The 650S is no more!

Introduced in 2014, but with its roots tracing back to 2011, the Super Series is McLaren’s old surviving sports car. Based around the 12C between 2011 and 2014, it was redesigned into the 650S, which also spawned several versions, including the bonkers 675LT. It’s been three years since the first-gen Super Series saw the light of day, and McLaren has just launched the second-generation model at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. The new sports car goes by the name 720S and was redesigned from the ground up, as well as fitted with a significantly revised drivetrain.

Styling-wise, the 720S is a pretty radical departure from the 650S. The nose is more aggressive and the headlamps are rather unconventional, being sunk deep into the fascia and black-colored recesses. The main lamps and the LED daytime running lights are separate units now. Although different if taken inch by inch, the car’s profile is actually very similar to the 650S, having an almost identical beltline. What makes it different is the absence of radiator intakes. This function is now carried out by the "double-skin" aerodynamic design of the dihedral doors, which channel air to the high-temperature radiators that cool the engine. Around back, the 720S is a totally different beast. The extremely slim taillights give the car a frowning appearance, while the diffuser seems borrowed from a race car. The exhaust is different too, with the pipes mounted high in the fascia.

The interior is also new, featuring a combination of fine leathers, machined aluminum, and carbon-fiber. By far the most revolutionary item is the new McLaren Driver Interface, which includes a folding instrument cluster and an infotainment screen with optimized controls.

Motivation comes from a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8. Derived from the award-winning 3.8-liter V-8 that powers just about any McLaren since 2011, the 4.0-liter unit is 41-percent new and cranks out 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. That’s 70 horsepower more than the 650S and a 44-horsepower increase compared to the 675LT. Charging from 0 to 62 mph takes "less than three seconds," while the 124-mph benchmark comes in "less than eight" seconds. While these figures aren’t very revealing, expect the 720S to be at least a tenth-second quicker than the 650S. Top speed is now rated at 212 mph.

But the 720S isn’t just fast. The tech behind the revised engine also enables it to consume 10.7 liters per km combined. I might sound like a lot compared to a compact, but it’s actually a solid figure for a track-ready supercar.

The 720S also features a new architecture based around a new carbon-fiber tub and upper structure, called the McLaren Monocage II. Extremely strong and rigid, it also lightweight and makes the 720S a very dynamic vehicle. A range of aluminium alloys are also used extensively in the chassis, as well as for some body panels.

The supercar is already available for purchase in three different trim levels with pricing set at £208,600 before options in the U.K., but U.S. pricing information is not yet available.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it Matters

McLaren 720S Wows Geneva with Aggressive Design and P1-like Performance High Resolution Exterior
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Arguably one of the most anticipated launches of the year, the 720S is finally here to demonstrate that McLaren is perfectly capable of taking the Super Series to a new level. And by that I mean a vehicle nearly as capable as the P1, but sold for a more affordable price. A higher performance version of the 720S will probably outrun the P1, so we should see some interesting models coming from the British manufacturer over the next couple of years.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine configuration M840T engine, 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, 3,994cc
Drivetrain layout Longitudinal mid-engined, RWD
Power 710 HP @ 7,500 RPM
Torque 568 LB-FT @ 5,500 RPM
Transmission 7 Speed SSG
Suspension Independent adaptive dampers, dual wishbones, Proactive Chassis Control II (PCC II)
Brakes Carbon Ceramic Discs (F: 390mm R: 380mm)
0 -60mph 2.8 seconds
0-100 km/h (0-62mph) 2.9 seconds
0-200 km/h (0-124mph) 7.8 seconds
0-300 km/h (0-186mph) 21.4 seconds
0-400 m / ¼ mile 10.3 seconds
Maximum Speed 341km/h (212 mph)
200 – 0 km/h (124mph – 0) braking 4.6 seconds/117 m
100 – 0 km/h (62mph – 0) braking 2.8 seconds/29.7 m

Read our full review on the McLaren 720S here.

Press Release

The new McLaren 720S makes its global debut today (March 7) at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show, introducing the second-generation of McLaren’s Super Series and simultaneously 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. 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.”

Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive

McLaren 720S Wows Geneva with Aggressive Design and P1-like Performance High Resolution Exterior
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The unveiling of McLaren’s new supercar confirms both the 720S name and 720PS horsepower of the first model in the second-generation McLaren Super Series, details which have been teased online in recent months. The Surrey, England-based manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sports and supercars, has issued a series of six press releases since January, each accompanied by an image or film containing a numerical reference - and it can now be revealed that 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 x 6 equals 720…

The new 720S is lighter, faster and even more dynamically capable than its McLaren 650S predecessor, with unparalleled levels of interior space and sophistication and a breadth and depth of abilities that will engage and exhilarate the driver. 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: immediately and undeniably a McLaren, the new 720S is arguably the most distinctive and remarkable McLaren yet.

McLaren 720S Wows Geneva with Aggressive Design and P1-like Performance High Resolution Exterior
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One of the key points in the design of the new Super Series is the absence of radiator intakes on the side of the car; this function is 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 new M480T engine powering the 720S continues the lineage of McLaren’s multiple-award-winning, twin-turbocharged V8 engine series. The 4.0-litre engine, which has 41 percent new part content compared to the 3.8-litre engine that continues to feature in the McLaren Sports Series, generates a maximum of 720PS and 770Nm of torque.

McLaren 720S Wows Geneva with Aggressive Design and P1-like Performance High Resolution Exterior
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Performance is truly astonishing: standstill to 100km/h (62mph) takes less than 3 seconds and just 5 seconds later the car has passed the 200km/h (124mph) mark on its way to a maximum speed of 341km/h (212mph). Braking is equally impressive, the new 720S coming to a halt from 200km/h (124mph) in just 4.6 seconds, covering 117m. Additionally, the extreme efficiency of the engine also goes beyond mere velocity: the new McLaren 720S delivers 10.7 litres/km combined fuel economy and CO2 emissions of just 249g/km in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).

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 of the car is based around a new carbon fibre ‘tub’ and upper structure, the McLaren 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.

McLaren 720S Wows Geneva with Aggressive Design and P1-like Performance High Resolution Interior
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A new generation of McLaren’s Proactive Chassis Control, new suspension and the established excellence of McLaren’s power-assisted, electro-hydraulic steering, all combine to deliver huge reserves of grip, balance and performance and an unmatched breadth of dynamic capabilities.

The hand-crafted luxury inherent in a McLaren, with the authenticity of fine leathers and machined aluminium, is complemented by the revolutionary new McLaren Driver Interface, which comprises a Folding Driver Display and Central Infotainment Screen. In combination with a cabin environment that establishes new standards in the supercar segment for visibility, space and comfort, these attributes give the new McLaren 720S an incredible degree of usability and validate its claim to be the most complete supercar on sale today.

McLaren 720S Wows Geneva with Aggressive Design and P1-like Performance High Resolution Drivetrain
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The new McLaren 720S is now available to order from McLaren retailers, with the first customers scheduled to receive their cars in May. Three grades of specification are offered, with Performance and Luxury trims extending above the standard level, all complemented by a range of option packs.

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