WITH its spectacular looks and performance to match the McLaren 720S is one of the world's great supercars.
It is simply stunning to drive. And that's not something you can say about all members of that exalted group.
The McLaren is not just something for the weekend, or a monstrous track beast though. Unlike many supercars, its ride quality is superb - relaxed even when cruising - and also has a tinge of practicality. More than a tinge.
Whisper it. No, shout it out - the 720S has real ‘daily driver' credentials.
The 720S is powered by a mid-mounted 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 and is brutally fast. It generates a phenomenal 710bhp and an enormous 770Nm of torque, which means an almost unearthly 0-62mph of 2.9 seconds. Overtaking, at any time, in any gear, is a breeze.
As a McLaren Super Series car, it is designed to give drivers an extreme level of performance but, because of its actively interconnected hydraulic damping system, it means that in Comfort mode, the 720S hoovers up bumps and lumps better than many top-line GT cars and sporty saloons.
Basically, the system constantly studies cornering, acceleration, braking, aerodynamic forces and the changing road surface and, in milliseconds, adjusts the firmness of the dampers to ensure all four of the McLaren's P Zeros remain consistently in touch with the road surface.
The 720S also has McLaren's latest Proactive Chassis II driving mode system which allows the driver to switch to Sport or Track settings, adding extra stiffness to the damping and roll response.
And it's on the track that the McLaren comes alive. The seven-speed gearbox is sharp and seamless when shifting and all that aerodynamic and mechanical expertise combines to provide incredible amounts of power and massive reserves of grip.
Superbly balanced, it gives you the confidence to push harder through the fastest corners without having to wrestle for control. Uniquely addictive, it's a thrill you'll never want to stop. Yet, unless you're Lando Norris, you'll probably not even get close to the McLaren's full potential.
On top of the standard - is there such a McLaren? - model, the 720S comes in Performance and Luxury trims. The stats are the same for all three, only the interior detailing is different. There's much more soft, tactile Bridge of Weir leather for Luxury, and all switchgear has a bespoke aluminium machined finish that feels suitably special.
Matched with glazed rear-pillars, the elegant sweep of its ‘teardrop' glasshouse gives the driver virtually all-round vision, a feat unrivalled in the supercar class. It allows light to flood into the cabin making it an airy, pleasant space to be in.
A unique folding driver display deploys and an eight-inch central infotainment screen springs to life. With crystal clear graphics, it's simple to use and tilted handily towards the driver.
Fully open, the folding display presents all the usual and necessary information on an upright high definition TFT panel, with three different layouts and colours depending on which mode you're driving in. At the touch of a button, it disappears to a slim F1-style display with only the absolute minimum of information is displayed.
Thanks to the wide range of adjustment, most drivers will find a comfortable position and the two-seater also provides plenty of comfortable interior space for all but the tallest occupants.
The good news is, especially for the less sprightly, is that getting in and out of a McLaren has never been easier. The sills of the 720S drop down dramatically where your feet swing in and out and the doors open wider yet need less space to do so - handy in tight spots. You'll still feel like a pillock buying a jar of coffee at the local Tesco Express though.
On the practical side, long weekends away are also perfectly achievable - there's room behind the seat backs for two soft holdalls as well as 150 litres of luggage space - enough for at least two airplane cabin bags - under the front panel. Don't expect to be able to carry anything bulky though.
It's that little bit of practicality and the incredible docility the 720s displays when you want to cruise that makes it so special. The excellent ride comfort kicks in, the engine noise drops to a gentle hum and silky sweet automatic gear shifts mean you can cruise with a smile. Again, unlike some rivals, you don't have to wallop the volume on the sound system to enjoy some driving music.