720S

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2018 McLaren 720S Overview

With its insane specs, legendary pedigree, and advanced technology, the McLaren 720S is one of the most talked about cars of the year.

The British-made coupe just might be the thinking person’s supercar, with a suspension designed with some help from the University of Cambridge. But early reviews suggest that its genius is just as emotional as it is cerebral.

Still, McLaren’s unique mix of pure performance and cutting-edge technology doesn’t come cheap. Now that it’s available for order, let’s take a look at how you can equip yours.

Every 720S comes with a 4.0-liter V8 engine with two twin-scroll turbochargers. It’s mounted amidships and drives the rear wheels. It’s good for 710 hp (that’s 720 metric hp—hence the name), and mated to a 7-speed F1-style seamless shift automatic gearbox. McLaren says its top speed is 212 mph, and its 0-60 time is just 2.8 seconds.

Thanks to a design that makes liberal use of carbon fiber and aluminum—including a carbon fiber “monocage”—the 720S weighs just 2,829 pounds "dry," or 3,128 pounds with fuel and a driver. The EPA has yet to rate its fuel economy.

Using the dashboard-mounted touchscreen, you can select from Sport, Comfort, and Track modes to determine how the car handles. In the first, you can select exactly how much electronic assistance the car offers thanks to Variable Drift Control, while Track mode disables all those aids. Thanks to the Folding Driver Display, you can also hide the majority of the gauge cluster to minimize distraction.

The 720S comes in three trims: In addition to the standard car, there are Luxury and Performance versions. If you’re really particular about your 720S, McLaren Special Operations (MSO) will go to great lengths to make it so—from special paint colors to unique, one-off vehicles.

Even if you don’t get a bespoke McLaren, you’ll still get noticed: The 720S's aerodynamic design is like nothing else on the road, and the “dihedral” doors swing upward from a front hinge for easy access.

For those without entirely unlimited budgets, the base 720S starts at around $279,000. You can order it in any of 34 paint colors, five choices of wheels, and various color calipers for its carbon ceramic brakes. Tires are either Pirelli P Zeros or Pirelli P Zero Corsas. A sport exhaust is also optional.

Inside and out, nearly every surface can be replaced with carbon fiber—from the roof and splitter to the seats and door appliqués. The base 720S is available with only two interior colors—black and black with gray—and if offers the option of a power or manual steering column.

For tech, you can add a lap-time function or track telemetry with three on-board cameras. A 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system is optional, as are a 360-degree parking camera and a vehicle lift for easier clearing of speed bumps.

The 720S Luxury adds Tungsten Slate exterior trim—plus ambient lighting in the engine bay so you can gaze upon the V8’s glory. The major difference between base and Luxury is your choice of four unique interior colors.

The 720S Performance swaps much of the exterior with carbon fiber—including hood air intakes, door mirror casings, rear fender air intakes. There’s plenty of carbon fiber trim inside, too, and upholstery trim options include Xenon Yellow and McLaren Orange.

Finally, MSO offers five special trims—Velocity, GT, Pacific, Track, and Stealth—each with its own unique appearance. For instance, the Velocity adds metallic bronze painted aluminum wheels along with lots of carbon fiber and special color combinations.

While pricing for options and trims isn’t yet public, we know the Velocity trim sells for $407,750. As a good rule of thumb, expect to pay a significant amount for any option that adds carbon fiber.

Updated

A member of the New England Motor Press Association who has owned everything from a Town Car to a Prius, Keith has contributed automotive coverage to outlets including Wired, Car & Driver, and USA Today.

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