2017 McLaren 720S - Toybox

By: Alex Affat, Photography by: Alex Affat

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Boasting alien aesthetics and spaceship performance, McLaren's flagship is out of this world

2017 McLaren 720S

Supercars are usually bought with the heart, not the head.

And that’s long put McLaren on the back foot, with a back catalogue such as the original MP4-12C, and its facelifted sibling, the 650S. McLaren has always done things differently to the Italians.

Though brilliant engineering masterpieces, consumers found them lacking the theatre and pizazz – the emotion – that makes someone drop property prices on a car in this segment.

| Read next: Interview with McLaren chief designer Robert Melville

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It’s a perceived lack of loin-stirring that had long seen the Woking marque trail in sales behind its competitors from Maranello and Sant’Agata – even though it consistently outperformed them on both paper and on track.

The arrival of the McLaren 720S in 2017 was a page turned anew however – an evolution of every innovation of its predecessors; it is far and away the most ballistic McLaren you can buy from a dealer, but it’s also the first that truly makes you want to.

The basic formula remains: a carbon tub – whose basic architecture underpins McLaren’s ‘cheapest’ (comparatively speaking) 911-rival to their million-dollar hypercars – and a mid-mounted twin-turbo V8.

| Read next: 2015 McLaren 570S review

mclaren-720s-interior.jpgCabin is minimal yet purposeful

The carbon monocoque now extends up the pillars, windscreen surround and the roof whereas in the previous 650S, the lightweight composite never extended above the waistline. While the more comprehensive carbon cabin adds cost; it also improves structural rigidity immensely, trims vital kilos of mass – and the butterfly doors are now hinged from the roof allowing for a much wider aperture for entry and egress as well as adding some much needed style points.

 

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