McLaren 720S review – the new supercar benchmark - Design

Wild looks, warp speed acceleration, delicious handling balance and surprising civility mark out the remarkable 720S

Evo rating
  • Superb ride and handling, scorching performance and everyday usability
  • Engine note could do with some more character

Design

The bold styling of the 720S is indicative of a company growing in confidence - the slightly anonymous lines of the original 12C have been banished, to be replaced by something rather more memorable. For instance, the aluminium body panels are so closely wrapped over the carbon fibre structure it looks like the car’s been shrink wrapped. It’s also clear that aerodynamics have dictated much of the McLaren’s exterior, it’s mix of flowing lines, complex surfaces and numerous vents hinting at the car’s lengthy wind tunnel gestation. It’s paid off too, because there’s 30 percent more downforce than the 650S, while motorsport-inspired additions include a drag reduction system. And as with the original F1 there’s an airbrake that can be deployed in around 0.5 seconds and shifts the braking balance by 20 percent for increased stability.

Less functional highlights include the dihedral doors (no supercar worthy of the name can get away without some sort of novel door opening) and the sunken ‘eye socket headlamp design. It’s a stunning and beautifully detailed effort that announces McLaren’s final arrival among the pantheon of supercar brands.

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