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McLAREN 720S SUPER SERIES

Since the company’s founding in 2010, McLaren Automotive has been setting the pace for lightweight, high-performance super cars. Now, McLaren introduces the second-generation Super Series, the product family at the heart of the McLaren brand and BERNIE HELLBERG was at the local unveiling.

McLaren Automotive, the Surrey, England-based manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sports and supercars, has renewed the Super Series product family at the core of its brand with the introduction of the new McLaren 720S, a car that, according to the McLaren executives in attendance at the car’s maiden local showing, “sets new benchmarks for supercar excellence.”

While this is big talk, McLaren has come a long way in supercar development since the 12C broke cover in 2011 – a car that was in itself ground-breaking at the time – so we tend to sit up and take notice when the boys from Woking make an announcement. Particularly when it’s a huge one like this.

YOU HAD ME AT HELLO

A single glance at the 720S and you realise this is a McLaren in every respect, albeit a bold reinterpretation of the company’s design language. Focussing on aerodynamics rather than mere good looks, the McLaren design ethos has produced some astonishing cars. The new 720S is perhaps the most distinctive yet.

In case you didn’t notice at first, one of the key points in the design of the new McLaren 720S is the absence of radiator intakes on the side of the car; this function is carried out 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.

POWER SORCERY

The new M480T engine powering the 720S continues the lineage of McLaren’s multiple-award-winning, twin-turbocharged V8 engines. This new 4.0-litre engine generates a maximum 537 kW and up to 770 Nm of torque, delivering truly astonishing levels of performance: standstill to 100 km/h takes less than three seconds, and just five seconds later the car has passed the 200 mark. Maximum speed is claimed at 341 km/h.

Naturally, with so much speed available so quickly, the ability to brake quickly and successfully is hugely important. The new 720S is said to come to a halt from 200 km/h in just 4.6 seconds.

The efficiency goes beyond velocity – the new McLaren 720S delivers 10.7 l/100 km in the official combined fuel economy cycle, with and CO2 emissions of 249 g/km in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).

STRUCTURALLY SOUND

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 car’s entire architecture is based on a new carbon fibre ‘tub’ and upper structure, the McLaren Monocage II. This technology delivers extreme strength and rigidity in a lightweight structure – 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.

INSIDE TRACK

When the first 720S start arriving, owners will benefit from the most involving driver experience ever from a McLaren Super Series car, calling on huge reserves of grip, balance, and performance to enjoy the car to its full potential. Double the aerodynamic efficiency of the 650S and a new generation of McLaren’s Proactive Chassis Control, combined with new suspension and McLaren’s power-assisted, electro-hydraulic steering, and the effect should be an unmatched driving experience to any McLaren Super Series car that has come before.

And all of this while completely at ease in a cabin environment that establishes new standards in the supercar segment for visibility (thanks to the almost 360-degree view afforded by the domed cockpit design), space and comfort. Together with a full complement of advanced convenience technologies, these attributes give the new McLaren 720S an incredible degree of usability.

LAST WORD

In addition to the expected suite of comfort and convenience features, the McLaren 720S is available with parking sensors, a reversing camera or “birdseye” 360-degree park assist. All cameras are high-definition. The audio capabilities of the new 720S have been designed with music aficionados in mind, with a Bowers & Wilkins-branded system available as an optional upgrade over the itself-excellent four-speaker system that is standard-fitment. The all-new, high-power system, which has been developed specifically for the 720S by Bowers & Wilkins, features the premium audio specialist’s trademark central tweeter for incredible sound fidelity as well as Kevlar mid-range speaker cones, and – because this is a McLaren – even carbon fibre woofer cones, which provide ultra-clean bass reproduction.

Report by BERNIE HELLBERG | Images © MCLAREN AUTOMOTIVE

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