McLaren 720S review – engine, gearbox and technical specs

The basic architecture is familiar from several other McLarens, but it’s certainly put to good use here

Evo rating
  • Excellent ride and handling, brutal performance
  • Minor cabin irritations, gruff engine note, depreciation

It’s fair to say that with a mid-mounted 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 the 720S’s beating heart isn’t a huge mechanical departure from other McLarens, but it’s nothing if not startlingly powerful. McLaren quotes a peak power output of 710bhp at 7500rpm from the dry-sumped M840T unit, together with 568lb ft of torque at 5500rpm.

It’s attached to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and as is customary with McLarens, an open rear differential, albeit one equipped with McLaren’s ‘Brake Steer’ system which replicates the limited-slip effect to a degree. Suspension is by double wishbones at both ends, with adaptive dampers and Proactive Chassis Control II – hydraulic cross-linking of the damping designed to balance the occasionally conflicting requirements of ride quality and body control. Unlike many competitors, McLaren still uses hydraulic assistance for its steering – and, not without coincidence, the 720S has fantastic steering, as we’ll discover later.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

All these components are attached, via subframes, to the second generation of McLaren’s carbon Super Series structure, dubbed Monocage II. The structure itself contributes only 102kg of the 1283kg dry weight (1419kg at the kerb) and forms both the basis of the chassis, and acts as the passenger safety cell – as well as something from which to hinge McLaren’s customary butterfly doors.

Most Popular

Is this a new Porsche 911 Safari?
Porsche 911 coupe

Is this a new Porsche 911 Safari?

Tall ride height and wheelarch extensions suggest a surprise 911 derivative could be coming
22 Oct 2020
205mph Brabus Rocket 900 revealed – a Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S turned to 888bhp
Mercedes

205mph Brabus Rocket 900 revealed – a Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S turned to 888bhp

The Brabus Rocket is back for 2020, and this time it takes the form of a Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S with extras
23 Oct 2020
Alpine to become high-performance Renault offshoot
Alpine

Alpine to become high-performance Renault offshoot

Heated-up Renaults but no A110 replacement for Alpine as it follows in Cupra and Abarth footsteps
21 Oct 2020
Hyundai i20 N revealed – 200bhp supermini ready for some Ford Fiesta ST baiting
Hyundai i20 hatchback

Hyundai i20 N revealed – 200bhp supermini ready for some Ford Fiesta ST baiting

Long-awaited second N division model set to shake up the junior hot hatch establishment
20 Oct 2020