Supercar of the Future: 2018 McLaren 720S

Despite being an off the chart car nut, I generally try to avoid interacting with dealership.  There are occasional test drives and some sales managers may actually agree to stop and at somewhat scenic locations, generally the dealerships here are concerned with quota's rather than brand exposure or cars themselves.

There are, however exceptions.  One such occasion was a last minute phone call from a buddy of mine about a new McLaren about to be loaded on a truck and sent to Osaka, and something in content of being able to check it out before it's gone.  I think he also mentioned something about actually considering putting a deposit for it, but I wasn't listening at that point as I was full throttle racing towards McLaren showroom in Aoyama.

This is what the the fuss is all about: The McLaren 720S Luxury trim, and as we found out this is the second 720S that was shown publicly outside the Geneva Auto Show!  How's that for a bit of exclusivity?

The example here was finished in striking Glacier White premium color,

and featuring about 100,000 dollars worth of options!

 Yes, you can buy a brand new BMW M4 for the price of options alone!

But what you get as end result (granted, for the price of about four M4's) is something out of this world incredible.  You see, for the price of 33 million yen for base model, which is roughly the same as Ferrari 488 or Lamborghini Huracan not only you get an insanely powerful exotic,

You actually get a state of the art engineering master piece with performance edging towards hypercar territory

McLaren didn't waste any time and proceeded with borrowing engineering clues from the P1 as soon as the last one left the assembly factory.  After releasing the 675LT they went straight to work making the rare "Long Tail" seem like a dinosaur.

For starters, the 720Sfeatures brand new carbon tub, known as Monocage II, which along with FRP Carbon composite body panel and lightweight aluminium V8 combine for only 1283KG curb weight.

Despite being larger and more powerful than the outgoing 650S, the 720S is actually 18kg lighter!

The brand new 4L twin turbocharged V8 is another vital piece completing this overwhelmingly complicated puzzle.

Not only the engine produces 710 horse power and 770NM of torque, propelling the car from 0 to 100 kph in 2.9 seconds, the motor revs to 8500 RPM, which is simply phenomenal for any engine with two snails attached.

McLaren engineers have listened to public that on many occasion has been critical towards previous generations McLaren vehicles for their lack of soul or supercar character due to lack of high pitched neighborhood waking noises, typically associated with Italian exotics.

McLaren 720S takes the game back to the Italians with its incredibly fine blend of engine noise, deep exhaust and mandatory cracks on the over-run.  Finally McLaren has a supercar that sounds as well as it looks.

Speaking of looks, there is simply no other cars quite like it.  I have had only a few minutes to spend with the car before it was loaded onto a trailer, trying anxiously to figure out best angles to take photos from,

and emphasize some of the design features such as the adjustable spoiler,

and the mysterious headlights.

But believe me when I say this: there isn't a single photograph on the web or in print that does the car justice.  The car has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated.

It is well known facts that Ferrari has ditched their favorite design lab Pininfarina in favor of their own design quarters.  This is largely due to the fact that sueprcar design is now predominately engineered rather than crafted.

Apart from massive engine power, drivability, complex suspension geometry and steering, aerodynamics is becoming one of the most crucial element in supercar's performance, and unlike all of the above mentioned paradigms, most of aerodynamics go on the outside of the car.

Just like the Italians, British aerodynamics engineers created and absolute masterpiece of form and function.

By 2017 aerodynamics has become a lot more than just a bunch of spoilers and wings.  Air is now channeled over certain paths as if it were programmed to go over the body smoothly without creating any turbulence zones and then end up in car's radiator or intercooler to increase performance of the engine.

The "look at me" body panels and openings are no longer designed to grab attention, they program airflow to have more than one purpose, which combine for increased performance.

Each cavity and gill in the back have specific purpose to channel air towards cooling or the extended spoiler to create massive amounts of down force, which is needed to connect all that power to the road. When it comes to modern supercar design, looks is just the bonus, but definitely important one, as no wealthy individual would buy an "ugly" supercar.

But looks alone are not going to sell you anything.  Overall ownership experience is what wins contracts, and with that in mind, pretty much like any modern supercar of today the 720S is equipped with number of luxuries that can make this car usable on daily basis.

The luxury trim of the car comes with very thick and soft durable leather, metal air vents and whole range of optional carbon panels.

The standard instrument cluster has been replaced with high resolution LCD, which changes appearance based on driving mode or can be completely collapsed into the dash for better visibility.

It seems that only yesterday supercar drivers had to rotate the knob to roll down the window, or to use excessive force to turn the wheels of stationary car due to lack of power steering. Notoriously, parking was the ultimate nightmare of every exotic owner and valet tips were definitely well deserved.

McLaren 720S comes with power everything, backup and top cameras, sensors, 12 speaker stereo, garage door opener and car tracker for theft protection.  Not to mention you can hit the road in one with just automatic transmission drivers license.

But as we have seen here, the McLaren 720S does a lot more than just owner's life pleasant, for the lack of better words this car sets the bar for supercars of this class.  This is where I put it all on the line and call it how I see fit: "the supercar of the future!"




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