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Thread: The Ultimate evolution..... test drive of McLaren 720S

  1. #1
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    Cool The Ultimate evolution..... test drive of McLaren 720S

    McLaren kindly brought a 720S to my home for me to have an extended test drive. I have previously driven the 570S and the 12C (various tracks, and road, including around my home).

    Spoiler alert: I LOVED the 720S. I never felt even remotely the same way about the 458 Speciale, 488 or Huracan Performante upon driving each of those! The 720S is a seriously special car.

    https://youtu.be/qONckKNrkT8

    The aero channels and design are stunning. The double skin doors are very cool. Overall, its design features are utterly stunning in the metal. The much talked about, and often criticised [almost always by those who have never seen a 720S close up in the metal] eye sockets look great and full of detail in the metal, especially when specced in carbon fibre. Photographs and even video absolutely do not do the 720S justice.

    https://farm1.staticflickr.com/863/4...1fd28aa8_z.jpg

    This car really does not photograph well, especially in this dark off grey colour.

    https://farm1.staticflickr.com/822/4...745eb99e_z.jpg

    This car has a full carbon tub, including roof like the P1 and F1 (and i8), but unlike all other McLarens, which only have partial carbon tubs. Ferrari by comparison continue to plod on with bonded aluminium, and Lamborghini reserve their full carbon tub only for the Aventador. This of course makes it light, and very stiff. But it also allows the 720S to have amazing visibility, thin pillars, and glass C pillars. The seating position is perfect and very central, unlike its competitors.


    https://farm1.staticflickr.com/796/4...e5ab296a_z.jpg


    The carbon ceramic brakes plus huge air brake, are utterly awesome and feel like dropping an anchor in the asphalt! It has incredible stopping power with perfect stability and control. I would say these are the best brakes in its class. The brake pedal requires firm pressure and reminded me of the feel in a non servo old model Elise or Exige. I liked that.


    The 720S has a fighter jet look and feel inside it, due to its all around glass canopy, especially if specced with gorilla glass roof panels in the doors. It feels like it goes like a fighter jet too.


    Acceleration is utterly incredible, and unlike a Tesla P100D in insane mode, the 720S just keeps pushing on and on. It is scary quick in fact, bordering on terrifyingly so such that you feel you are only just hanging on to it! There is so much power in any gear that you can realistically only use 100% throttle for 2-3 seconds at most on road. It is simply that fast and powerful, combined with its very light weight.

    This is by far the fastest car I have ever driven. Not the most frightening though, as that honour remains with the F40.


    The 720S has precision handling and steering. It is very easy to place, and is very precise. Scalpel like, rather than edgy and playful like a 458 or 488. Steering feels like a big S1 Exige, and is very direct and communicative. The 720S feels small to drive, yet huge, airy, bright and spacious on the inside - unlike all competitors, including all other modern McLarens.



    The ride comfort is simply astonishing. In Comfort/Comfort, the 720S rides more comfortably than my i8 in Comfort mode! Yet it corners flat. But in Sport/Sport the 720S is firmer than my i8 in Sport mode. In Track/Track it is even firmer and more aggressive in its responses.

    The 720S is quiet at low RPM, yet it starts making lots of "interesting sounds" at higher RPM and when lifting off. Turbo whistle, wastegate, some popping in the exhaust. The sound is somewhat subdued though and is definitely its weakest aspect. The Huracan Performante by comparison sounds absolutely glorious and better than anything else.


    The 720S had too much power for its P Zero tyres on anything other than a pool table surface. It will break traction in 3rd on a straight, with stability systems compensating - albeit very well and unobtrusively. I felt it would be much better on the optional Corsa tyres, at least in summer on dry roads. (The 570S I drove was on Corsa tyres.)


    The 4 speaker sound system is utterly rubbish. I did not hear the optional 12 speaker Bowers & Wilkins system.



    The moving dash is truly useful, and switching to track mode is genuinely useful when pressing on. I had expected it to be just a gimmick.


    Comfort, Sport, and Track settings adjust separately for handling and power-train and are user friendly, and make a noticeable difference. The 720S inspires confidence, even in Track/Track. I did try the variable drift control settings, but only when playing around with settings, not actually whilst driving it.



    The 720S is so far ahead of the old 12C (or its updated 650 facelift model) that it feels like its from a different manufacturer. The 12C felt unsettled at the limit, especially under braking and did not inspire confidence close to the limit. It also did not feel "fun" on track, or road. The 720S encourages the driver, and seemed to adapt to how I was driving it at any point. Truly astonishing and feels like witchcraft when you experience it.



    By the way, the 570S Spider feels rather like a super quick Elise to drive, in a good way, and of course better in every respect.


    The Huracan Performante leads the pack for its amazing engine and ease of going very quickly with 4WD. However it has big negative points for visibility, its non-Lambo doors and (IMHO) its dated looks. It has some, but limited, carbon construction.



    The 488 wins for the badge, great residuals and 7 year servicing thrown in. It has a huge negative for still using bonded aluminium construction. It is also the slowest by quite some margin. In fact I am completely confident the 720S will prove faster than the 488 Pista too.


    The 720S is so far ahead of its competitors that there really is no valid comparison to make. In performance, it is comparable to hypercars like La Ferrari, P1 and 918 Spider. Amazingly it is not comparable in price though.

    The last time I was so enthused about a car, and thought it was "virtually perfect" in its purpose and segment, was when I did my first two test drives of the i8.


    It feels like a bargain at the price, although the starting price for 720S Performance has gone up from £218k to £225k just a few days ago! They are clearly selling well.

    It's noticeably more expensive than a 488, or even a Huracan Performante. I am informed that on the road, with a modest spec it costs £250k. Or about £275k now for a more typical spec. It will be over £350k with all options (without duplication). And with MSO options, the sky's the limit! (MSO = McLaren Special Operations.) Carbon options are particularly expensive.

    https://farm1.staticflickr.com/872/4...992cced9_z.jpg

    The 720S is a Hypercar for a little more than typical Supercar money. Hence my view that it really is a bargain in this sector.



    To drive, it is the ultimate evolution of the non-hybrid hypercar, before future McLaren (and competitor) models all start to become hybrid. A true cold stone modern classic.


    https://youtu.be/Lfj-AZkUZj8

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jas View Post
    McLaren kindly brought a 720S to my home for me to have an extended test drive. I have previously driven the 570S and the 12C (various tracks, and road, including around my home).

    Spoiler alert: I LOVED the 720S. I never felt even remotely the same way about the 458 Speciale, 488 or Huracan Performante upon driving each of those! The 720S is a seriously special car.

    https://youtu.be/qONckKNrkT8

    The aero channels and design are stunning. The double skin doors are very cool. Overall, its design features are utterly stunning in the metal. The much talked about, and often criticised [almost always by those who have never seen a 720S close up in the metal] eye sockets look great and full of detail in the metal, especially when specced in carbon fibre. Photographs and even video absolutely do not do the 720S justice.

    https://farm1.staticflickr.com/863/4...1fd28aa8_z.jpg

    This car really does not photograph well, especially in this dark off grey colour.

    https://farm1.staticflickr.com/822/4...745eb99e_z.jpg

    This car has a full carbon tub, including roof like the P1 and F1 (and i8), but unlike all other McLarens, which only have partial carbon tubs. Ferrari by comparison continue to plod on with bonded aluminium, and Lamborghini reserve their full carbon tub only for the Aventador. This of course makes it light, and very stiff. But it also allows the 720S to have amazing visibility, thin pillars, and glass C pillars. The seating position is perfect and very central, unlike its competitors.


    https://farm1.staticflickr.com/796/4...e5ab296a_z.jpg


    The carbon ceramic brakes plus huge air brake, are utterly awesome and feel like dropping an anchor in the asphalt! It has incredible stopping power with perfect stability and control. I would say these are the best brakes in its class. The brake pedal requires firm pressure and reminded me of the feel in a non servo old model Elise or Exige. I liked that.


    The 720S has a fighter jet look and feel inside it, due to its all around glass canopy, especially if specced with gorilla glass roof panels in the doors. It feels like it goes like a fighter jet too.


    Acceleration is utterly incredible, and unlike a Tesla P100D in insane mode, the 720S just keeps pushing on and on. It is scary quick in fact, bordering on terrifyingly so such that you feel you are only just hanging on to it! There is so much power in any gear that you can realistically only use 100% throttle for 2-3 seconds at most on road. It is simply that fast and powerful, combined with its very light weight.

    This is by far the fastest car I have ever driven. Not the most frightening though, as that honour remains with the F40.


    The 720S has precision handling and steering. It is very easy to place, and is very precise. Scalpel like, rather than edgy and playful like a 458 or 488. Steering feels like a big S1 Exige, and is very direct and communicative. The 720S feels small to drive, yet huge, airy, bright and spacious on the inside - unlike all competitors, including all other modern McLarens.



    The ride comfort is simply astonishing. In Comfort/Comfort, the 720S rides more comfortably than my i8 in Comfort mode! Yet it corners flat. But in Sport/Sport the 720S is firmer than my i8 in Sport mode. In Track/Track it is even firmer and more aggressive in its responses.

    The 720S is quiet at low RPM, yet it starts making lots of "interesting sounds" at higher RPM and when lifting off. Turbo whistle, wastegate, some popping in the exhaust. The sound is somewhat subdued though and is definitely its weakest aspect. The Huracan Performante by comparison sounds absolutely glorious and better than anything else.


    The 720S had too much power for its P Zero tyres on anything other than a pool table surface. It will break traction in 3rd on a straight, with stability systems compensating - albeit very well and unobtrusively. I felt it would be much better on the optional Corsa tyres, at least in summer on dry roads. (The 570S I drove was on Corsa tyres.)


    The 4 speaker sound system is utterly rubbish. I did not hear the optional 12 speaker Bowers & Wilkins system.



    The moving dash is truly useful, and switching to track mode is genuinely useful when pressing on. I had expected it to be just a gimmick.


    Comfort, Sport, and Track settings adjust separately for handling and power-train and are user friendly, and make a noticeable difference. The 720S inspires confidence, even in Track/Track. I did try the variable drift control settings, but only when playing around with settings, not actually whilst driving it.



    The 720S is so far ahead of the old 12C (or its updated 650 facelift model) that it feels like its from a different manufacturer. The 12C felt unsettled at the limit, especially under braking and did not inspire confidence close to the limit. It also did not feel "fun" on track, or road. The 720S encourages the driver, and seemed to adapt to how I was driving it at any point. Truly astonishing and feels like witchcraft when you experience it.



    By the way, the 570S Spider feels rather like a super quick Elise to drive, in a good way, and of course better in every respect.


    The Huracan Performante leads the pack for its amazing engine and ease of going very quickly with 4WD. However it has big negative points for visibility, its non-Lambo doors and (IMHO) its dated looks. It has some, but limited, carbon construction.



    The 488 wins for the badge, great residuals and 7 year servicing thrown in. It has a huge negative for still using bonded aluminium construction. It is also the slowest by quite some margin. In fact I am completely confident the 720S will prove faster than the 488 Pista too.


    The 720S is so far ahead of its competitors that there really is no valid comparison to make. In performance, it is comparable to hypercars like La Ferrari, P1 and 918 Spider. Amazingly it is not comparable in price though.

    The last time I was so enthused about a car, and thought it was "virtually perfect" in its purpose and segment, was when I did my first two test drives of the i8.


    It feels like a bargain at the price, although the starting price for 720S Performance has gone up from £218k to £225k just a few days ago! They are clearly selling well.

    It's noticeably more expensive than a 488, or even a Huracan Performante. I am informed that on the road, with a modest spec it costs £250k. Or about £275k now for a more typical spec. It will be over £350k with all options (without duplication). And with MSO options, the sky's the limit! (MSO = McLaren Special Operations.) Carbon options are particularly expensive.

    https://farm1.staticflickr.com/872/4...992cced9_z.jpg

    The 720S is a Hypercar for a little more than typical Supercar money. Hence my view that it really is a bargain in this sector.



    To drive, it is the ultimate evolution of the non-hybrid hypercar, before future McLaren (and competitor) models all start to become hybrid. A true cold stone modern classic.


    https://youtu.be/Lfj-AZkUZj8
    Interesting reading. Briefly

    I had a 570s last summer and enjoyed its build quality, gearbox, Supercar doors and presence BUT itís turbo engine was not for me. I also had a standard huracan for a month and enjoyed it but not enough to want one.

    The 720s is epic in many departments but I am not ready to go turbo until I absolutely have too. I am a fan of the styling though.

    My performante spec built to just over £250k with every box ticked and some ad-personam work so was another league less than a 488 / Pista / Speciale and that V10 wonít be around for much longer...

    ALA, forged carbon, centre lock wheels and the seats all added to momentous performance. My order is very similar to the Quail car below.
    Name:  796B2385-231F-4315-AF8A-35EC24F13EED.jpg
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    I completely get your comment on the Performante's engine. Huge sense of occasion just hearing that behind you Aurally so much better than Ferrari's modern offerings, and leagues ahead of McLaren's engine sound.

    Performante will probably be the last NA engine in this sector. And I suspect future models from the supercar makers will go hybrid, as that adds so much performance. 720S based LT similarly might be the last turbo, non-hybrid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jas View Post
    I completely get your comment on the Performante's engine. Huge sense of occasion just hearing that behind you Aurally so much better than Ferrari's modern offerings, and leagues ahead of McLaren's engine sound.

    Performante will probably be the last NA engine in this sector. And I suspect future models from the supercar makers will go hybrid, as that adds so much performance. 720S based LT similarly might be the last turbo, non-hybrid.
    Agree and they are all already allocated.

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    Thanks for the review, Jas. I think you've pretty much confirmed my suspicion that for me this kind of power would be really frustrating, and hence nigh on useless for the road. That aside, it is incredible what McLaren have achieved in a relatively short space of time.

    Have you placed an order - what else are you looking at?

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    Great review, thank you. Very much echoes my experience of a day with one and I have to say it feels like the most astonishing step forward in years for relatively little money compared to some cars on the market (whilst obviously still quite a lot).

    A 458 feels old technology in comparison which is mind-blowing. I love the lights too and as you say they have to be seen in the flesh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MWStewart View Post
    Thanks for the review, Jas. I think you've pretty much confirmed my suspicion that for me this kind of power would be really frustrating, and hence nigh on useless for the road. That aside, it is incredible what McLaren have achieved in a relatively short space of time.

    Have you placed an order - what else are you looking at?
    To be honest, you couldn't really use all the power of any current supercar, from any brand, on the road. The 720S is just another level up.

    Yes, I have now placed an order. The car is just too good, and there is nothing else I have driven that even approaches it in all round capability (not just performance).

    I ordered a highly specced one, with a lot of weight reduction options. It will arrive in July.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cgt View Post
    Great review, thank you. Very much echoes my experience of a day with one and I have to say it feels like the most astonishing step forward in years for relatively little money compared to some cars on the market (whilst obviously still quite a lot).

    A 458 feels old technology in comparison which is mind-blowing. I love the lights too and as you say they have to be seen in the flesh.
    Yes, absolutely...this! 488 too in fact, which is why I was reticent to post my review on this forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jas View Post
    To be honest, you couldn't really use all the power of any current supercar, from any brand, on the road. The 720S is just another level up.

    Yes, I have now placed an order. The car is just too good, and there is nothing else I have driven that even approaches it in all round capability (not just performance).

    I ordered a highly specced one, with a lot of weight reduction options. It will arrive in July.

    Well done Jas. Quick delivery then if you only ordered this weekend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jas View Post
    To be honest, you couldn't really use all the power of any current supercar, from any brand, on the road. The 720S is just another level up.

    Yes, I have now placed an order. The car is just too good, and there is nothing else I have driven that even approaches it in all round capability (not just performance).

    I ordered a highly specced one, with a lot of weight reduction options. It will arrive in July.
    Congrats.

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