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.

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

Porsche 911 Sally Carrera Special Edition revealed
Porsche Sally Carrera – front quarter
News

Porsche 911 Sally Carrera Special Edition revealed

Porsche’s been collaborating with Pixar on this one-off special that’ll be sold at Car Week for charity
12 Aug 2022
231mph Ultima GTR640 on the Isle of Man – evo Retro
Ultima GTR640
Features

231mph Ultima GTR640 on the Isle of Man – evo Retro

The Ultima GTR640 is one of the fastest accelerating road cars ever built. John Barker channels his inner racer and unleashes it on the Isle of Man TT…
11 Aug 2022
Used car deals of the week
Main used car deals
Advice

Used car deals of the week

In this week's used car deals, we've sourced everything from a Golf R to a McLaren 720S...
10 Aug 2022