surpassed the hype.
The 720S uses a 3994cc, twin-turbo V8 petrol engine, producing up to 710bhp at 7,500rpm and 568lb ft at 5,500rpm (770Nm) of torque.
Linked to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, it can blast off to 60mph from a standstill in 2.8 seconds and won’t stop picking up speed until it hits 212mph.
Sounds great, yes? Well, it probably costs more than your house, with the asking price starting at £208,600.
After first drives took place recently, reviews have started appearing online, so it’s time to find out what the no-nonsense motoring press think of the latest supercar on the block.
Autocar had little reservation dishing out top marks, with their five-star review hailing it as ‘a world class supercar, no question’.
They remarked that it is “so fast, so usable and so controllable that it might be the best supercar on the planet”, adding that McLaren has come a long way in just seven years of existence, delivering “a new generation model that answers nearly every criticism thrown at the car it succeeds”.
So in other words, everything wrong with the 650S has been fixed by the 720S.
GQ isn’t a name we usually turn to for motoring opinion, but the men’s magazine sent along YouTuber Mr JWW to test the 720S, who was so impressed that he actually bought one.
As you’d expect, Mr JWW, who also owns an R8, F12 and 458 Speciale, had almost nothing but nice things to say about the 720S, praising it as “a near-impossible balance of ludicrous performance and comfort” that lets you “do your week’s shopping and spank a Veyron on the way home”.
He added that as an everyday supercar, “it may just be the Holy Grail”.
Evo managed to find fault though, albeit with nothing too major. They gave the thumbs-up to the 720S’ superb ride and chassis control, but felt underwhelmed by the uninspiring engine note.
They were disappointed to encounter “just a lot of hissing and wooshing as large amounts of air gets ingested, compressed and turned into power, rather than what a supercar should have, namely a thrilling, engaging engine note”.
One of the key changes they did like though was to the suspension, with a new control system that knows more accurately what the car is doing, what road inputs there are and how the car should respond.
More five-star reviews
Visually, the 720S is “a difficult shape to categorise”, according to the Telegraph, with “a lot going on” due to all the “cuts, slices curves, vents, spoilers, wings and aerodynamic-enhancing barge boards along the side”.
But what’s it like to drive? Easy, really easy, so says Top Gear, which likened the car’s movements to that of “a big Lotus Elise”.
Auto Express, which joined Autocar in dishing out five stars, reckoned that 0-100mph was possible in little more than five seconds and the car feels even quicker than the numbers on the spec sheet suggest.
So there you have it – the 720S is a mid-range supercar with next to no negatives. The biggest of those negatives though is the fact few of us will be able to rustle together the £208k necessary to buy one *sad face*.