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Here’s why McLaren has Ferrari quaking in its loafers

Compared to the spaceship-like 570 and P1, we think the McLaren 650S now looks positively dated, and it seems the Woking company agrees. It’s just pulled the covers off the car’s long-awaited successor, the 720S, and if anything, we’re more impressed than we were when the 12C was first revealed…

Necessary change

McLaren is a company at the very peak of its game. Its three-tier range of road and track models is both well thought out and widely raved about, and the tour de force that spawned it all, the 12C, clearly laid out the marque’s intentions, both from a technological and philosophical point of view. Suffice to say, the 250,000-euro 720S moves the game on once again, with a new carbon-fibre ‘Monocage’ that, in addition to being lighter than that of the 650S, lends the cabin higher levels of visibility and the whole car a smaller, P1-esque look — something that’s further achieved with the new dihedral doors that cutaway into the roof and act as integral air ducts. While the new design language will take some getting used to, we think the second-generation Super Series looks fantastic, and those who bemoaned the 12C for not looking special enough shan’t be so outspoken this time around. 

A true Jack of all trades

Inevitably, the 4.0-litre supercharged V8 is more powerful (710bhp plays the outgoing 650S’s 641bhp) and the sprint from 0 to 62mph is now dispatched in just 2.9 seconds. Combined with clever new suspension, chassis, and aerodynamic systems, McLaren is promising not just unrivalled dynamic ability but also usability — a characteristic that’s been such a staple of the modern McLaren’s ethos and values.

There’s been as much of a redesign on the inside as there has on the outside, too, with a new driver-focused interface displayed on a folding driver display, allowing those at the helm to choose just how much or little information they want to see depending on what kind of driving they’re doing. So, if you don’t mind, we’ll take our 720S straight to the Highlands of Scotland or the volcanic roads of Tenerife, fold away the dash screen, and take a leaf out of Ayrton Senna’s book by trying to connect with the McLaren on a sub-conscious level. 

Photos: McLaren Automotive

You can find a selection of McLarens listed for sale in the Classic Driver Market.