Skip advert
Advertisement

McLaren 720S (2017 - 2023) review – ride and handling

Fluid and talkative, the 720S handles as well as it goes

Evo rating
Price
from £228,560
  • Excellent ride and handling, brutal performance
  • Excellent ride and handling, brutal performance

A wise person once said ‘what is good for ride is good for handling’, and it’s a saying McLaren has taken to heart, the 720S dealing with iffy surfaces better than some hot hatchbacks. The result isn’t just a car that’s surprisingly comfortable, but also one that makes light work of roads that would feel a lot busier, and require a lot more driver input, in some of its rivals.

Advertisement - Article continues below

It’s a factor of that hydraulically interlinked suspension set-up, which takes the place of conventional mechanical anti-roll bars. While anti-roll bars do what they say on the tin, controlling roll around a car’s axis, linking each side of the car can be detrimental to ride comfort, with bumps at one wheel having an effect at the other. Like an old Citroën – albeit a lot more sophisticated and controlled by some mind-bending algorithms – McLaren’s set-up allows for both compliancy and control.

> 2023 McLaren 750S revealed as new flagship supercar

It has limits, even given the stiff carbon structure – it’s not immune from potholes, and really sudden intrusions can still thump through the chassis. But for the most part, the 720S rides with an impressive fluency.

As you’d expect, it’s also a capable handler. Key to its appeal is the steering, which is about as good as it gets short of McLaren’s own hardcore, slack-free ‘Longtail’ models. The wheel feels quite light at first, but perhaps a better way of putting this is that it isn’t artificially heavy – there’s simply not much weight sitting over the front axle, and on the move there’s a constant stream of feedback tugging lightly through the rack. Precision and response are both perfectly judged too.

Few supercars inspire so much confidence over the first few miles, at least in the chassis department – with the full performance of that engine never far away, you’ll tread more carefully on the right-hand pedal than you’ll lean on the front end.

The 720S will carry huge speed along a road, and feels spectacular when you’re in the groove. It’s also got a more intimidating side though, harder to read when the chassis starts moving around – something you’re admittedly more likely to discover on a track than on the road.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Bugatti Tourbillon revealed – the 1775bhp, V16-engined Chiron successor is here
Bugatti Tourbillon – front
News

Bugatti Tourbillon revealed – the 1775bhp, V16-engined Chiron successor is here

With a naturally aspirated V16, a new carbon chassis and a 273mph top speed Bugatti’s latest hypercar has the GMA T.50 in its sights
20 Jun 2024
Alfa Romeo 4C – the car world's greatest misses
Alfa Romeo 4C
Features

Alfa Romeo 4C – the car world's greatest misses

It had stunning looks and promising hardware, but somehow the 4C didn’t add up to the sum of its parts
20 Jun 2024
Lotus Elise S2 v Toyota MR2 Mk3 v Porsche Boxster S 987: The best affordable mid-engined sports cars
Used mid-engined bargains
Group tests

Lotus Elise S2 v Toyota MR2 Mk3 v Porsche Boxster S 987: The best affordable mid-engined sports cars

Everyone should own a mid-engined car at least once in their life, and the S2 Elise, Mk3 MR2 and 987 Boxster S are brilliant places to start
15 Jun 2024