With dozens of 200-mph supercars to choose from these days, speed is no longer the most compelling factor. What makes a sports car stand out from the crowd is design and technology that enhance the driving experience. There’s no better example of that trend than the latest dream machine from England—the McLaren 720S—a stylish, high-tech vehicle that redefines the entire supercar genre.
Manufactured at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, England, the streamlined 720S can sprint from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than three seconds—with the kind of G-force that thrusts you back into the driver’s seat—and reach a top speed of 220 mph.
But it is clever design and technology that make this such a 21st-century vehicle. “The lack of visible side air intakes is really significant,” says McLaren Automotive North American spokesperson Laura Conrad. “In order to remove visible air intakes, we had to get creative and come up with other cooling solutions. We landed with double-skinned dihedral doors that channel air to high-temperature radiators. You can really see how the door has two layers, and it’s really innovative.”
Much of the vehicle’s tech is also cutting edge. Like Proactive Chassis Control II, a unique software coupled with new suspension hardware that quickly and constantly assesses changes in cornering, acceleration, braking, aerodynamic forces and road surface to deliver a more refined ride and optimal handling balance.
Like other super cars, prospective buyers have to ask themselves if the two-seater 720S is a merely a city slicker—just for show around town—or country cruiser that’s great for road trips.
“Neither,” Conrad says. “The 720S has the widest breadth of dynamic capability of any McLaren, ranging from precise, controlled comfort to the most extreme handling prowess. We’ve really developed a car that can be driven comfortably every day, without sacrificing track capabilities. Usually it’s one or the other—but we feel we have really accomplished both.”
And the price? On this side of the pond, $284,745.
By Joe Yogerst