McLaren 720S - a



McLaren 720S, 2017, nose
McLaren 720S, 2017, front
McLaren 720S, 2017, overhead
McLaren 720S, 2017, side
McLaren 720S, 2017, rear
McLaren 720S, 2017, interior
McLaren 720S, 2017, instrument panel, track
McLaren 720S, 2017, instrument panel, road
McLaren 720S, 2017, display screen

IF you have a bumper bank account you might have designs on the latest supercar from McLaren - but you're going to have to wait until the middle of next year to get your hands on one.

Despite a price tag of £200,000-plus for the 720S, McLaren can sell as many cars as it can make and the order books are currently full.

The 720S is the lighter and faster successor to the highly successful 650S Coupe, and like that car is hand built at the company's factory in Woking where sales last year were double those of 2015.

Despite McLaren's long term background in Formula 1, McLaren Automotive was formed only 10 years ago to build road cars.

Today one of the original cars from that period which was featured in numerous newspapers and magazines is insured for £4 million, so perhaps buyers of the new 720S think they're on to a good thing.

New from the ground up the 720S is one of the fastest cars on the road today.

Despite its light weight - it's built using a carbon fibre cage and aluminium body panels - it uses a twin turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 producing a phenomenal 720bhp, powering it to 62 miles per hour in just 2.9 seconds.

It's capable of hitting 124 mph in 7.8 seconds and then stopping from that speed in just 4.6 seconds.

Unless you are planning to use one on an unrestricted section of a German autobahn the top speed is hardly relevant for a UK driver, but for anyone whose interested it's a staggering 212mph.

All models come with a seamless seven-speed automatic gearbox and there are paddles behind the steering wheel to allow you to drive it manually.

The car allows you to select between comfort, sport and track modes for both the chassis and the power train while on the move, so you can set it to suit your mood or need on the day.

Like other models in McLaren's line up the 720S has the dramatic dihedral doors, which open outwards and forwards so the car looks as if it has wings when they are both open.

This new model, however, has better all round vision than its predecessor thanks to the new super strong carbon fibre cage - replacing the carbon fibre tub used in other models - which allows for thinner pillars between the glass.

As with all McLaren models you have to be reasonably agile to get into them. And their height - or lack of it - means you have to keep a wary eye out for speed bumps. Spot one early enough and with the flick of a switch you can raise the suspension to ensure safe passage.

The new car is available in three levels of specification; the 720S from £208,000 and the 720S Performance and 720S Luxury both starting at £218,000.

For buyers there's a vast choice of features to personalise your car and the Performance model I tried out was priced at more than £244,000.

Get behind the wheel and you soon run out of superlatives. The power to weight ratio means there are few road cars to touch this one for performance, which probably explains why - according to McLaren - the vast number of buyers ordering one are coming out of Porsche 911s and Audi R8s.

Switch the controls to Sport mode and put your right foot down hard and the thrust is such that you could almost end up in the back seat - if there was one.

The big V8 roars and the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. The McLaren 720S is not for the faint hearted.

With rear-wheel-drive it's a real seat of the pants British sports car which hangs on, limpet-like to the road surface.

The cockpit wraps itself around you like a track car but unlike a track car there is plenty of space and you get the luxury of fine leather, carbon fibre and aluminium features.

As you open the doors a folding driver display panel folds down in front of your seat to give easy access to all on-board information.

But the nice thing about this supercar is that with all the controls set to Comfort it can be driven quite happily at 30 miles per hour as everyday transport.

And you can't say that about all of its competitors.


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