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The McLaren that everyone wants
The McLaren that everyone wants
The McLaren that everyone wants
The McLaren that everyone wants
The McLaren that everyone wants
The McLaren that everyone wants
The McLaren that everyone wants
The McLaren that everyone wants
The McLaren that everyone wants

The McLaren that everyone wants

Maxine Ashford, 2017-12-28

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IF you should by chance have a couple of hundred thousand stashed away under the mattress then McLaren may have the perfect solution on how to spend it wisely.

For the McLaren 720S is a supercar that delivers ridiculously fast sprint times and boasts a top speed that would only be achievable on a disused runway or an unrestricted section of the German autobahn.

But, rather surprisingly, it's actually comfortable to drive on the UK's network of pothole-ridden roads too.

McLaren, famed for its Formula 1 race heritage, decided to branch out seven years ago and McLaren Automotive was created bringing the company's know-how to ‘normal' drivers.

Over the following years the company celebrated fabulous sales success and with all its cars hand-assembled at Woking in Surrey there is never any fear of mass production numbers. That means owners enjoy a certain exclusivity behind the wheel of a McLaren.

Road cars form a three tier line-up called Sports Series, Super Series and Ultimate Series.

The 720S sits in the Super Series class and is available in three grades - 720S, 720S Performance and 720S Luxury.

The car we sampled was the Performance spec costing £218,020.

The 720S, which is priced from £208,600, replaces the McLaren 650S, but it's not just a renaming exercise because the new model is fresh from the ground up and boasts 91 per cent new parts.

Viewed from any angle the 720S is guaranteed to bring out the green eyed monster in onlookers and that's before the car is started up because it has a soundtrack to match its performance.

Head-turning design cues include twin-hinged dihedral doors with soft-close function that look like wings when open, full LED headlights with daytime running lights, sport cast alloy wheels, glass rear pillars and coloured brake callipers.

Every crease, cavity and intake is dedicated to improving the car's aerodynamics and thanks to the introduction of a lightweight, yet ultra strong carbon fibre cage, the 720S is lighter than its predecessor.

And that weight loss translates into better performance capabilities. On that matter the 720Sfeatures a 4.0-litre 720ps V8 engine delivering 770Nm of torque andcan sprint from 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds, complete the 0-124mph dash in 7.8 seconds and has a top speed of 212mph.

The interior, like any two-seat supercar, is fairly cosy. Yet, it is actually rather comfortable and there is plenty of light flooding into the cabin. There is ample steering wheel adjustment and the seats can be moved manually to find the perfect driving position (this saves weight compared to automatic seats).

Admittedly you do need to possess a certain degree of agility in order to enter and exit the car with an ounce of dignity, but the new dihedral door design does make the process slightly easier.

The cockpit is very driver focussed and there are all the mod cons we have come to expect in cars these days, including sat nav, a good sound system, Bluetooth, air conditioning, smartphone connectivity and an eight-inch portrait touchscreen.

The cabin is beautifully refined with fine leather upholstery and flashes of carbon fibre and the new McLaren Driver Interface introduces a revolving TFT display screen that offers useful data when driven in Track mode.

Storage options are catered for via a 150-litre compartment under the bonnet along with space for a couple of holdalls behind the seats. There is even a cup holder beneath the central console stack.

When it comes to performance, the McLaren 720S is certainly not for the faint-hearted. The driver can choose between Comfort, Sport and Track modes which alters the car's handling and performance.

Select the ultimate modes and the instrument panel folds down to give an alerternative readout, minimised for maximum concentration.

The seven-speed twin clutch automatic gearbox is beautifully timed and there are paddles if you fancy a little more fun.

The acceleration is blisteringly quick and the grip is so good you just know the car will take any bend at speed without a care in the world. It can be as aggressive as you want it to be, but the surprising factor is how composed and refined it can be when simply bumbling along in traffic.

The all-round visibility has been improved from earlier models but the long bonnet and high hedges can be an issue when turning out onto a country lane.

Yet considering the driving position is just inches above the Tarmac I didn't get out of this car armed with my mobile phone and a chiropractor's number on speed dial. I also like the fact that the car's height can be raised at the flick of a lever if approaching a rather large speed bump.

When it comes to economy, the 720S delivers combined fuel efficiency of 26.4mpg with carbon emissions of 249g/km. However, the running costs and hiked up tax charges are hardly likely to deter those craving a McLaren.

And, of course, the car is packed with safety features, including carbon ceramic brakes that will bring the car to a standstill from 186mph in just 6.9 seconds.

All in all, the McLaren 720S is an awesome piece of kit that would feature high on any petrol head's wish list.

And there appears to be many of those around with demand so high that even if you put in an order today, you will have to wait about six months before you get the keys.

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