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McLaren’s 720S has made its global debut at the Geneva International Motor Show, introducing the second-generation of the company’s Super Series line-up and raising previously accepted limits of performance in the supercar sector.
“Super Series is the core of the McLaren business and personifies the blend of extreme performance, crafted luxury and unparalleled driver involvement that is the McLaren heartland,” says Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer at McLaren Automotive.
“This is the first time we have replaced a product family and the new 720S is absolutely true to McLaren’s pioneering spirit in being a revolutionary leap forwards, both for our brand and the supercar segment.”
The unveiling of the model confirms both the 720S name and 720PS horsepower (537kW) that McLaren has teased online in recent months. The car is described as being lighter, faster and even more dynamically capable than its 650S predecessor.
“One glance at the 720S identifies it as a bold reinterpretation of McLaren’s design language – rooted in aerodynamic principles, the beautiful form has nothing superfluous about it,” says a statement issued by the company.
One of the key points in the design is the absence of radiator intakes on the side of the car, the function now carried out instead by the unique, double-skin, aerodynamic form of the dihedral doors, which channel air to the high-temperature radiators that cool the mid-mounted engine.
The twin-turbocharged V8 unit displaces 4,0 litres compared with the 3,8-litre lump it replaces, though McLaren will continue to use the superseded plant in Sports Series models.
According to the statement: “The performance of the 720S is truly astonishing: standstill to 100km/h takes less than three seconds and just five seconds later the car has passed the 200km/h mark on its way to a maximum speed of 341km/h.”
Braking is said to be equally impressive, McLaren claiming that the car comes to a halt from 200km/h in just 4,6 seconds, covering 117 metres. “Additionally, the extreme efficiency of the engine also goes beyond mere velocity: in terms of fuel economy it delivers 10,7 litres/100km in the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 249g/km.”
McLaren’s expertise in carbon fibre structures – every road car built by the British manufacturer since the McLaren F1 in 1993 has had a carbon fibre chassis – underpins the construction of the new 720S, the architecture based around a new carbon fibre tub and upper structure called the Monocage II.
“This technology delivers extreme strength and rigidity in a lightweight structure and is the ideal base for any supercar. A range of aluminium alloys are also used extensively in the chassis, as well as for some body panels,” says the statement.
A new generation of the company’s Proactive Chassis Control has been installed, too, along with newly styled wishbone suspension and adaptive dampers. Power-assisted steering remains electro-hydraulic.
The hand-crafted interior features leather and machined aluminium complemented by a new version the company’s infotainment interface. “In combination with a cabin environment that establishes new standards in the supercar segment for visibility, space and comfort, these attributes give the 720S an incredible degree of usability and validate its claim to be the most complete supercar on sale today,” the statement concludes.
Type M840T V8, turbocharged
Displacement 3 994cc
Drivetrain layout Longitudinal mid-engined, RWD
Power 537kW @ 7 500 revs/min
Torque 770Nm @ 5 500 revs/min
Type Seven-Speed SSG
Front Independent adaptive dampers, dual wishbones, Proactive Chassis Control II (PCC II)
Rear Independent adaptive dampers, dual wishbones, Proactive Chassis Control II (PCC II)
Front 390mm carbon ceramic discs
Rear 380mm carbon ceramic discs
WHEELS & TYRES
Front 9J x19 / 245/35/R19 93Y
Rear 11J x19 / 305/30/R20 103Y
Length 4 543mm
Height 1 196mm
Width 2 161mm
Wheelbase 2 670mm
0-100km/h 2,9 secs
0-200km/h 7,8 secs
0-300km/h 21,4 secs
0-400 metres 10,3 secs
Top speed 341km/h