In renewing its 650s, McLaren has everything. Weight down, power on the rise, aerodynamic innovative, the new 2018 McLaren 720S still pushes the boundaries of physics and offers its share of sensations. This supercar on circuit and road test.
2018 McLaren 720S Overviews
Historically, McLaren has shown us the technical quality of its models. Thus, the 1993 F1 – first road model of the brand – the 540C ‘entry-level’, we have also tried, performance is always at the rendezvous. The new 2018 McLaren 720S, unveiled at the show of Geneva 2017, is now the most successful model and the most powerful of the range, it promises!
Woking firm engineers gave themselves the means to replace the 650S: 91% of new parts and not less than four years of development. Altogether, this small manufacturer invests 25 to 30% of its turnover in research and development, a higher proportion than that of a general Builder who devotes about 5%.
The numbers impress, 720 HP and 770 Nm of torque, the weight of 1 419 kg (with all fluids). The 0 to 100 km/h is shot in 2.9 s, the 0 to 200 km/h in 7.8 seconds, and 0 to 300 mph in 21.4 seconds. To calm the ardor of the Cavalry, McLaren pulled out the heavy artillery in carbon-ceramic. The car is able to stop for 300 km/h in 6.9 seconds.
To achieve this level of performance, the 2018 McLaren 720S appeals to a 4.0 V8 Biturbo. Compared to the 3.8, 41% of the components are new: pistons, connecting rods and lighter crankshaft, turbochargers equipped with quick turbines (145 000 rpm) to improve the response to the accelerator, electronic discharge valves.
At the same time, the manufacturer did hunting to the pounds. Compared to the 650s, the braking system is lighter than 2 kg, the air boxes of 1.5 kg, 16 kg suspensions, rims (optionally) 12.5 kg… The structure still appeals to the carbon fiber.
It’s the transmission that has changed little since the box to double clutch and 7 reports only receive a new management software for speed.
Of course, all this has a price: €249 275. This base rate is added two finishes, Performance, and Luxury at the price of €261 135, which are characterized by external elements (intake air) and specific Interior.
2018 McLaren 720S Reviews
Our test begins from a course on the peripheral belt of Rome. Unstable weather and plugs put in perspective the docility of the beast. In automatic mode, the transmission is smooth, favors low revs (6th 50 km/h!), the engine stops to fire red with Stop & Start function and the suspension, while firm, is not brittle. Driving is almost like that of a Renault Clio.
When traffic becomes (finally) fluid, the comparison stops there. The V8, so docile in the city, is actually a true engine…! Despite the presence of turbos, it presents no inertia or response time, the thrust is impressive. Compared to an Audi R8 V10 more or a Porsche 911 Turbo S (of respectively 610 and 580 HP), additional horses and limited weight to make a real difference.
The Rather linear operation, this V8 pushes to no end, finally, up to 8 200 RPM! The times are mind-blowing, overtake several cars away on national is only a formality. Even at 200 mph, it offers a still very frank thrust. In the flow of traffic, the cars seem to be arrested. We did not audit (341 km/h) top speed, but we believe McLaren on Word.
Despite this riot of power, mechanics is easily dosed. In addition, the fine-tuning of the driving AIDS provides corrections well targeted, without being brutal or frustrating. A sweetness that is not conducive to lower the pace as depreciation is quality. It absorbs uneven perfectly and allows the car to be always stable.
However, this engine has a default size: its sound is any. Exhaust Sport (option €6 040) does not allow it to resonate more as a V8, but the noise is more cavernous and turbos are more discreet.
As it is impossible to operate such a car on the open road, McLaren had a good idea to make us try his 2018 McLaren 720S on a circuit. The Vallelunga track, 4.1 km is the ideal playing field, despite a few drops of rain which moisten the track.
It allows highlighting the quality of electrohydraulic management that ensures great precision, doubled by a nosewheel to the impressive grip. Must be very “generous” to put the car understeer.
Out of corners, we could fear that the 770 Nm of engine torque undermine the rear axle. It is nothing of the kind. Stability is flawless despite the absence of four-wheel drive. As for the gearbox with double clutch, she responds with a snap of the finger, a treat.
If the brakes in carbon/ceramic (390 mm at the front) and 380 mm to the rear of diameter are not very pleasant on the road because of the lack of bite, they are extremely effective on track.
They are very tough, and more helped by the rear spoiler that acts like a brake. The limit is set at the level of the tires, but McLaren offers free the Pirelli PZero Corsa more designed for use on the circuit.
While being very effective, the 720S is easy. Quality running gear and depreciation ensure a perfect communication on the level of grip. The different driving modes (comfort, Sport, and Track) play on the response of the gearbox or the firmness of the suspensions, but the Variable Drift Control function is innovative. Via the touch screen, it is possible to vary the level of oversteer. The driving AIDS then manage the drift angle wanted.
This McLaren is even able to type a time to play the “bad kids”.
2018 McLaren 720S Interior
First good surprise by opening the Elytron who died largely on the Pavilion door, settle on board does not require not the provisions of a contortionist. However, the car being low (1.19 m), we go down too easily that one goes up in an SUV.
The second surprise is the sporting atmosphere prevailing in the cockpit. The design of the dashboard is less homogeneous than that of an Audi R8 or a Lamborghini Huracán, but the atmosphere is unique and details – such as aerators – are particularly cared. Obviously, one can quibble about the quality of the finish with a few imperfect adjustments, but this car is entirely dedicated to the performance and this feels!
The detail that kills: the screen on the dashboard that folds down to show only the most important information as the tachometer, gear, and speed. He gets in that position when the ‘Track’ mode is switched on. However, it is possible to choose his position via a dedicated command. In normal mode, this TFT screen displays various information such as navigation, the music played. It resembles a computer way i-Cockpit Peugeot or virtual cockpit of Audi.
Thanks to the structure of carbon fiber, McLaren managed to achieve a very bright Interior. A non-existent quality in the world of supercars. Thus, the vision forward is good thanks to a windshield that goes down very low and the TFT screen that can fall back. Amounts A are thin and you clearly see what surrounds us. Maneuvers are much easier and more enjoyable life on board.
Storage areas are not very numerous, but one 210 liter space located behind the headrests in the rear window can be very useful during a decorated weekend for a trip on the circuit, for example… It complements advantageously the trunk of 150 liters at the front.
Finally, the equipment is complete with the zone air conditioning, navigation, USB… However, go dig into the list of options to take advantage of the parking aid.
True to form, McLaren, book us a high-tech car, the efficiency, and outstanding performance. It can even closer hypercars such as the Porsche 918 Spyder and the Ferrari LaFerrari without resort to a hybrid system.
His philosophy its performance and its price are closer to those of a Ferrari 488 GTB (turbo V8 with 670 HP, €219 607) but this brand has a history and an aura that McLaren did not.
On the side of Lamborghini, the Aventador S and its 740 HP are better but the price is not comparable: €337 000. His little sister the Huracán performance, less powerful with ‘only’ 640 HP, is closer since it should be marketed around €200,000. It has an advantage that the 2018 McLaren 720S does not: a furious air V10 Engine in his inimitable.
A block which she shares with another competitor: the Audi R8 V10 more. Less powerful, 610 ch, it is also cheaper (€ 202 100) and more comfortable on road. But it would be impossible to keep the pace of the McLaren on the circuit.
The McLaren 720 S is a real success. With the breathtaking performance, she is able to drive very fast track and road while being considerate, a real tour de force. The management offers a “reading” of the road to an incredible loyalty and the brakes seem indestructible. Finally, without being as comfortable as an Audi R8, take the road on board is far from being a calvary, suspensions are sufficiently considerate and brightness, Nice. It lacks an element to be the perfect sports: an engine provided with a sound worthy of the name.
- Steering, brakes, chassis
- Astounding performance
- Ease of handling
- Motor noise
- Compulsory Sport exhaust
- Lack of maintenance of the seats on circuit
2018 McLaren 720S Specs
- Engine: gas, 8 cylinders Biturbo
- Displacement (cm3): 3 994
- Power (HP at RPM): 720-7 500
- Torque (Nm at RPM): 770-5 500
- Transmission: rear wheel
- Gearbox: robotic dual clutch
- Weight (kg): 1 283 / 1 419 (with fluid)
- 0 to 100 km/h (s): 2.9
- 0 to 200 km/h (s): 7.8
- 0 to 300 km/h (s): 21.4
- Maximum speed (mph): 341
GAS MILEAGE* / CO2
- City (l/100 km): 15.8
- Road (l/100 km): 7.9
- Joint (l/100 km): 10.7
- CO2 emissions (g/km): 249
- Bonus-malus (€): 10 000