2018 McLaren 720S Refines Refinement [w/ Video]
It’s hard to believe that it’s only been six years since McLaren got back into the roadgoing production car business with the MP4-12C, such has been the pace of development in the junior supercar segment. Even though the car into which the 12C evolved, the 650S, is a formidable machine, the new and updated rivals from the likes of Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Ford are nipping at – and in some areas chowing down on – its heels, so it was high time the guys and gals in Woking gave their now-mid-range Super Series a thorough going-over. And the 2018 McLaren 720S is the result.
Rocking an overall shape that’s similar to its predecessor, the 720S features less mechanical and more animalistic styling cues, such as LED front lighting stacked above and below cooling and aero-enhancing ducts. The outward-and-upward swinging doors now extend into the roof and feature transparent tops, while the prominent side scoops that fed air to the 650S’s engine (and 12C’s before it) have been drastically shrunken and placed low on the sheet-molded composite rocker panels adorning the now entirely carbon fiber tub. Inside, there’s an even more spacey looking instrument panel with a clever fold-down gauge cluster that displays a bare minimum of data to the driver when down to minimize distraction on the track, and a full suite of instrumentation when up for relaxed on road motoring.
And speaking of motors (or engines, if you’re into semantics), the 720S still uses a Ricardo-supplied twin-turbo V8, but it’s a new version that has been enlarged from 3.8L to a nice round 4.0L. Output climbs to 710 horsepower (720 metric ponies) and 568 lb.-ft of torque, which McLaren says will be sufficient to shove the 720S to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds, through the quarter-mile in 10.3 seconds, and on to a 212 mph top speed. Expect prices to start around $280,000 when sales kick off later this year.