The McLaren 720S is full of innovations compared to the car it replaces, the McLaren 650S. The car has been revamped with a more futuristic design marked by a lean and sculpted body shape. It is a completely different design than the 650S, the cabin looks like a teardrop glasshouse while the layered, ‘shrink-wrapped’ bodywork creates a futuristic, highly technical appearance. Unlike the car it succeeded, it doesn’t have the radiator intakes on the side of the car as 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. It still features the dihedral doors that complete the exotic element for the super car, while the carbon tube now is similar like the ones in the McLaren 570S that makes getting in and out of the car easier than the 650S.
The inside of the car is a performance car enthusiast heaven, our test unit cabin was wrapped with alcantara throughout that was complemented with a lot of dry carbon fibre. The interior design is nicer than the 650S, there is a leather padding with some asymmetric design that makes it more appealing. One can also mix and match more colours into the interior. All the materials are premium and nice to touch, especially the switches machined from aluminium and the leather upholstery. The centre of the dash houses the 8-inch vertical screen found in other McLarens to make passengers sit closer together. There is no glove box, only small compartments in the centre that houses two USB ports and an aux port. You can also put small items in the small space behind the seat under the rear window.
The biggest innovation in the interior is the folding driver display that can show only essential information in a strip when folded. The display format changes according to a driver’s choice of Comfort, Sport, or Track driving modes. Slim Display Mode is either selected manually or automatically at the touch of a button. When folded the display only shows some of the essential information such as speed, rpm, and current running gear. The folded display is a nice feat for drivers wanting the minimum of distraction, either when on a track or for those who prefer simplicity of visual information.
When driven normally on the street the car is decently comfortable, with the suspension able to superbly dampen slightly uneven roads. For rough roads, it is still a super car and the ride can be quite harsh. In smooth roads, however, you can still have a nice and relaxing drive. There is also cruise control and lift function that raises the front of the car. The cabin feels spacious, the seats are comfortable while still supportive and the driver also can have a good view of the road; the small glass roof on the top of each doors also makes the ambience nicer when cruising on the road. The controls are also still quite ergonomic to use, all buttons can be easily reached by the driver. The steering wheel, unlike in other cars in the segment, doesn’t have any buttons on it but shifter paddles and two levers on its back. The paddles feel good to touch and gave a good feedback when used.
The performance of the 720S is stellar, it is now powered by a 4,000cc turbocharged V8 engine that is an increase of 200 cc displacement compared to the 650S. The car can generate a peak power of 710 horsepower and 770 Nm of torque, a sprint from a halt to 100 km/h and can be achieved in 2.8 seconds with top speed that can reach 341 km/h. The power combined with the light carbon chassis leaves the car with a dry weight of only 1.28 tones, it weighs the same as a typical compact luxury sedan. The pace that the car produces is breath-taking and very engaging. You can rev all the way through to a thrilling 8,100rpm in first and second gear and 8,200rpm in the next four gears. The engine sounds better than the 650S and the up shifts are more fun as it produces some joyous jolt every time one ups the shift. The gear changes are quick as the car is equipped with a dual clutch. McLaren cars are not about pace only but also about handling and the 720S is no exception. The steering feel and response are excellent as it is power-assisted and electro-hydraulic; it is more on the weighted side but that will not exhaust you on the long drive.
The carbon ceramic brakes also perform flawlessly, and the brake pedal gives the right feedback and control to the driver. The brake pedal, however, is slightly hard to press but this make it easier to control. The car also has an active spoiler in the rear that is twice bigger than the one in the 650S. Integral to the package is some smart chassis and suspension adjustment in the car, the 720S features many sensors that adjust the suspension for handling or comfort. The car features a new generation of McLaren’s active chassis system that features hydraulically-interlinked dampers at each corner and removes the need for anti-roll bars. The 720S is blistering fast while still offering stellar grip and balance; giving the driver a high level of confidence to drive the car to the limit. the car is stable and firmly planted to the road. With the combination of exotic looks, blazing fast performance, and top-level handling, the McLaren 720S is one of the current benchmarks for a super car. It is a significant upgrade to the 650S and an appealing rival to super cars from Ferrari or Lamborghini. The McLaren 720S is the complete package and it is definitely the ForbesLife Indonesia’s Super Car of the Year.