Finally! After months of relentless teasers, test mule sightings and tech hints, the McLaren 720S is here. We can finally stop calling it Project P14, and we can also reveal a hidden clue behind the teaser videos and images.
Just look at that short, steep bonnet, sculpted cabin and rear wing. It’s pant-wettingly reminiscent of McLaren’s legendary F1.
This is the new Super Series car, built to replace the 650S. Derivatives will eventually phase out all the other Super Series models. It has a new engine, too. As per the name, the 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged M840T V8 has 720 metric horsepower, or 710bhp, which is enough to catapult it to 62mph in 2.9 seconds and to 124mph in a bonkers 7.8 seconds. Braking to a stop from 124mph takes just 4.6 seconds, and as for top speed, we’re looking at 212mph.
It’s fair to say the engine is a development of the previous 3.8, but McLaren claims a ‘41 per cent new part content’. If you’re wondering where the cooling is coming from, since the 720S does away with the visible side-mounted radiators, cooling is actually taken care of by the double-skinned dihedral doors. Air is channelled through them direct to the radiators beneath the skin. Clever.
These unhinged numbers are also partly down to low weight. The carbonfibre Monocage II structure helps it on the way to a minimum dry weight of 1283kg, or about as much as a small family hatchback. Power to weight is now a nice, solid 553bhp per tonne. With all fluids and 90 per cent fuel the weight is 1419kg.
Inside the 1.2-metre tall supercar will be the trademark portrait-format screen as standard, plus leather, Alcantara and metal switchgear, depending on specification. Underneath is a chassis setup augmented by Proactive Chassis Control II. Will it handle? Yes it will. The transmission is set to stay as a seven-speed automatic with flappy paddles, and the brakes will be the latest carbon ceramics as standard.
The practical among us will see that there are still two storage bays, of 150 litres at the front and 210 behind the seats. The less practical will dig through the specs and find a standing quarter-mile time of 10.3 seconds. Which is incredibly quick for a road car, and remember: even faster ones will come later.
It’s available to order right now, and we can only suspect that there are a few phones ringing in McLaren dealers across the country. Prices are set to start at £208,600 with the first deliveries in May.
Now then; about the teasers. McLaren released six press release teasers since January, each with a visual reference to the numbers one to six. One multiplied by two multiplied by three and so on, when you reach six, equals 720, covertly revealing the new model’s name. Sneaky.