New McLaren 720S: 711bhp, 770Nm and a bold new look

All-new McLaren 720S takes Geneva 2017 by storm; replaces the 650S and will arrive in May from £208,600

McLaren's latest Ferrari and Porsche-baiter, the 720S, is finally here. Out goes the 650S and all of its associated variants and in comes a new supercar that has “the widest breadth of road and track capability of any McLaren so far”, according to Haydn Baker, director of the McLaren Super Series.

At the heart of the new 720S is a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 producing 711bhp and 770Nm of torque. On paper, it outpaces the Ferrari 488 GTB, with a 0-62mph time of 2.9 seconds (0.1 seconds ahead of the Ferrari) and a top speed of 212mph (7mph higher than its rival).

Not that many supercar owners will care, but the 720S also claims up to 24.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 249g/km, too; that means it's more efficient than its arch-rival at Maranello.

The 720S is built around a lightweight carbon fibre Monocage II structure that is now extended into the roof with thin pillars, providing excellent all-round visibility and a wide housing for the dihedral doors. These open wider than before for easier access.

The doors themselves play a big role in the look of the new car, with their double skins channeling air into the radiators for the mid-mounted engine rather than having traditional air intakes. Rob Melville, McLaren’s chief designer, describes this as “functional layering” with the aluminium bodywork “shrinkwrapped” to give the car a taut, purposeful, but still striking look.

These aerodynamic tricks continue at the front, with an ‘eye socket’ light design that allows airflow around the LED lights for more cooling, while at the back, the pop-up air brake produces 30 per cent more downforce than the 650S’s.

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The chassis produces six per cent more mechanical grip through the tyres than in the 650S, with Proactive Chassis Control II providing Comfort, Sport or Track modes, while Variable Drift Control lets drivers manage rear tyre slip via a slider on the infotainment screen.

Inside, the cabin is a blend of luxury and tech, with a showpiece Folding Driver Display that can be used in upright mode with a TFT display screen, or slim mode showing just essential driving info.

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A second, eight-inch screen controls the navigation, climate control and infotainment, which includes a Bowers and Wilkins audio system.

Buyers can choose from standard, Performance and Luxury trims, with prices starting from £208,600, just over five per cent more than the 650S. Deliveries start in May.

What do you think of the new McLaren 720S? Is it on your supercar wish list? Let us know below...

Editor-in-chief

Steve Fowler has been editor-in-chief of Auto Express since 2011 and is responsible for all editorial content across the website and magazine. He has previously edited What Car?, Autocar and What Hi-Fi? and has been writing about cars for the best part of 30 years. 

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