McLaren 720S


McLaren 720S Performance, 2018, front
McLaren 720S Performance, 2018, front, doors open
McLaren 720S Performance, 2018, side, doors open
McLaren 720S Performance, 2018, interior
McLaren 720S Performance, 2018, rear, doors open

THERE aren't many cars you can drive which guarantee you will become the centre of attention every time you park - but the McLaren 720S is definitely one of them.

If this car was human it would be a model of a very different kind - a catwalk star like Naomi Campbell or Heidi Klum. For in both cases people just stop and stare and take photographs.

In fact if I could have charged for every photograph taken during my time with the car I might even have been able to afford one.

But with a price tag of £218,000 plus options - the car cost a staggering £264,000 - perhaps not.

Get the colour right - this one was Fistral Blue, I know because several women asked so they could hunt for nail polish in the same hue - and you are guaranteed an audience.

And if there is anyone around who isn't staring as you park up they will be the minute you open the giant dihedral doors which swing forwards and upwards coming to rest above the car and making it look like something out of Transformers.

Perhaps with that sort of attention-grabbing appeal it's not surprising that there's a waiting list for the Surrey-built 720S.

But for those in the know it's not just the looks of this car that ensures attention, it's what lies beneath.

Constructed mainly of carbon fibre but with aluminium body panels it's as slim and lightweight as Naomi and Heidi - not to mention as curvy.

And powering it is a 4.0-litre V8 developing a mind blowing 720bhp. That's the equivalent of putting a jumbo jet engine in a glider.

The result is a car that will rocket from standstill to 62 miles per hour in 2.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 212mph.

Performance like that demands real stopping power and the 720S has it in spades. Its giant brake discs will bring it to a halt from 186 mph in just 6.9 seconds.

Getting in and out is not too easy if you're not agile because of the 720'S height, or lack of it. But once inside the cockpit wraps itself snugly around you and a driver display panel rises up in front of you with the speedometer, rev counter and all the onboard information you need.

If you want an even better view of the road ahead you can fold it down again so all that is visible - on the edge of the panel - are speed and revs. It's a feature designed for the track.

An impressive leather and Alcantara interior makes you feel at home and body hugging bucket seats hold you firmly in place.

And surprisingly for a supercar of this type there's enough luggage space under the bonnet to take a good sized suitcase and a couple of soft bags.

A red starter button lies to the left of the steering wheel and it's best to take a deep breath before pushing it. When you do depress it there's an almighty roar behind your head as this mid engined car prepares for action.

There's no gearshift just three buttons to operate the seven-speed gearbox, one for Drive, one for Reverse and one for Neutral but there are paddles behind the steering wheel to change gear manually.

The 720S gives you a choice of three driving modes, Comfort, Sport and Track but even in the most docile of the three the performance is still breathtaking.

Hit the accelerator hard in second gear and you feel - as a friend of mine remarked - like you've just been launched in a rocket, and the horizon comes towards you so fast you have to change up and throttle back to protect your driving licence.

Drive it hard and it's not for the faint hearted, but even though the 720S is one of the fastest cars on the road today it's also a very amiable one and is quite relaxed driving through towns and cities in sixth gear at 40 miles per hour.


McLaren 720S Performance

Price: £218,020

Mechanical: 720bhp, 3,994cc, 8cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 212mph

0-62mph: 2.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 26.4

Insurance Group: 50

C02 emissions: 249g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/100,000 miles


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