GENEVA: The all-new McLaren 720S, unveiled on Tuesday at the Geneva Motor Show, takes everything that was great about the 650S and makes it even better still.
The new Super Series car (the term the company uses to refer to vehicles that sit below its hypercars but above its super sports cars) has an entirely new, more menacing appearance and a much more potent V8 under the layers of carbon fiber.
It has been opened up to 4- from 3.5 litres and in doing so the car now offers a maximum output of 710bhp (or 720PS, hence its name) alongside a 0-100kph time of 2.9 seconds.
"Power, torque and throttle response are all significantly enhanced compared to the first-generation Super Series, yet with fuel efficiency and emissions also notably improved," said McLaren Super Series Vehicle Line director Haydn Baker of the new engine.
Top speed is 341kph, and on the way to that figure, it will hit 200kph in 7.8 seconds and 300kph in 21.4 seconds.
"Super Series is the core of the McLaren business and personifies the blend of extreme performance, crafted luxury and unparalleled driver involvement that is the McLaren heartland. This is the first time we have replaced a product family and the new 720S is absolutely true to McLaren's pioneering spirit in being a revolutionary leap forwards, both for our brand and the supercar segment," said McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt.
A new engine and a new look are just the start of the changes. The new carbon fibre chassis is stronger and roomier so that the car offers driver and passenger more comfort on longer journeys. The upward swinging dihedral doors are bigger and also form part of the roof so that getting in and out of the car should be hassle free too as there's no head height restriction.
The car is also the first to feature the next generation of McLaren's digital suspension and chassis system - Proactive Chassis Control II. It can actively adjust the ride to suit track, race or comfort and even uses acclerometers (like in a smartphone) on each wheel to measure tyre contact with the road and adjust damping rate to suit.
"Proactive Chassis Control II generates a significant amount of additional grip, but not at the expense of the balance and feel of the car," said Mark Vinnels, Executive Director - Product Development, at McLaren Automotive. "The depth and breadth of handling precision and ride comfort in combination with the peerless level of driver involvement in the second-generation McLaren Super Series is simply extraordinary."
Inside, the cabin's instrumentation adapts to suit the driver's mood. A pop-up driver display can show everything from navigation to fuel economy and what's playing through the speakers, or it can fold down in full track mode to show speed, revs and gear selected.
This piece of high-tech kit sits well among the hand-machined aluminum switches and highest quality leather trim that dress the cabin and go some way to supporting the company's claim that the 720S is "The most complete supercar on sale today."