66 Magazine Issue 3 Spring 2018 - Page 98

Bottom The 720S is the successor to the 650S in McLarens’s Super Series range of models Centre Tactile switches allow the driver to set dynamic elements as desired Below McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt is promising 15 next- generation models by 2022. This is the first of those digital display that sits ahead of the driver; it can flip up to reveal all the instrumentation and data you’d normally expect to see, or at the touch of a button, flips down so the driver is essentially looking at the top-end of the unit. In this mode – designed for use on the track – just the essentials are relayed. Other diverting features include the cascading transmission buttons, which are angled towards the driver. A large touchscreen sits in the centre console; another new aspect of the 720S is the infotainment system, called MIS, which is a big improvement on the previous IRIS system. The steering wheel remains free of clutter. Keeping the controls straightforward, switching between driving modes is utterly logical; different suspension settings or levels of traction can be selected with tactile switches, rather than scrolling through sub-menus as some cars would have you do. There’s a ‘comfort’ mode now, which is perfectly agreeable for public roads. Although you’ll go straight to ‘Sport’. Because… well, McLaren. Outside of the chassis, the single biggest new aspect of the 720S is the new engine. Code-named M840T, the mid-mounted 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 builds on the 3.8-litre unit the 650S carried, pushing power up to 529kW (720PS, hence the model designation) and 770Nm of torque. Because almost every single component of the 720S has been touched in some way, the car also features new suspension incorporating a hydraulically-connected damper system which does away with anti-roll bars. The car remains flat and unflustered, even on serrated backroads, even when the colossal power available from the V8 at 3000rpm and above might have you come into a corner with more of a head of steam than is ideal. There’s so much feedback from the hydraulic steering set-up (that bit hasn’t changed from the previous car) and so much kick-in-the-guts acceleration here; the engineering gives way to exhilaration pretty rapidly. Like the best of these types of cars, it can cosset you or shout in your face; whichever demeanour you wish it to adopt is totally up to you. But that’s what accomplished engineering can do. And it’s still worth putting on a poster. 96 66 MagAzine SPRING 2018